Mobile Device Management & HIPAA Compliance: What you don’t know could cost you.

Mobile technology has infiltrated just about every aspect of the modern workplace, and that includes the healthcare industry. And while hospitals, doctors’ offices, patient clinics, and other care facilities have been slower to move towards a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) environment than businesses that aren’t regulated by HIPAA, the reality is that BYOD is beginning to crop up across increasingly more medical practices. As more and more mobile devices, especially employee-owned ones, enter the healthcare industry, there is a need for more than just specific device policies. It’s also time to get serious about mobile device management (MDM).

MDMandHIPAA-300x200 Mobile Device Management & HIPAA Compliance: What you don’t know could cost you.The value of personally identifying customer data is critical for any business, but the stakes are even higher when it comes to healthcare and Patient Health Information (PHI). When users access PHI on an unsecured device, whether personally-owned or company-issued, they are violating the Health Insurance Portability and Accounting Act (HIPPA). Being out of HIPAA compliance isn’t just about paperwork headaches for business leaders, such violations bring costly fines and an almost certain bevy of negative press.

Mobile device management software gives IT managers a way to centrally control devices that utilize a specific network. This includes everything from device data integrity, security protocols, application usage, web activity, and data transmission. With proper usage policies and MDM in place, medical practices can enjoy the benefits of mobile devices while minimizing their business’ risk of a corporate data breach or HIPAA violation.

Three aspects of MDM that are especially important for healthcare-related businesses are

  • Device security – this includes everything from auto-timed screen locks when accessing PHI, device-level encryption, installation, and maintenance of malware detection software and secure in-platform messaging so that users can communicate with each other and verified recipients without risking interception of a third party email.
  • Remote management – if a device containing PHI is ever lost or stolen, administrators can quickly and easily lock the device or even delete the confidential data.
  • Reporting – MDM software tools allow administrators to monitor your healthcare organization’s mobile environment in real-time. This includes everything from user device location, user status, log-in attempts, and compliance with password policies.

 

If you’ve resisted the urge to implement mobile technology due to fears of HIPAA compliance or you’re currently using mobile devices without a comprehensive MDM plan in place, we encourage you to give us a call. Contact us today, and our expert consultants can ensure you’re maximizing the benefits of mobile technology, all while remaining HIPAA compliant.

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