The Hippocratic Oath is a historically significant ethical code traditionally taken by healthcare professionals. Named after Hippocrates, a Greek physician regarded as the father of Western medicine, the oath sets guidelines for the ethical practice of medicine. Two fundamental principles of the oath are to do no harm to patients and to keep patients’ medical information confidential.
Today, those guidelines are part of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA), a U.S. law that protects sensitive health information from disclosure without the patient’s knowledge or consent. However, compliance with the nuances of HIPAA regulations is challenging for healthcare organizations. A recent survey showed that 60% of covered organizations weren’t confident they could pass a HIPAA audit.
Fortunately, we can now employ powerful HIPAA compliance software to help ensure that our healthcare organizations and providers fully protect patient information.
What is HIPAA Compliance Software?
HIPAA compliance software assists healthcare institutions and service providers in adhering to HIPAA’s privacy and security regulations. Its functions involve the application of HIPAA principles to thwart data breaches and the unauthorized disclosure of Protected Health Information (PHI), and making risk management and compliance processes simpler and quicker.
Massive data breaches regularly victimize the healthcare industry. One study estimates that 95% of the U.S. population’s PHI was disclosed from 2009-2021. HIPAA compliance software helps prevent data loss by protecting patient information under HIPAA’s stringent standards.
This compliance management software can be used by any organization or healthcare provider that HIPAA compliance applies to, including Covered Entities (such as doctors and health insurance) and Business Associates (3rd parties that manage electronic PHI). HIPAA compliance software is separate from HIPAA-compliant software. The former is software that aids in navigating HIPAA regulations to ensure compliance, while the latter is software used for healthcare information purposes (such as transmitting medical records) that is designed to meet HIPAA protection standards.
Types of HIPAA Compliance Software
Several types of HIPAA compliance software are instrumental in helping healthcare organizations meet HIPAA’s complex requirements:
- HIPAA Compliance Management Software – Assists in the overall management of HIPAA compliance efforts, including policy creation, risk assessments, and documentation of compliance activities.
- HIPAA Risk Assessment Software – Helps organizations identify and assess potential security risks to PHI and develop strategies to mitigate those risks.
- HIPAA Training and Education Software – For training staff members on HIPAA regulations, privacy practices, and security procedures.
- Security Incident Response and Reporting Software – Helps organizations respond to and report security incidents as required by HIPAA.
- Audit Logging and Monitoring Software – Tools for monitoring and auditing system activities to track access to PHI, detect unauthorized activities, and maintain an audit trail as required by HIPAA.
- Secure Messaging and Communication Software – Enables secure communication and collaboration among healthcare professionals while ensuring the protection of PHI.
- Document Management and Encryption Software – These tools help manage and encrypt electronic documents containing PHI, ensuring their confidentiality and integrity.
- Access Control and Authentication Software – Manages user access to PHI through authentication methods and access control policies.
- HIPAA Compliance Assessment Tools – Assists in conducting internal audits and assessments to evaluate an organization’s compliance with HIPAA regulations.
Benefits of HIPAA Compliance Software
HIPAA compliance software offers benefits such as:
- Streamlining compliance management
- Identifying and mitigating security risks
- Enhancing protection of patient information
- Automating compliance reporting
- Ensuring staff awareness and knowledge
- Facilitating swift response to data leaks and breaches
- Maintaining detailed records for compliance
- Securing data exchange
- Safely storing electronic records
- Reducing compliance and breach-related costs
- Increased organizational cyber resilience
Choosing the Right HIPAA Compliance Software
To select the best solution for your healthcare organization, consider your organization’s current HIPAA compliance status.
- Assess your existing shortcomings and needs, and identify the essential features to address your deficiencies.
- Create a budget.
- Utilize this blog post (or find another list) for preliminary software evaluation.
- Document the capabilities and characteristics of each software option.
- Reach out to each software provider to request a demo, and compare the software side-by-side.
While each solution’s features will vary depending on its purpose, some general features to look for include ease of use, a HIPAA compliance checklist, customizable templates for policies and HIPAA documents, self-audits with monitoring, business associate agreement tracking, employee training tracking, and excellent customer service.
Top 8 HIPAA Compliance Software
HIPAAMATE is an all-in-one solution that simplifies compliance by offering cost-effective software with step-by-step guidance, efficient online documentation management, and proactive risk analysis. Its goal is to help smaller healthcare organizations deal with compliance challenges by minimizing confusion, saving time, and protecting against potential fines.
Best for: Small to medium-sized healthcare offices
Price: $129 activation fee, then plans starting at $30/month
Review: “This software allows our office to focus our time and energy on patients, all while remaining HIPPA Compliant!”
CybeReady offers two solutions critical to achieving HIPAA compliance. First, its cloud-based cybersecurity awareness training platform allows organizations to build and assign engaging, effective, HIPAA-required training sessions to their employees. Second, the AuditReady compliance tool sends security training modules and timely reminders to all employees with a simple click, while creating the required training completion documentation and progress reports needed for compliance.
Best for: Employee cybersecurity awareness training
Price: By request
Review: “It has helped our team become more involved with security awareness. It has allowed us to be safer when it comes to the technology we have at our company.”
Compliancy Group’s HIPAA Compliance Software offers a robust and user-friendly all-in-one solution. It includes guided video training, document management, risk analysis tools, audit trails, and customizable policy templates. The software also features an incident manager that allows users to track and anonymously report incidents and data breaches.
Best for: Customized, all-in-one solution for any size organization
Price: By inquiry, with a quote-builder on the website
Review: “Compliancy Group helps us to get through the risk assessment each year and get back to seeing patients.”
4. HIPAA One
Another all-in-one solution, HIPAA One users can assess risk levels, delegate tasks to multiple team members, and flag critical issues. Its features include data encryption, email phishing protection, source code review, penetration testing, and data mapping. A vendor management module streamlines information management, contract compliance verification, and electronic signature collection.
Best for: Business Associates and 3rd party vendors
Price: By request
Review: “Because we are a vendor for insurance companies, they require HIPAA compliance in place. HIPAA One has given us the solution to be compliant and updated.”
Accountable’s comprehensive compliance software is known for customer support that acts as an extension of your team. It offers secure messaging, incident tracking, AI-powered risk assessments, and policy management. Users also benefit from automated workflows, customizable templates, comprehensive audit trails, and the ability to manage compliance with playbooks and tasks.
Best for: Customer service
Price: Customized quotes by request
Review: “Their client support is lightning-fast and incredibly helpful. I feel like we have a full-time cybersecurity director on staff.”
The HIPAA E-Tool is helpful software that provides employee training specifically in HIPAA compliance, and also offers tools to help organizations achieve compliance. Easy to use by employees with little or no HIPAA experience, the E-Tool provides risk analysis, risk management, a breach risk assessment, and customizable policies, procedures, and forms.
Best for: Training staff in HIPAA compliance
Price: By inquiry
Review: “For the first time, I have a complete Risk Management plan, and I did this myself, saving me so much time and money.”
Healthicity’s Compliance Manager offers a comprehensive platform for healthcare organizations, with modules for AAPC-certified employee training, incident management, risk assessments (including HIPAA Privacy & Security), auditing, business associate management, exclusion monitoring, and real-time reporting. However, some users say that the software has a considerable learning curve.
Best for: Healthcare organizations of all sizes
Price: 3 levels: Foundation starting at $500/month, Professional at $1450/month, and Enterprise by inquiry.
Review: “I have put in the time to learn the program and appreciate the continuous improvement they are doing.”
Sprinto is a versatile security compliance automation platform that boasts solutions for many standards, including HIPAA. Users can map and manage HIPAA requirements, with continuous compliance monitoring ensuring that HIPAA-compliant practices are reflected in your organization’s day-to-day activities. It also offers HIPAA training, documentation, and policy templates.
Best for: Automated HIPAA compliance
Price: By request
Review: “We have considerably reduced our compliance procedures by utilizing Sprinto.”
Prepare for HIPAA Compliance with CybeReady
HIPAA compliance can be challenging for healthcare organizations and their business partners, but using HIPAA compliance software can make the process easier and more cost-effective. While many robust all-in-one compliance solutions are available, only one offers the most up-to-date employee cybersecurity awareness training: CybeReady. Our training platform has a proven track record of positively influencing employee responses to cyberattacks. If you’re ready to transform your security culture while becoming HIPAA compliant, contact us to learn how we can help.