HIPAA Automation: How to get started

Shivam Jha

Shivam Jha

Mar 27, 2024

Cybersecurity is a complex yet crucial system that requires clearly defined rules, limitations, regulations, and methodologies.

Some people view compliance requirements as an obligation. But compliance, according to the majority of industry experts, is the key to being competitive, avoiding destabilizing attacks, traversing cyberspace, and giving your clients the cybersecurity they deserve.

One such compliance is HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act). It is a federal law that aims to protect the data of patients from public or unauthorized use. However, compliance has always been a major concern for most businesses, particularly in the case of healthcare organizations and covered entities, which are required to adhere to several rules. Find out how to speed up HIPAA compliance with HIPAA automation.

What is HIPAA Automation?

HIPAA Automation is the use of technology to automate processes in order to get HIPAA compliant. Automating your HIPAA compliance makes it easier for you to manage the long manual work that is otherwise needed, which in turn, lets you utilize your resources in a more productive way. 

Automating HIPAA compliance requires a tool or software solution. When selecting an automated HIPAA compliance solution, you should look for features such as self-audits built in, a cost calculator, remediation plans that are specific to your organization, necessary rules and procedures, good customer support, and a breach notification process.

However, you might ask the question, why do I need HIPAA automation in the first place? Let’s try to answer the same question in the next section.

Why do you need HIPAA automation?

The need to automate HIPAA compliance in the healthcare industry is crucial as healthcare entities handle humungous amounts of sensitive data and getting HIPAA compliant manually can be time-consuming, costly, and prone to errors.

However, there is much more to HIPAA automation than this. Here are some more reasons to use automation in your compliance journey:

  • Organizations can make sure they comply with the rules for protecting sensitive patient information by automating HIPAA compliance.
  • Organizations can automate the process of risk assessment, develop security policies and procedures, and maintain continuous compliance monitoring with the aid of automation solutions.
  • Automation of HIPAA compliance helps lower the danger of data breaches, which can cause serious financial and reputational harm.
  • Organizations can benefit from automation to stay current with industry best practices and the constantly evolving regulatory requirements.
  • Automation of HIPAA compliance can improve compliance activities’ effectiveness, accuracy, and consistency.

You can already imagine all the benefits automation can bring to your business. However, this is just the tip of the iceberg. A great automation tool such as Sprinto can take your compliance automation experience to an even higher level. 

Sprinto’s automation solution cuts down the time to get compliant manually, by more than 70 percent. Sprinto’s customer support is top of the line and our experts will help you in every step of the process.

How to get started with HIPAA automation with Sprinto?

HIPAA compliance automation in the healthcare system is very intricate. It involves a variety of public and private provider entities, review boards, governing bodies, government organizations, pharmaceutical firms, insurance payers, and other entities, all of which interact and overlap.

Since, HIPAA is the law that regulates all of the patient’s sensitive data and involves the above-mentioned entities, automating and enhancing a standard HIPAA compliance procedure can enhance the security, responsiveness, and dependability of an entity’s application of healthcare regulations.

Here are a few steps to get started with HIPAA automation:

1. Get yourself familiar with HIPAA regulations and policies 

Before you embark on your journey toward automating HIPAA compliance, it is critical that you understand what regulations and protocols you are expected to adhere to. 

HIPAA governs how protected health information (PHI) is handled, which includes everything from patient medical records to billing information. To fully comprehend the requirements, you should read the HIPAA Security Rule, Privacy Rule, and Breach Notification Regulation.

2. Conduct a compliance risk assessment

Compliance risk assessment is a crucial step in your compliance journey. A compliance risk assessment looks at the potential ways that your business could violate legal and regulatory standards. 

This analysis needs to be thorough in order to identify all the compliance requirements that various laws, rules, and industry standards might impose on your business and determine how well your current compliance program complies with or falls short of those demands.

3. Choose the automation tool that works for you

Use automation tools that can integrate with your current systems and are specifically made for HIPAA compliance. Identity and access management (IAM), security information and event management (SIEM), and policy management systems are a few typical automation technologies for HIPAA compliance. Apart from these, there are complete HIPAA automation solutions such as Sprinto that takes care of all your automation needs. 

4. Put the automation tool to the test

After choosing a tool, you must integrate it into the procedures and systems used by your company. It’s crucial to thoroughly test the product to make sure it is functional and complies with HIPAA policies before putting it into use.

5. Train your staff

HIPAA compliance cannot be guaranteed by automation alone. Employee training on both the rules and effective use of the new automation tools is crucial. This training will make sure that everyone in the company is clear on their responsibilities for upholding HIPAA compliance.

6. Monitor and evaluate

It’s crucial to monitor the system and frequently evaluate your policies and procedures to make sure that they remain compliant with HIPAA rules after you’ve installed automation technologies and trained your staff. This will ensure that your business maintains compliance and stays clear of possible HIPAA infractions.

Benefits of HIPAA compliance automation

While utilizing automation in your compliance journey should be a no-brainer, we can show you some of the many benefits HIPAA automation brings to your company:

Reduce the time to get compliant

Putting a good HIPAA automation tool in place can reduce the time it takes to get ready for compliance by anywhere from 50-90 percent. All the time saved can be used for other operations in the company, which will, in turn, increase your efficiency and output.

Enhance the patient experience

Healthcare practitioners can devote more of their time to tasks that are important by automating HIPAA compliance. Automating HIPAA compliance would aid in automating ongoing regulatory tasks. 

Employees can concentrate on making strategic decisions and guiding the healthcare firm in more lucrative directions since this obligation is in the “safe hands” of the automation tool. 

Healthcare compliance automation can assist healthcare practitioners in enhancing patient care by reallocating time formerly spent on manual, prone-to-error procedures to more strategic ones.

Minimize the possibility of violation fines

The penalties and fines enforced for privacy infractions and non-compliance are significant because HIPAA is a federal statute. 

By automating compliance, lowering the possibility of human mistakes, and constantly adhering to compliance policy, healthcare players may make sure they are carrying out their due diligence. Even if there is a data breach, maintaining compliance and adhering to the right disclosure protocol can reduce expenses.

Execute efficient internal audits

When a compliance breach is suspected, the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) launches formal audits and investigations. By putting in place a thorough and effective self-assessment mechanism to verify policy and procedural compliance, healthcare institutions can avoid the OCR from auditing them.

Centralize procedures and data

Automation technologies assist healthcare businesses in rapidly, effectively, and efficiently preparing for self-assessments by centralizing all of their compliance data for the healthcare industry.

Healthcare providers can now evaluate compliance status and risk posture efficiently. Concrete methods to assure healthcare compliance include automating evidence gathering, monitoring controls around the clock, offering security awareness training, and establishing a policy center.

Maintain compliance with continuing regulatory changes

To comprehend HIPAA’s legal language, standards, and exclusions, one must have a solid awareness of the law and its limitations. Automated compliance software can greatly diminish the risks associated with the most recent HIPAA laws and regulations. Organizations can keep up-to-date and secure in real-time with tools and software for healthcare compliance. 

What experiencing HIPAA automation with Sprinto feel like

Automating HIPAA compliance can significantly improve the security, effectiveness, and dependability of how healthcare businesses implement legal requirements. Companies can overcome the difficulties of physical, technical, and documentation compliance and streamline their compliance processes by implementing HIPAA automation.

This is where Sprinto steps in. Our tool provides you with HIPAA compliance automation AND offers much more than that. Sprinto’s framework-specific dashboard speeds up your compliance process by 70% to 90%, and our compliance experts are always on hand to help you out if you get overwhelmed. Let’s show you how it’s done. Speak to our experts

FAQs

How is automation used in healthcare compliance?

Automation in healthcare compliance is done using new technologies and tools to streamline tasks that typically require manual work. Data management, making reports, and audits are some examples of tasks getting automated. Some of the common tools used to automate compliance processes are Sprinto, Vanta, and Drata

What are the challenges in HIPAA automation?

One of the major challenges of implementing HIPAA automation is finding a tool that can solve your specific compliance needs. Each company is different and has a different infrastructure and finding a tool that works for everyone is a challenge. However, there are a few solutions such as Sprinto, for example, that work with your framework and is customized for your needs.

What is the cost of implementing HIPAA automation?

The cost of HIPAA compliance automation depends on many factors such as the size of the organization, the scope of automation, the level of customization required, automation technology, and more. Most of the time you’ll have to get a quote on the price from where you’re buying the tool. One of the compliance automation solutions that is cost-effective yet great at what it does is Sprinto. It offers a great level of customization and other features.

Shivam Jha

Shivam Jha

Shivam is our in house cybersecurity sage with over six years of experience in cybersecurity under his belt. He is passionate about making the digital world safer for everyone and whipping up Indian delicacies on the weekend.

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