How to Meet HIPAA Compliance on AWS

April 22 2021
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Machine learning-enabled medical image analysis. Prosthetics customized for individual patients courtesy of 3D printing. Virtual Reality (VR) tools that enable medical students to learn from life-and-death scenarios in low-stakes environments.

These are just some of the numerous examples of technology pushing healthcare to new levels of sophistication. In many cases, the technologies driving these innovations are cloud-based. Many healthcare organizations are eager to take advantage of the well-documented benefits of the cloud. However, as these organizations move to the cloud, they must still contend with Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) compliance requirements.

HIPAA and Cloud Services

By itself, regulatory compliance can be complex and confusing. Add in cloud services, and the complexity multiplies — particularly with HIPAA.

HIPAA pertains to organizations that deal with personal health information (PHI). Few, if any, healthcare organizations are exempt from it, including healthcare providers, insurance companies, and Big Data companies that aggregate and analyze healthcare data.

It’s not just the technical requirements of HIPAA that makes compliance complicated. Rapidly changing technologies and frequent updates to regulations further muddy its clarity. But meeting HIPAA requirements isn’t something that can be ignored or continually delayed. Noncompliance can result in large fines, as well as lost business, damage to the organization’s reputation, and other consequences.

A PHI related data breach can result in “fines ranging from $100 to $50,000 per violation or record, up to a maximum of $1.5 million per year for each violation. To make matters worse, all HIPAA breaches are listed forever on the Breach Portal, or ‘Wall of Shame’ as it is more commonly known…”

Many healthcare organizations seek out cloud services from Amazon Web Services (AWS) to help them meet their HIPAA compliance objectives. The cloud services provider offers an extensive array of resources to help use AWS in a HIPAA-compliant way.

But no software or cloud service is truly HIPAA compliant. HIPAA compliance is not about the platform. It’s about how the platform is used.

ClearScale’s HIPAA and AWS Expertise

According to Health IT Outcomes, the lack of skilled IT professionals has slowed cloud adoption in the healthcare industry. “Qualified specialists are in high demand due to the difficulty in finding professionals with HIPAA expertise.”

That’s why working with a cloud systems integrator such as ClearScale can be invaluable. ClearScale understands HIPAA compliance and has extensive experience as it relates to cloud environments — especially AWS Cloud environments.

We’re an AWS Premier Consulting partner with the Healthcare Competency. That means we’re among the top tier of AWS consulting partners globally that have extensive experience in delivering healthcare cloud services. We’ve demonstrated success in building AWS healthcare solutions that securely store, process, transmit, and analyze clinical information.

Compliance, Security, and Technical Assessments

So how can ClearScale help your organization meet its HIPAA requirements, especially if you’re using or want to use AWS services? That depends on your specific project needs, but it may entail:

  • A review of applicable HIPAA requirements, particularly those that can be addressed through the AWS environment and with AWS tools and services
  • An audit of your current IT environment and the use of AWS best practices, and cloud security and data privacy best practices
  • Vulnerability assessments and penetration tests at both the application and infrastructure levels
  • Remediation and risk mitigation plans, including recommendations
  • Reconfiguration and hardening of your current environment, or development and deployment of new environment architecture to help meet HIPAA requirements

If you need application development or infrastructure automation, we can also do those in ways that help meet HIPAA or other regulatory compliance requirements.

Healthcare Industry Case Studies

The proof lies in our client engagements with healthcare organizations. Some of them include:

For many clients, like one that developed an AI-enabled platform for real-time monitoring of surgical blood loss, ClearScale’s services are being used to prepare for an upcoming HIPAA audit. With ClearScale helping to ensure the environment meets all applicable HIPAA requirements, the client will be better positioned to pass the audit and avoid non-compliance penalties and potential audit-related delays.

Is Your Environment HIPAA Compliant?

Learn how ClearScale can help your organization comply with the technical and security requirements of HIPAA. Contact us for a free security assessment or to speak with one of our healthcare cloud computing experts.

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Get in touch today to speak with a cloud expert and discuss how we can help:

Call us at 1-800-591-0442
Send us an email at sales@clearscale.com
Fill out a Contact Form
Read our Customer Case Studies

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