Why is using HIPAA-compliant software so critical?
Even small offenses can cost you between $100 and $50,000 per instance. Given the stakes involved, you can’t afford to take chances by using noncompliant tools.
HIPAA-compliant software doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive. In fact, some of the best options come from names you already know and use.
Let’s explore some of the best HIPAA-compliant software products that can support your growing medical practice.
1. Google G Suite
Google started with document management by offering free tools that were good but not as comprehensive as paid tools like Microsoft Office. This has, however, quickly changed. Google has continued to improve their tools and now has a paid version called G Suite, which is ISO-27017 and HIPAA compliant.
Google is well known for building tools with the end user (you) in mind. They create some of the most intuitive products available. Because your team is already familiar with tools produced by Google, there’s little to no learning curve.
Another benefit is that G Suite won’t cost you an arm and a leg. It’s only $5 per month, per user, and paying annually or keeping a minimum number of users can get you a discount.
2. Microsoft 365
Microsoft has taken the initiative when it comes to HIPAA-compliant software. To ensure protected health information (PHI) isn’t at risk, they use independent third-party testers to check their software’s security. Since most people are familiar with Microsoft products, there is a lower learning curve.
Microsoft’s Office 365 is a monthly subscription service. It gives you access to the full range of Microsoft Office products, some of which can be directly integrated with certain medical systems. It’s a little more expensive than the Google counterpart, as it starts at $99 per user, per year, but the additional integrations can be worth the extra cost.
A reference to the iconic Bugs Bunny catchphrase — “What’s up, Doc?” — Updox built this HIPAA-compliant software specifically for small medical practices. It offers appointment scheduling, automated reminders, and a patient communication portal, along with other helpful features. It has several certifications, including one from the Electronic Healthcare Network Accreditation Commission (EHNAC). And, perhaps most important, it’s very easy for offices and patients to use.
Updox offers custom solutions built to meet your practice’s unique needs, so you’ll need to contact them for a quote.
JotForm is HIPAA-compliant software that helps you create and manage your HIPAA compliance documentation with fully integrable, easy-to-use tools. You can build custom forms and request permission to share PHI with
- Family members
- The marketing department
JotForm makes it easy to securely obtain signatures remotely or in the office. The forms are mobile friendly and can be completed securely on just about any device. You can even use one of the many JotForm integrations to take online payments.
JotForm can be integrated into Google Sheets (part of G Suite) as well as Dropbox and other online and boxed software. JotForm is free to try, and the HIPAA-compliant version starts as low as $39 per month.
5. eFolder Anchor
eFolder Anchor is HIPAA-compliant software that is both a real-time cloud storage solution and a disaster recovery service. It offers unique features like remote desktop device wipes, file lock, team collaboration tools, and more.
Anchor offers a robust set of HIPAA-compliant security tools and does a great job of balancing the need for security with ease of use.
Because Anchor customizes a complete suite of tools to your practice, you will need to contact them to get a quote. But they do offer a free trial, so you can try several tools before you buy.
CareCloud provides a full suite of software systems and services for healthcare providers. Their disaster prevention backup service houses sensitive data in multiple locations. Why would you want software that does this? One reason is that HIPAA requires you to be prepared for potential data failure caused by a disaster or tech issue.
Another reason is to protect your practice against ransomware. This is when someone hijacks your stored data and blocks access to it for the sole purpose of extorting a ransom payment from you. Cyber attacks are of special concern to medical practices. You may recall the cyber attack on the U.K.’s National Health System in 2017.
If you don’t have backups in multiple locations, one of these attacks could completely wipe out your records, leaving you with no way to retrieve them. Additionally, a natural disaster like the recent California fires could destroy the servers where the data is housed. CareCloud offers real-time, fully automated backups that are stored in multiple locations.
CareCloud is built specifically for the healthcare industry and customized for your practice. Contact them for a quote.
Get started with HIPAA-compliant software
No matter which software you choose for your practice, there’s an extra step you need to take when signing up. You must request a business associate agreement (BAA) from the third-party company to comply with HIPAA.
When your software is HIPAA compliant, it not only protects your practice, it also gives you peace of mind. All of the options listed here are great examples of HIPAA-compliant solutions that can make running your practice easier and keep it more secure.