In eCommerce, the customer experience is what defines success. But this becomes even more complex when your customers need to share Protected Health Information (PHI) in order to do business. This can include information such as medical records, health insurance info, or billing details. The common denominator—all of it needs to be extremely secure per the federal law known as HIPAA.
The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) states that entities dealing with this kind of sensitive information “must put in place safeguards to protect your health information and ensure they do not use or disclose your health information improperly.” That includes online safeguards to ensure that whether data is being transferred, stored, or disposed of, it cannot be accessed improperly. If you deal with PHI in any way, HIPAA compliance is a must for your business.
HIPAA—Here’s the Deal
The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, now typically referred to as HIPAA, is a federal law created to protect sensitive patient health information. The law regulates the use and disclosure of PHI through four specific rules about Privacy, Security, Enforcement, and Breach Notification.
While businesses don’t receive any kind of certification for meeting the guidelines, the government can penalize an organization and assess damages for a HIPAA breach. So it’s critical for any eCommerce business working in this area to be well-versed in the rules and have a digital structure that fully complies.
Why It’s Important Right Now
In December, an industry report released by Fortune Business Insider said, “The global telehealth market size was valued at USD 61.40 billion in 2019 and is projected to reach USD 559.52 billion by 2027, exhibiting a CAGR of 25.2% during the forecast period.” This has only been bolstered by trends triggered by the pandemic, putting HIPAA compliance at the forefront for many eCommerce operations.
Because COVID-19 is considered a national emergency, HHS has stated that some discretion will be used while organizations get up to speed, as long as they are actively working to safeguard PHI. However, the long-term landscape of the healthcare industry has clearly been transformed by the pandemic. And expectations for eCommerce businesses in this sector are likely to become more strictly enforced going forward.
Let Your Platform Do the Heavy Lifting
With this in mind, it’s time for a platform checkup. Does your current eCommerce platform have what it takes to ensure you don’t have to worry about a breach of HIPAA? Are the solutions you’re using seamless and handled all in one place or do you have several puzzle pieces holding everything together?
One easy way to think about it is to look at other similar kinds of info your platform should be guarding for you, like credit card data. PCI Compliance (the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard) requires that all eCommerce sites process, store, and transmit credit card information safely and securely. It sounds straightforward, but this can be a complicated gray area, sometimes left to the business owner to guarantee.
That’s the last thing you need on your mind, which is why ZiftrShop was created to handle much of the PCI burden. We make it easy for every eCommerce business we serve to check that concern right off their list.
The same is true for HIPAA-related security measures. Knowing that healthcare is a booming industry with a massive eCommerce innovation taking place, we designed our next-generation platform to be ready.
Keeping Everything Secure
Your business is growing, and you have other things to worry about, so security is a place where your platform should be doing the heavy lifting. With ZiftrShop, extensive data encryption and SSL are the standard.
Our platform includes comprehensive enterprise security, featuring valuable tools such as audit trails and fine-grained permission controls. Each feature has been created to provide you with the intelligence, oversight, and safeguards needed to successfully scale your growing business without compromising on integrity.
This is the new normal, and we wouldn’t have it any other way. If you’re ready to propel your healthcare eCommerce business to an entirely new level, we’d love to talk.