Healthcare and personal data are two sides of the same coin. It’s very important that people understand why these two are related in more ways than one. As our reliance on digital data and solutions grows deeper, so does our need to safeguard the information we share with healthcare and insurance firms.
To lay the groundwork for data protection, the US government introduced the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, or HIPAA, in 1996. Since being introduced, HIPAA has been the sole foundation of data protection and privacy when it comes to the healthcare industry.
HIPAA is a federal law that helped create the national standards to safeguard sensitive patient health information from unauthorized disclosures. The aim is to protect the interests and identity of the patients if they suffer from certain diseases. Of course, HIPAA protects the companies in the sector as well.
It is one of the most crucial laws established for the healthcare industry in recent times. It’s important for many people involved in the industry as well as the patients themselves. Here’s how HIPAA benefits you, doctors, nurses, insurance providers, and countless others in the healthcare industry.
Why Is HIPAA Important For The Healthcare Industry
The HIPAA standards helped lay the groundwork for healthcare data security. However, one of the biggest changes it brought is that it allowed healthcare companies to transition from traditional paper records to electronic copies with regard to health information. The standards have helped the transition become smoother.
Companies can’t simply transition to electronic systems. First, they need HIPAA certification to be able to operate with digital solutions and methods. This on its own comes with many benefits already. Basically, companies have to really take major steps when it comes to their data security and standards.
Thanks to the guidelines made by HIPAA, healthcare companies have a guide as to what it means to be fully prepared for the digital and electronic transition. Without such guidance, companies could be left operating with major loopholes that could compromise patient data.
Of course, thanks to HIPAA certifications, healthcare companies are able to easily showcase their worth and professionalism, especially when it comes to handling customer information. Upon seeing the certification, patients can feel more at ease with the company they are about to disclose information with.
Importance Of HIPAA For Patients
The main beneficiaries of the HIPAA compliance guidelines are, of course, the patients themselves. Understandably, people aren’t comfortable with having their data disclosed or revealed without their consent. This is even more concerning if the data shared is something related to their health that can be used against them.
HIPAA doesn’t guarantee that healthcare institutions aren’t going to be safe from data breaches and hacks which result in stolen data. However, it does guarantee that companies will receive repercussions if they fail to protect their patients. For many patients, this is a good deal on its own, as they are at least protected by law.
Another benefit of HIPAA is that it makes getting important patient information easier for everyone. Since HIPAA lets healthcare organizations transition into electronic and digital systems, data is readily available for them all the time. Before HIPAA, doing so took a lot of manual labor.
HIPAA is created for the patients, after all. It shouldn’t be surprising that the benefits the law has to people outweigh those of what’s provided to companies in the healthcare sector.
To put it simply, HIPAA has done more than just create a standard for patient information safety and security. It has also helped the healthcare industry advance towards digital and more efficient methods as well. Without it, the industry would have a harder time making the transition.
With data-keeping being more secure, the HIPAA has single-handedly helped paved the way for a more advanced take on healthcare in the US. At this age where data breaches and hacks are becoming more common, HIPAA is always a good way to help mitigate the risks.
In the future, we can expect to see HIPAA be updated with new standards. This is to ensure that healthcare organizations continue to become capable of protecting their patients no matter the circumstance. For healthcare organizations, compliance is definitely something they should work on.
Without a doubt, HIPAA has become more than just a law passed in congress. Thanks to it, the healthcare system was forever changed. As long as companies comply with HIPAA and its standards, there’s nothing but good news for the healthcare industry and all those who are under it.