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understanding hitrust compliance

The software development sector is, by now, a vast realm and has become a vital role in healthcare as well. IT companies have started taking up more healthcare projects diving deep into all healthcare sectors. Software influence in every individual’s life has made things easier and transparent. With the arrival of new diseases, the need for hospitals/ medical clinics even in rural areas has now become critical. The electronic medical records standardization for integration has made things more systematic and less time consuming. Storage and data recovery instantly is now possible along with proper patient data management. With these electronic methods, the entire process now gains more efficiency and mobility. But the question is - are these patient records/data safe?

Data security and privacy are now bothering IT companies when involved in healthcare solutions. IT solutions have always come up with a solution to all healthcare challenges. Some of the challenges include compliance and regulatory concerns above all security breaches, constant standards in every healthcare organization, implementation of security protocols in all medical devices, moving in accordance with the changing trends of technology and innovations, inefficient internal patient record management systems, increasing cybersecurity attacks and virus attacks, improper auditing and regulatory evaluation process, and the risks and hindrance involved in healthcare industry and information security such as cyber threats and compliance failures.

In order to address these challenges, there must be a standardized way that can be opted and put into action in the global market. To safeguard privacy and ensure proper care, the healthcare industry now goes after compliances such as HIPAA, NIST, ISO, PCI. HIPAA helps vendors to achieve privacy and overcome security breaches.HIPAA specialized shields are a significant piece of any organization or business partner's information security plan. In any case, that safety effort isn't sufficient to guarantee that a wellbeing information break will never happen. These issues and troubles point to a single fact of necessity in having a framework that binds together all the compliance regulations into one.

All healthcare industries dealing with the patient's personal data have to meet certain compliances and regulations, Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) set standards to secure this patient information. Companies associated with the patient health data should ensure proper security measures to achieve HIPAA compliance. The areas that should meet the HIPAA compliance are payments details, medication procedures, treatment processes, and other healthcare operations. And all those who are directly or indirectly in touch with this information should also meet the compliance requirements. On automating and computerizing the hospital process through a wide and broad network it is to be made sure that the data is safely transferred for a good cause.

The need for such compliance is to protect each individual’s privacy along with technology advancement that could give out better patient care.

HITRUST framework

Most of the IT companies now turn their focus to healthcare projects providing users a seamless experience from hospital registration to the billing process. To convince clients that their patient data are in safe hands, companies go through several procedures with the intention to meet the HIPAA, NIST, ISO, PCI, GDPR, and several other security and privacy measures. When HIPAA itself is not enough for the clients to get convinced, there should be a better solution.

HITRUST common security framework is the Health Information Trust Alliance which brings together all other frameworks and is a core pillar for health information transmission and exchanges. It’s a must to have a standard framework that helps vendors prove their security. HITRUST strengthens HIPAA by offering different levels of assurance. The healthcare industry is a place where a lot of patient personal health data is transferred and adopted and thus become a main area of cyber-attacks. HITRUST is a standard framework widely accepted in the US and now being asked by every healthcare vendor. HITRUST CSF certification is the last word for security, to eliminate the need for additional compliance and regulatory constraints. HITRUST can be adopted in areas such as healthcare, technology and business and is one solution for the challenges faced by the healthcare industry.

Cabot’s experience in building healthcare-related software and products by now made the employees and the whole organization have good knowledge of security compliance. Cabot’s experts by far developed around 30+ healthcare projects.

HITRUST Common Security Framework

To avoid the trouble of achieving all compliance required by the organization, it is always good to have a standard framework developed for the organizations with the aim to protect the health information. HITRUST CSF is not compliance but a standard framework that combines all other compliance and contains all security controls. Since the HITRUST CSF is scalable, any organization irrespective of size and type can get HITRUST security standards certified .

Over the past decade, Cabot has excelled in developing software solutions across various business domains. Cabot is now making significant achievements in the Healthcare domain as well, focusing on some of the health sectors such as Hospital data analytics, BLE medical devices, Telehealth, Wellness solutions and Disease management. All these projects involved huge patient health information. These healthcare solutions were developed by Cabot developers along with having all compliance met, especially HIPAA and HITRUST. One such project was the Analytics Platform for healthcare enterprises.

Analytics Platform For Healthcare Enterprises- Case Study

The project was from an Information Technology and Services company that wishes to build an Analytics platform for healthcare enterprise. In order to meet the regulatory and compliance constraints, security measures were adopted and implemented for the project, especially where patient health data are used.

Analytics platform provides breakthrough evidence-based insights that ensure healthcare organizations are predicting reimbursements while simultaneously managing costs and improving the quality of care. Its key differentiator is the highly intuitive, functionally sophisticated dashboard, custom created for each of the healthcare organizations in its portfolio.

The client wanted all the patient data to be safe and therefore Cabot team undertook certain security measures such as :-

1. Protecting personal patient info by using dummy data

Cabot UI developers used dummy data during development and testing instead of actual personal patient health information to meet HIPAA compliance security standards. (There are various sources in the internet to collect the relevant dummy data for the development process. The US govt approved organisation "Centre for Medicare and Medicaid Services" generates "Synthetic Public usable files", which can be directly downloaded)The right to manage real patient data was held with the hospitals alone for solution live /production phase.

2. No third party software intervention

The level of security and assessments to be taken depend on the level of information risk involved in a third party software or application. So it is always a burden to companies to look after the risks caused by the third party. It is important to make sure that these risk assessments don’t exceed the companies risk tolerances. So the company ensured not to make use of any third party software to make things safer and secure with no risk factors involved.

3. Code security

Proper code security was ensured by code minifying and uglifying. Cabot’s team took more effort in maintaining proper code encryption restricting the illegal intervention of hackers into the private data.

4. Isolated network limited access

The access to the network is limited within or internally. Cabot team developed an isolated network restricting the intervention of outside users maintaining the data privacy. Network security is always ensured by making use of strong passwords and firewall setups. Limited access to the network makes the client more convincing about the team’s work.

5. Non-Disclosure Agreement

A legal contract was signed with the client to ensure the confidentiality of the data being shared. The agreement is written proof to make sure that the client’s data is safe and no details being shared by the team to any other third party. By creating NDA Cabot establishes a confidential relationship with clients, generally protecting the client’s data and maintaining privacy.

Cabot’s Hitrust Consulting Experts

There exists a team consisting of Project managers, developers and testers who have hands-on expertise in compliances such as HIPAA and HITRUST, who educate the other team members on the same and audit and document their findings for such projects.

Cabot, being an expert healthcare software development company, has always been keen and vigilant to make sure that each healthcare project is done within security controls and has met all compliance requirements.

Detailed documentation was done by the Cabot team about the compliance and regulatory constraints emphasizing the significance of having a framework that can later be referred to get an idea of how important these compliance and regulatory constraints are while handling healthcare projects.

Cabot’s HITRUST consultants are now winning the clients’ appreciation helping them to achieve their goals providing high quality products and desired outcomes.

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