The healthcare industry has gone through a paradigm shift since the introduction of new-age technologies. New-age technologies like AI and ML have been companions of healthcare organizations in recent times. AI-led operations management services in healthcare have decreased the need for manual labor. Recently, many healthcare organizations have started using AIOps for regulatory compliance. Among all the compliance norms, HIPAA is one of the most challenging. However, new-age technologies are proving to be a vital solution for healthcare organizations that face challenges with HIPAA compliance. Continue reading about the role of AIOps in ensuring HIPAA compliance.
Understanding HIPAA compliance
What is HIPPA compliance and why do healthcare organizations have to have it? Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, abbreviated as HIPAA is a set of standards that aim at protecting patient data. HIPPA was introduced in the USA (1996) and, many countries followed its structure to protect patient data in their respective countries. HIPAA is widely concerned with safeguarding PHI (Protected Health Information). PHI is information about the health status, health payments, and insurance of patients that comes under sensitive information. Any healthcare entity cannot share sensitive data with anyone that isn’t HIPAA compliant. Several patient details can fall under the bracket of PHI. Some medical details that fall under PHI are given below:
- Diagnostics results
- Treatment history & status
- Prescription details
- Lab test results
- Patient identification number
- Demographic details like gender, DOB, etc.
- Contact details
According to HIPAA norms, healthcare entities must outsource PHI only to HIPAA-compliant entities. What happens when a healthcare entity fails to follow HIPAA norms? Well, you will be facing a lawsuit, and what happens next isn’t satisfactory. If patients are trusting you with their personal information, you will have to make efforts to safeguard it. Healthcare service offerings must be shaped in a way that HIPAA norms are followed.
The HIPAA Act contains norms for the protection of PHI across five titles. A healthcare organization should go through all the HIPAA norms before sharing patient data with anyone. Hospitals, nursing homes, pharmacies, and private practitioners must follow HIPAA norms. Even if you are a private chiropractor or psychologist, you must follow HIPAA norms. By being HIPAA-compliant, it does not mean you cannot provide access to a patient for their medical information. As a healthcare entity, you must make sure that you are providing patient-related information only to the real patient or their representatives/relatives. Healthcare organizations have gone digital and must address the challenges that come with it. HIPAA compliance is more challenging in the current digital scenario. That is why the use of artificial intelligence in healthcare is being observed.
Why is HIPAA compliance more challenging than ever?
As you know, most healthcare entities are using digital solutions for storing and exchanging PHI. To follow HIPAA security requirements, it is important to gain control of your IT infrastructure. You need to increase observability in your healthcare software systems and networks. As healthcare firms are increasing their market share, more and more PHI is being generated. It gets challenging to monitor the exchange of PHI on a large scale. The challenges faced by healthcare entities in following HIPAA norms are as follows:
- According to HIPAA, security systems must be installed to protect sensitive data. However, with the increasing taxonomy of cybersecurity attacks, it is challenging for healthcare organizations to come up with a proactive solution.
- Most of the healthcare service offerings are being provided with the help of digital channels at present. Digital channels are prone to cyberattacks, and it gets hard to deal with them manually.
- If a healthcare organization has gone digital, it will face innumerable IT incidents regularly. Healthcare experts do not know how to handle IT incidents. That is why they depend on technology. However, traditional IT management tools cannot handle the complexity of today’s IT infrastructure.
- Patients can have access to their medical information via digital channels. Healthcare entities must ensure whether an authorized patient is accessing the PHI or someone else.
- With the increasing size of patient data, it is challenging for HIPAA security officials to manage it manually. That is why AI in healthcare IT solutions is gaining hype in 2022.
How can AIOps be the solution to HIPAA compliance?
Business process automation in healthcare is being fuelled by AI/ML systems. Healthcare entities can now become HIPAA-compliant with the use of AIOps (Artificial Intelligence for IT Operations). Here’s how AIOps can help you with HIPAA compliance:
• Stop security breaches
HIPAA norms want you to install security systems to protect data beaches. When cyberattacks have gone to the next level, you need a proactive security solution. AIOps-led security systems can detect a security breach in real-time. Not only that, but you can also monitor security patterns over time with AIOps. Consider AIOps as a healthcare cybersecurity risk management technology.
• Manage employee authorizations
If you are a healthcare organization, your employees need access to PHI. For example, a physician in any hospital needs access to the patient’s history to treat them better. AIOps will monitor the authorization levels of your employees. You can make sure an employee only accesses the permitted information for occupational purposes.
• Manage the health of software systems
There may be several software systems responsible for monitoring HIPAA compliance status. You cannot afford a crucial system software switching off abruptly. An AIOps based analytics platform can monitor the health of your healthcare systems. You will gain observability into the software systems used for HIPAA compliance.
• Monitor third-party contracts
Healthcare organizations often outsource their internal processes to decrease overhead expenses. If outsourcing requires sharing PHI, you need to monitor the HIPAA status of the third party. AIOps can help you monitor third-party contracts.
In a nutshell
In 2022, many organizations have already started using AIOps for security & compliance. AIOps can help healthcare entities manage physical facility access, media controls, person identification, transmission security, and whatnot. Not to forget, you will have to put fewer manual efforts into HIPAA compliance with the use of AIOps. Start using AI in healthcare IT solutions!