Law Firm HIPAA Compliance: Why Your Practice May Need It

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) has outlined the information that must be protected by individuals and professionals that have access to it. Although not all law firms typically deal with patient information or EHRs on a daily basis, there are times when they will come into contact with information protected under HIPAA. If you find that your practice frequently reviews EHRs or PHI, then it could be a good idea for your law firm to ensure it is compliant with HIPAA.

What Does HIPAA Compliance Require of Your Law Firm?

HIPAA does have provisions for business associates such as law firms that come into contact with protected information. According to the law, business associates are responsible for information insofar as privacy, security, and breach notification requirements. Although they have a legal obligation and a duty to their clients, most law firms are not prepared to protect the information they obtain. Typically, they lack the cybersecurity capabilities or the knowledge of HIPAA to ensure they remain in compliance. Both of these issues can be swiftly ameliorated by working with the proper managed services providers.

What Elements of Your Law Firm Are Most Important to Protect?

As mentioned, law firms labeled as business associates are required to provide privacy, security, and breach notifications under HIPAA. How can a law firm stay prepared to deliver these outcomes? First, it is critical for law firms to identify the strengths and weaknesses of their system by performing a security audit. A third-party auditor that is HIPAA compliant would serve just as well.

The results of the audit will make suggestions regarding the law firm in several ways. Most often, increased security will be the primary change required for HIPAA compliance. Administrative safeguards, updating network access credentials, limiting the number of people in contact with EHRs, and threat monitoring should all be implemented to ensure only the required people have access to this valuable data from an internal perspective.

For external threats, cybersecurity audits should lead to new readiness plans, increased network security, and various plans to detect and thwart malware. Providing security internally and externally prepares a law firm for dealing with the unique challenges posed by being trusted with data covered by HIPAA.

Obtaining HIPAA Compliance for a Law Firm

Compliance with HIPAA is mandatory, but there are several means to get into compliance with HIPAA. The easiest is to work with a managed services provider like WheelHouse IT. The company can perform HIPAA compliance and security services, bundling your needs into one package. That way, your law firm can have the current status of HIPAA compliance examined by experts and then fix the issues as they’re discovered. This is the simplest, safest course to ensure compliance.

More law firms are discovering that they should be compliant with HIPAA in the present day. While many of them do not possess the tools to handle patient data, it’s possible to quickly and easily update the systems in one’s firms. Managed services can bring a firm into compliance and secure the internal and external elements of the organization, allowing it to operate with confidence. Find out if your firm needs compliance with the HIPAA Compliance for Law Firms Checklist from WheelHouse IT.

HIPAA Compliance for Law Firms Checklist

6 Reasons Why You Need Managed Services in Fort Lauderdale

The need for managed services has never been more critical as innovation in the business world is continually on the rise. A managed IT services provider based in Fort Lauderdale helps your South Florida business to mitigate natural disasters like hurricanes and keep up with the pace of the advancing technology and enhance your business’ efficiency.

Are you unsure if Managed Services are correct for your business?

Here are six reasons why you might want to reconsider:

1. Minimized Downtime and Increased Productivity

A managed IT service provider helps you to avoid system shutdown and failures, thereby reducing the time spent on making complex IT decisions. When these technology-related frustrations are minimized, your team is able to focus on their work, which in turn guarantees your company a higher level of productivity.

2. Improved Compliance and Security

As technology continues to advance, cyber-criminals are also continuing to invent new malicious attack methods, which puts businesses at a high risk of data breaches. A managed service provider will help protect your business from such attacks and offer quick solutions if one happens. They are also able to supplement additional protocols, procedures, and policies to ensure compliance.

3. High-Level Support on Up-to-the-Minute Technology

One of the benefits of constant system management and monitoring is that you can rely on the most current IT systems at no financial risk or extra costs. Additionally, as a result of their many years of experience, quality managed service providers are able to implement new IT systems within a short time, thereby saving you money and time.

4. Good Return on Business and Cost Effectiveness

Employing the services of a managed IT service provider is a cost-saving investment as it helps to control outgoing expenses, which in turn enhances return on investment.  A managed service provider is able to achieve this by minimizing hardware costs, keeping systems updated, providing expert knowledge, and sustaining high levels of security.

5. Access to a Wide Range of Solutions

Over time, your business needs various solutions such as customer relationship management software (CRM) and accounting software solutions to handle multiple individual needs that keep on rising. With accounting solutions, it becomes easy to monitor taxes, vendors, and financial information. CRM helps to gather greater business visibility through campaigns, notes, and surveys. Managed service providers are able to provide these solutions, which results in a more secure data controlled system that helps your company to manage both customer and business information.

6. Regular Maintenance

A managed IT service provider offers a proactive approach to maintenance, which rids you of the worries about dependability and network speed solutions. They are always on standby to detect any potential vulnerabilities, disturbances, and threats and then fix them as quickly as possible.

The Bottom Line

As technology continues to transform the world of business, there is a need for you to streamline your business’ IT operations. Hiring a qualified managed services provider saves you money, time, frustrations, and, more importantly, enhances your business’ productivity.

Are you worried about how to secure the best managed IT services provider in Fort Lauderdale? Worry no more! Bluwater Technologies, a WheelHouse IT company, has got you covered. Contact us today and see the difference.

IT Decision Makers Are Challenged with Mobile Security and Compliance

Minimize Cloud Migration Failure

The digital landscape is alive with change, particularly when it comes to the proliferation of mobile devices (BYOD) in the workplace. The dawning of this phenomenon began as far back as 2009, when the phrase first took hold, becoming, as CIO notes, the ‘New Normal’ in 2013:

“CIOs can thank mobile device management vendors for pushing their messages of compliance to business users and, as a result, helping bring IT into the discussion as a BYOD enabler.”

Cisco: More control of the cloud network is needed

In fact, a Cisco survey of 4,000 IT decision-makers worldwide noted the need for more control of the cloud network with the ever-increasing array of mobile devices, smartphones and tablets in the workplace. 

However, along with this general acceptance of BYOD in the workplace, 82 percent of those surveyed were concerned about compliance and security requirements.

Following the ‘moving’ mobile device!

For example, aligning departmental needs with a company’s BYOD policies creates new challenges: If an employee who uses his/her’s own mobile device switches to a new device, how is sensitive info to be tracked and stored? Worse, what happens to that data if the person leaves the company?

Cisco notes savings with BYOD in the workplace

Are these concerns lessened when the economic metric is added in? According to a recent Forbes overview on BYOD devices, Cisco notes a typical savings of $350 annually…per employee.

Still, concerns persist about ‘security’ when it comes to mobile strategies. As Forbes notes:

“Security is one concern for there are undeniable risks in permitting employees’ access to corporate resources from personal devices, and indeed the dangers posed by malicious applications and viruses will discourage many organizations from implementing BYOD.”

Contact us to learn how our managed services can help protect your cloud network. We really focus on your business needs before recommending our managed service options—clients love our proactive approach.