Is Your Office HIPAA Compliant?

HIPAA specifies a number of standards providing for patient health information (PHI) portability between providers and accountability for errors and data integrity. Much of compliance falls on your computer network and the procedures that you follow to ensure the security and privacy of your patient information.

A simplified list of compliance that your computer systems must meet is:

-Access to that network, and therefore to the patient information, must be restricted, with some sort of confirmation of identity.

-Information transfer of information must be controlled and restricted.

-Disposal of any computer media that contained patient information must be controlled.

-When an authorized user ceases access, or is fired from your organization, their access must be removed.

-Procedures must be in place to protect terminals against mistakes by users, such as an automatic time log off.

-All access to data must be logged, giving information on the point of access and the user who made that access.

-Methods must be in place to confirm data integrity, including both on-site and off-site backups.

-Every transfer of data must be secure, meaning at least encrypted.

-Data storage must be secure, meaning at least encrypted.

Recently Congress passed the high-tech act. This act imposes very large penalties for failure to comply with HIPAA.

Does your current IT company ensure your compliance? Have you regularly reviewed their work, to see that they meet the above basic checklist?

If you are not confident that you meet the electronic requirements of HIPAA, contact us. We’ll walk you through some basic checklists, review your network, confirm encryption and backups, and give you a roadmap to compliance.HIPAA-Logo

Two Internet Providers

Computers are at the core of how your business makes its money. That’s been true for decades, but in the last ten years the Internet has moved from useful through essential to critical. Invoices, communications, and new orders are moving through your Internet connection. When your Internet connection goes down, so does your business.

Even a modest-sized business can benefit from two Internet providers. The expense of an Internet connection has dropped to where each provider might cost $150 a month. While this expense is not trivial, it’s small compared with the money you make by having the Internet running. So the questions are:

-How often does your Internet provider drop service during the hours when you’re trying to do business?

-How long does your Internet provider leave the service down?

-And how much does it cost you?

-How many employees are doing nothing productive?

The first ten or fifteen minutes they go for a cup of coffee, they review some notes, but after that they are not producing. You’re giving them a paid vacation until your Internet service comes back on. How soon has this cost you more than the $ 2,000 a year that you can save by not having a second Internet provider?

Just like you’ll have a duplicated server, a backup and then a cloud backup, a spare computer, so also you should consider a second Internet provider. The money that you spend on that second Internet provider won’t be wasted. If both of your Internet providers are up and running you’ll be getting the bandwidth from both of them into your network. You’ll be downloading twice as fast. While this may not be crucial to your business, it will be a productivity and speed increase that could pay for the second Internet provider.

But you should have two Internet providers so that, when one of your Internet providers drops, all that happens to you network is that documents and connections are a little slower. You won’t be out of business, you’ll just be slower.

If you have experienced frustration and lost money because your Internet provider has dropped service in the past months for ten minutes or a half hour or two hours, contact us. We’ll set up your network so that it constantly draws from two separate Internet providers, and so that you can automatically and seamlessly continue to make money when one of them drops service.Speedometer-Icon