Category "Compliance"

The United States Department of Health and Human Services enforces HIPAA laws to protect the private health information of Americans. When organizations don’t follow their strict regulations they may face harsh penalties for noncompliance. That’s why it is important to understand which organizations are legally required to follow HIPAA and have HIPAA compliant hosting.

People and organizations that submit their patient’s protected health information (PHI) in electronic form are considered Covered Entitities that must follow HIPAA security rules. Healthcare providers that work in clinics, hospitals and regional health organizations are Covered Entities. The law also applies to individual medical practitioners who use electronic forms for their patients.

Health plans are also legally bound to use HIPAA compliant hosting. Covered Entities include Health Maintenance Organizations (or HMOs), Medicaid, and Medicare plans that cover prescription drugs. Healthcare clearinghouses, public health authorities, flexible spending accounts and third-party administrators also make the list. The government considers companies that offers health insurance to its employees Covered Entities. Universities that gather, store or transmit electronic protected health information when they enroll students in health plans must also use hosting that is compliant with the government’s HIPAA guidelines.

Please contact us today to learn more about our technical services. At WHOA.com, we offer HIPAA compliant hosting solutions for people and organizations in the healthcare industry. It’s very important to transmit private patient medical records in a secure HIPAA compliant environment. We understand how to process electronic healthcare transactions for healthcare software providers, healthcare providers and other healthcare personnel.

The primary purpose of information technology networking and associated protocols is to deliver services such as email, Internet access, and business information system access with high availability and highly responsive performance and zero down-time. Accomplishing this lofty feat requires IT managed services visibility into the health status of every device connected to the network. SNMP (Simple Network Management Protocol) monitors and report the health of networked devices over TCP/IP via both polling mechanisms (SNMP Get) and connection-less notifications (SNMP Traps), and is built-in to most operating systems by default.

SNMP Details

There are three primary versions of SNMP. All three SNMP versions use a hierarchical structure called a MIB (Management Information Base) to manage collections of health status objects that require monitoring. The SNMP protocol also includes a set of default MIBs for monitoring TCP/IP and other items common to all devices that use SNMP. Each device can also support MIBs that specify monitoring of health status items specific to that device and the device specific feature set outside the scope of the default MIBs included with SNMP (such as monitoring the health of a custom web application service).

SNMP version 1 specifies an architecture that includes a Network Management Station (NMS) that runs software configured to poll SNMP devices for health status updates and receive SNMP “trap” messages when major changes in health status occurs. Version 1 also specifies a management agent which runs on each monitored device and answers SNMP polling requests sent from a network management station, monitors and updates device status, and sends traps to the network management station when specific device health measurement parameters, such as temperature or fan speed, are outside of the acceptable range. SNMP version 1 also specifies a security mechanism in which each device participating in SNMP on the network must present a “community string” (which is a type of clear text shared password) to poll or send messages. The more widely used SNMP version 2 and SNMP version 3 improve the protocol’s security mechanism, as discussed in the next post.

For more information on how IT managed services and system monitoring can improve your organization’s network up-time, contact us today.

 

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