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If you’re a medical practice who is looking to build a new website through a marketing company, you should always ask whether the site will be HIPAA-compliant.
Most marketing companies, especially those that aren’t built specifically for medical practices, will simply reassure you that it is, without knowing what exactly makes a website compliant with HIPAA guidelines.
At DLM, we build websites specifically for medical companies, with HIPAA compliance baked into the foundation of every development, from the hosting platform to how data might be submitted through contact forms.
What Makes a Website HIPAA-Compliant?
The most important aspect of medical practices’ websites is being HIPAA-compliant. Not only does this protect them from litigation or penalties, but also helps ensure confidence in both potential and current patients. These are the factors that make a website HIPAA-compliant:
Your website should be securely encrypted with an https:// protocol and easy-to-integrate SSL encryption to protect users and their information from bots or hackers.
Having automated backups on multiple servers ensures your web data can never be completely wiped out in the case of power failure or malicious attack.
Not everyone needs the powerful abilities of a web administrator if they’re logging into your website. With the right permissions structure, less-advanced users can’t make serious mistakes to core parts of your site.
According to HIPAA guidelines, some data should and needs to be destroyed at some point. Knowing where and how to do this is essential for keeping only the necessary records online.
We help by being experts on the foundation of the website, as its web host.
These criteria are pertinent to the back end or the development process of a website, but the content that most people see is on the so-called “front end” where picture galleries, contact forms, and text reside. Knowing what you can and cannot promise in terms of published content is also important for HIPAA compliance, but many practices are aware of this and can moderate that themselves.
Why Does a Web Host Matter?
Web hosts handle the technicalities of running a website; ensuring the backups are secure and redundant, optimizing website speed and media uploads, and perhaps even handling publication of new content. Choosing a web host for your medical practice’s website is important, because many web hosting companies aren’t equipped or committed to maintaining HIPAA compliance or even keeping your site optimized.
Your web host should also be a company that understands medical practices and builds a personal relationship with your practice so you can be confident that when you want to make a change, they’ll respond.
Benefits of Web Host Management
Technically, hiring an external web host isn’t required, but there are numerous cost-saving benefits to doing so. First of all, web hosts have services to store your data, back it up securely, and continually monitor the site’s performance without your team having to do anything. Second, many web managers provide design and content services alongside their hosting contract to save you even more time and effort. And finally, web hosts can advise you on the best practices for all these measures and more, making it easier to make decisions about the administrative part of your site, which you’ll still have the ultimate say over.
Get Started Today
To learn more about web hosting, HIPAA-compliant website development, or how we can help, don’t hesitate to reach out to our team today. DLM was founded to serve medical practices like yours, and we have the experience and tools necessary to help you succeed while maintaining compliance and security.
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