7 Tips to Ensure Your Managed Service Provider is HIPAA Compliant

BY:

Mar 7, 2017

Ensure your MSP is adequately protecting sensitive healthcare data

Healthcare organizations of all sizes are turning to Managed Service Providers (MSPs) in larger frequency to help lower costs and increase efficiencies. While MSPs have been around for a number of years, the services they provide and how they provide them can differ greatly, depending on the vendor you choose.

When looking for a MSP for your healthcare organization, there are a number of options to consider – but a non-negotiable item is the ability to maintain HIPAA compliance.

What should you look for in a Managed Service Provider?

Keep the following guidelines in mind when looking for a cloud based managed service provider for your healthcare organization:

The need to hire compliant staff members

The managed service provider you choose must hire and train staff to ensure they meet all legal requirements, including adherence to strict HIPAA guidelines. This often can include drug testing as well as background checks to ensure each person that will have access to any client data is properly trained and vetted.

The capacity to manage application performance

Your MSP must be able to actively manage and report on application performance. This should include compute, network, and database performance, as well as proactive performance measures.

Clearly defined, guaranteed response times

Prior to signing a contract with any MSP, it’s critical that you see a detailed service level agreement which outlines guaranteed response times. Most healthcare providers must be open 24/7/365, which makes picking a managed service provider with the highest uptime and support guarantee critical.

Single interface to access IT resources

A reputable managed service provider should be able to provide you with a single interface to all IT resources under management. This allows you to access your entire IT infrastructure to easily and dynamically de-provision and provision computing resources.

Robust security measures

The provider should be explicit and transparent about their security practices. This includes services such as encryption (at rest, in transit, and in use, and management of encryption keys), identity-based security, physical security of servers, and other measures that are critical in the healthcare space.

Support for a business continuity plan

As a healthcare provider, how you handle natural disasters or major data or power outages is paramount. A qualified managed service provider with healthcare experience should offer insight into redundant systems and automatic fail-overs, as specified in regulatory and compliance requirements.

Willingness to participate in compliance audits

A healthcare MSP should be familiar with compliance audits and should keep documentation on hand outlining what these checks will entail to ensure consistent success. These routine measures can save healthcare organizations significant money – because failing to comply with audits can result in significant fines or other penalties, including the resources used to remedy violations or complete the audits themselves.

Finding the right MSP for HIPAA compliance

At CloudHesive, we’ve worked with a variety of vendors and can assist you in choosing a solution that is catered to your healthcare organization’s unique needs, including the stringent demands of HIPAA compliance. For more information on managed service providers, how to maintain compliance, and protecting your data, feel free to reach out to our team at 800-860-2040 or fill out our contact form.

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