The US government started regulating the healthcare industry in 1996 with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act and is designed to modernize the flow of healthcare information and how personally identifiable information is handled between the healthcare provider and their clients.
The Protected Health Information or PHI of a patient is, by law, required to be stored in a safe and secure location either online or offline. An individual may request their information in electronic form or hard-copy, and the healthcare provider is obligated to attempt to conform to the requested format.
The Secure Disk from Nexcopy is a HIPAA compliant USB flash drive which gives healthcare providers the option to furnish a secure USB flash drive with their client’s Protected Health Information.
Using the Secure Disk technology, a patient’s information is stored in a hidden digital partition which may only be accessed by a user defined password. The hidden partition is completely hidden and unavailable for anyone to see when connected to a computer. Only after a correct password is entered will the hidden partition become active and digital health records shown.
The hidden partition of the Secure Disk is controlled by the USB hardware chipset which resides on the USB stick itself. The security solution is not software but hardware which yields the highest level of security a technology product can offer.
As healthcare providers began using more electronic records and other technologies to store and track patient information, it became important for patient medical records to be securely protected. In response, the federal government passed legislation to create these safeguards. Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) is a result of that legislation. Nexcopy considered the off-line storage options in the market and did not see a simple, low tech and user-friendly solution to safely store this information. With these three components in mind, Nexcopy developed the Secure Disk technology. The three components are:
Simple – The secure technology follows the device.
Low Tech – There is no cloud storage or user accounts required to be created in order to use the product. This is an off-line, standalone solution.
User Friendly – Nexcopy understands non-technical people use the product and thus the login process is extremely easy and straight forward to use.
The HIPAA-compliant USB flash drive provides an unmatched level of security for personal medical records. The Secure Disk flash drive works in Microsoft Windows (Win 7+). Apple and Linux computers are not currently supported (in development).
The hidden partition is automatically enabled once the USB is disconnected from the computer, which means it is impossible for a User to accidently leave the hidden partition open and accessible. Alternative, the User may logout of the Secure Disk while the device is still connected to the host computer.
Why is it important for a healthcare provider to be HIPAA compliant?
In the case of failed compliance to HIPAA regulations, the healthcare entity might be subject to hefty penalties including fines and loss of federal payments. To avoid getting fined, these entities should always remain HIPAA compliant. HIPAA compliant is the process by which covered entities need to protect and secure a patient’s healthcare data or Protected Health Information.
The most common violations are those of negligence by organizational employees. The goal would be to reduce the likelihood of those employees making simple mistakes. By requiring employees to use a Secure Disk for shared patient information the organization avoids exposure to things like cyberattacks, data breaches and erroneously sending PHI information insecurely.
HIPAA was created as a process to ensure a patient’s Protected Health Information is secure and kept private. By implementing the HIPAA compliant USB flash drive from Nexcopy the risks are reduced and exposure minimized. Nexcopy appears to offer the best product for a secure and off-line data storage solution for holding Protected Health Information.
Interesting Related Article: “5 Best Practices in HIPAA Compliance for Remote Workers“