What Is a HIPAA Compliant Website?
HIPAA law doesn’t just apply to PHI access within your organization and the security of your EHR systems – it also applies to your healthcare website design practices. If current or prospective patients will be using your website, it’s important to make sure that your site meets HIPAA’s requirements.
Most modern websites make use of interactive communication tools, and information sent via these tools often contains PHI. If your site includes any of these tools, and the tools would be used by prospective or current patients, you need a HIPAA compliant website design that meets all of HIPAA’s standards for electronic communication.
- An online “Contact Us” form
- Appointment request forms
- Online scheduling tools, such as calendar modules
- Online submission of patient intake forms
- Instant messaging via the website
- Online bill pay
- Interactive quizzes that request information like name, contact information, or email address
HIPAA Compliant Websites: Common Mistakes
A lack of familiarity with HIPAA compliant web development standards can put healthcare organizations at risk of a breach and severe penalties. Some of the most common ways that providers’ websites fall short of HIPAA standards include:
A Site With No SSL Certificate is Not a HIPAA Compliant Website
An SSL certificate establishes an encrypted connection between your server and the user, and blocks third parties from being able to access the data transmitted using your site. It’s an essential element of a HIPAA compliant website.
Our team handles your SSL certificate 100%. We obtain, install, and renew SSL certificates for each site we host through one of our HIPAA hosting packages.
HIPAA Compliant Web Development Requires a Business Associate Agreement
A business associate agreement (BAA) is a required contract with any subcontractor that will handle or store PHI. When it comes to HIPAA compliant website design, the BAA establishes that the web design and development company will share the responsibility for all patient PHI that is received by them, or is handled by the site they build.
A healthcare organization should never begin a HIPAA compliant web development project without obtaining a signed BAA from the website developer. We sign a BAA with each of our clients at the start of the project, before work begins. Any subcontractor or partner organization who collaborates on our web projects also signs a BAA with us.
Links Are Important – A HIPAA Compliant Website Design Should Not Include Links to Non-Compliant Systems
When a current or prospective patient clicks “submit” on any form they use on your site, the information should be securely transmitted to HIPAA compliant systems only. For example, if your contact form inquiries are routed to your email, your email provider must also be HIPAA compliant.
At Medical Web Experts, our HIPAA compliant website design projects always account for this. If your current site has links to non-HIPAA compliant systems, we’ll work with you on a solution, such as HIPAA email hosting and web hosting, HIPAA form development, custom HIPAA compliant application development, or process redesign.
HIPAA Compliant Forms
To ensure that the forms on your website are HIPAA compliant, we’ve developed a product for offering rich form functionality on your website while meeting HIPAA regulations. Our HIPAA Compliant Forms solution allows you to publish custom forms to your website, securely log each form submission, and securely transmit the contents to the HIPAA-compliant email address of your choosing.
HIPAA Compliant Web Development Solutions That Work for Your Organization
We put the right measures for a HIPAA compliant website in place from the start.
Too often, we see healthcare organizations fail to implement HIPAA compliance measures early on in the software development process. HIPAA measures generally exist at the lowest levels of a website or application, meaning that implementing the correct measures early on can save your organization time and money in the future.
Medical Web Experts is the foremost leader in HIPAA compliant web development and application development. Every website, web application, and mobile app we create passes through careful consideration for HIPAA compliance at every step of the development life cycle.
If you’re seeking assistance with a website or application which has already been built, it’s not too late to work towards HIPAA compliance. Medical Web Experts offers custom HIPAA compliance and security audits for websites and applications, and we work with you on implementing a reasonable, multi-phase approach to compliance. Trust the experts for your next medical website design or healthcare software development project.