04-19-12 | Blog Post

HIPAA Compliant Data Centers & HIPAA Hosting White Paper

Blog Posts
HIPAA Compliant Data Centers Cover
HIPAA Compliant Data Centers Cover

Our HIPAA compliant data center white paper is finally released! Here’s an overview of what you’ll find in the 36-page document:

Executive Summary

The increasing pressure to implement meaningful use, reduce healthcare costs, and improve care outcomes while still protecting patient interests has led to strategic review and overhaul by many healthcare providers and vendors.

Evaluating outsourcing options to allow industry experts to manage parts of the healthcare IT components is an obvious part of the equation, and the intensive capital expense, human resource, security, and maintenance demands specific to data centers make these prime candidates for cost savings.

However, balancing the resource benefits of outsourcing data center and hosting services with the risks of engaging an off-premise business associate is daunting in the wake of increasing PHI (protected health information) breaches and penalties. Ultimately, finding the best blend of resources that can fulfill the availability, integrity, and confidentiality requirements to protect ePHI (electronic protected health information) – and thereby protecting the patients, covered entities, and business associates – is the challenge at hand.

This white paper explores the impact of HITECH and HIPAA on data centers. It includes a description of a HIPAA compliant data center IT architecture, contractual requirements, benefits and risks of data center outsourcing, and vendor selection criteria.

HIPAA Compliant Data Centers Table of Contents
HIPAA Compliant Data Centers Table of Contents

Main topics include:

  • Impact of HITECH/HIPAA on data centers – why compliance is more important than ever for business associates and covered entities
  • What is a HIPAA compliant data center? – what documents to look for to do your due diligence as a covered entity
  • Administrative safeguards
  • Physical safeguards
  • Technical safeguards
  • Business associate agreements – the extensive documentation OCR requires in the event of a data breach; what to look for in a business associate contract
  • Outsourcing vs. in-house hosting
  • Benefits of outsourcing hosting
  • Risks of outsourcing – comprehensive guide on HIPAA violations and associated penalties
  • Vendor selection criteria
  • HIPAA compliant business associates
  • And more!
HIPAA Compliant Data Center Architecture
HIPAA Compliant Data Center Architecture

The white paper also includes a comprehensive diagram depicting the essential elements of a HIPAA compliant data center architecture, complete with everything you need to have a fully compliant HIPAA hosting solution, including detailed descriptions of each requirement and recommended technology.

Each standard was matched with a common technology application to meet the HIPAA Security Rule. Use this diagram to help you make IT decisions when it comes to selecting a vendor and compliant technology.

View the full white paper content and download the PDF.

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