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HIPAA Compliance Tool

There is No One-Size-Fits-All HIPAA Compliance Tool

If you do a search on the Internet for “HIPAA Compliance Tool”, you will get tens of thousands of results suggesting you invest HIPAA compliance tool “A”, HIPAA compliance software “B” or HIPAA compliance solution “C”. Each tool, software or solution will likely claim to be a purpose-built and cost-effective means of ensuring compliance with HIPAA.

Inasmuch as each tool, software or solution may have its merits, a 5,000-bed medical center and a lone practitioner do not have the same requirements. So how can you tell which the most appropriate HIPAA compliance tool is for your needs? It is not easy, but there are some ways of reducing the number of options available to you and finding an answer to the question.

Tips for Narrowing the Options

First, ignore any result from your Internet search that suggests the “Top 9”, “Best 7” or “Most Effective 5” tools for HIPAA compliance. These are usually affiliate websites who receive a commission kickback if a reader signs up for any of their recommendations. None of these websites will have much knowledge about the products they recommend or be able to answer any of your questions about them.

Secondly, be wary of results that offer tools for Security Rule compliance that do not include a full suite of web content filters, email filters, email archiving services, phishing protection, EHR management, military-grade (IL5) data storage and secure communication. Most offer only one or two tools, which may individually help towards elements of your online security, but do not provide a complete solution.

Also be wary of tools for HIPAA compliance that have the sole purpose of identifying what other tools for HIPAA compliance you might require. The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) does not require any specific systems to be in place in order to achieve compliance – which does not help in finding an appropriate HIPAA compliance tool, but it does further narrow the options.

Seek Independent Advice about a HIPAA Compliance Tool

Once you have narrowed your options, it is advisable to seek independent advice from healthcare and IT experts contributing to various online forums. These experts can often provide genuine advice based on genuine experiences, or provide good sources of where to find the information you are looking for. In order to gain the maximum benefit from the time you spend on online forums, try to keep your questions relevant to your objectives. It is very easy to get side-tracked.

When using online forums, be careful not to divulge personal identifiable information (PII) and be conscious that some contributors offer their advice with the sole motive of directing you towards a specific product. If anybody asks you about a specific HIPAA compliance tool you are using at present, simply describe its function(s) rather than using a brand name. Sales-motivated contributors will use any information you provide them to drive you towards their product.

If, at present, you are unsure about what questions to ask or what tools for HIPAA compliance you may need, you are invited to read our HIPAA Compliance Checklist and download our free HIPAA Compliance Guide. Our Checklist and our Guide cover most key areas in which a HIPAA compliance tool may be of assistance to you. Both the checklist and the guide are independently compiled with no commercial motives, and contain links to sources of other information you may find of value.