What is HIPAA-Compliant App Development and How to Choose the Right Software Developement Company

Newer laws and technologies continue to emerge concerning data security. One can never overemphasize its importance, for even the slightest breach could damage an individual or organization.

In the field of healthcare, sensitive data is exchanged between doctors and patients. To protect this information from leaking or being shared without an individual’s knowledge, the 104th United States Congress passed the HIPAA Act on 21st August 1996.

Since technology plays a significant role in healthcare, all websites and applications must abide by its guidelines. Creating a HIPAA compliant app development, for instance, requires the highest level of security since it stores health data meant for the use of doctors, patients, and institutions.

In other words, your app must be compliant if it collects, stores, and shares data about an individual’s health, medical billing, insurance information, or information on treatment and diagnosis.

What are the other things involved in creating such apps, and are there other requirements you should know? Continue reading to get the answers below.

What makes an app complaint?

Here are four features an application must have to comply with the data privacy and protection guidelines.

User identification

User identification

Implementing a user identification feature is an effective way of preventing unauthorized access to protected data. You might consider having a PIN, password biometrics, or other security systems to minimize the chances of hacking.

It is also a good idea to know which information constitutes Personal Health Information or PHI, as that will help you avoid dealing with sensitive data.

Data Encryption

Data encryption eliminates the chances of outsiders accessing your private information, even if they manage to access it illegally.

It is so effective because it transforms plain text into an unreadable format (for instance, a simple hello, when encrypted, consists of random numbers, alphabets, and numerals).

Get Rid of PHI the Right Way

It is crucial to get rid of PHI when it becomes useless. While getting rid of the information, ensure there are no backups or alternative copies.

You should be extra careful to dispose of personal information like credit card number, treatment information, social security number, driver’s license, and other such related information of a sensitive nature.

Contacting a Healthcare Software Development Company

Contacting a Healthcare Software Development Company

Even though the information mentioned will give you some idea about HIPAA compliance and guidelines during app development, the entire process is much more complicated than you might think.

Rather than risk flouting a rule or two, hire an experienced company specializing in HIPAA strategy, compliance assessment, and implementation. But before hiring them, you could ask them some questions.

For example, what hosting options do they have regarding desktop, mobile, and web apps? Do those options include on-premise, secure cloud, or third-party managed hosting services?

Before choosing a third-party provider on the recommendations of the software company, you must ensure and sign the business associate agreement before proceeding. Their infrastructure should also comply with various regulations, including audit logging, data encryption, etc.

You must also ask if they perform an audit of your custom-built app, which includes reviewing the code base, using third-party libraries, security, usability, design, etc.

The HIPAA compliant app development process is quite complicated, involving numerous guidelines, rules, and regulations. While it makes sense to have an idea about those, the best option is to hire a development company that is familiar with the guidelines and follows them during the building process.

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