A CRM software platform is HIPAA-compliant if it ensures that all patient data remains confidential, backed up and securely stored. You must only transmit encrypted data and have complete control over the data in your CRM – that means no unauthorized intake, access, creation, storage or sharing of data. To be safe, you might also want to see if your CRM has been certified by an organization specializing in information security and privacy.
Key takeaway: A HIPAA-compliant CRM keeps all patient data demonstrably secure and private.
What to look for in a HIPAA-compliant CRM
These are the most important features to seek in a HIPAA-compliant CRM:
Employee access. A HIPAA-compliant CRM should have safeguards to ensure that different levels of employees have role-appropriate levels of access to patient data. For example, receptionists should only have access to basic identifying information, but nurses and doctors will need to see patients’ vitals as well.
Data security. To be HIPAA-compliant, your CRM should have additional data security features beyond employee access measures. It should categorize data into tiers of security and automatically block access to employees based on their job role and the data level. It should also timestamp all data changes with the CRM user’s identity to make alterations traceable.
Ample cybersecurity knowledge. Although a CRM platform is a program rather than a person, anyone from the CRM company should be able to articulate the software’s cybersecurity strengths and weaknesses when they speak to you. Ask your sales rep to explain how the CRM handles endpoint security, patches, HTTPS and other areas of cybersecurity. Their answers will demonstrate how highly the company values HIPAA compliance.
Success stories. A HIPAA-compliant CRM company should be willing and able to provide references and possibly case studies of healthcare providers who have had success with its CRM services. You can reach out to references to learn more about the CRM’s HIPAA compliance features, and you should compare the case study’s solutions to your needs.
Ability to scale. In case your practice grows, it’s important to choose a HIPAA-compliant CRM that can work for healthcare organizations of all sizes. When you look through your CRM’s success stories, you should try to find proof of work with larger healthcare organizations. A track record of this work indicates that your CRM can stay with you as you grow and suggests that it will work for you while you’re still on the small side.
Data backup. Data loss is among the most severe consequences of a cybersecurity breach. A HIPAA-compliant CRM will guard against this problem by regularly backing up your data, perhaps to more than one location.
Security alerts. Some HIPAA-compliant CRMs will almost instantly alert you to data breaches so you can quickly act on them. Rapid response to a data breach is critical for all businesses, particularly healthcare organizations dealing in sensitive and potentially lifesaving information.
Key takeaway: When looking for a HIPAA-compliant CRM, you should check for data and employee access safeguards, scalability, automated data backup, references, and additional cybersecurity features.