The electronic health record (EHR) or electronic medical record (EMR) system you adopt must be HIPAA compliant. However, HIPAA compliance goes beyond just the initial selection of software. This also means that the way you backup your EHR data must obey HIPAA requirements as well.
What is the importance of backing up the EHR?
EHR data backup is required by HIPAA. Since EHRs contain important and sensitive information, proper backup is extremely important. However, HIPAA requirements for EHR may be difficult to understand, so to make it easier to understand these requirements, here are three basic requirements for HIPAA compliant data backup.
What are the HIPAA requirements for data backup?
1. Technical requirements
In order to meet the technical requirements for EHR backup, you need a minimum of 128-bit encryption and proper disposal of data system according to standards set by the Department of Defense.
Data must be stored for six years and all of it must be restorable at any point. EHR data must also be recoverable during emergencies. The three plans for backup recovery are the data backup, a disaster recovery plan, and an emergency mode operations plan. These plans guarantee that the data can be restored at all times.
2. Physical requirements
The HIPAA Security Rule cites particular standards for physical infrastructure. These requirements include having areas of secure access and physical locks that protect the stored EHRs. The Security Rule also has standards for access to facility controls and workstations.
3. Administrative requirements
The HIPAA security rule has administrative standards to be HIPAA compliant These requirements include having a security management process, assigning security responsibilities, managing information access, training for security awareness, and emergency planning.
Find out more about these three HIPAA requirements for safe EHR data backup here.
Why is it important to backup healthcare data?
Since EHR data backup and recovery are very important aspects to achieving HIPAA compliance, a backup service may be a useful service to your practice.
A backup service can store your files offsite, allowing the data to be secure and accessible during emergencies. Also, this type of service can automatically backup your files, allowing you to spend less time backing up your own EHR files manually. It also avoids human errors such as forgetting to backup or doing an incorrect/incomplete backup.
However, just having a backup service is not enough, it’s important to understand how the backup system works and how it supports and benefits your practice.