- The HIPAA Security Risk Assessment Tool is built by the HHS OCR and the ONC to guide the Business Associates and the Covered Entities in conducting a proper risk assessment.
- The 3.3 version of the HIPAA Security Risk Assessment Tool encompasses the SRA Tool Excel Workbook which includes conditional formulas and formatting to calculate and help detect risk in the same way as the SRA Tool application.
- The 3.3 version of the HIPAA Security Risk Assessment Tool encompasses varied features such as HICP reference, file association in Windows, bug fixes, and the SRA Tool Excel Workbook.
According to the HHS OCR (Department of Health and Human Services Office of Civil Rights), the number of data breaches declined in 2020. Even though the margin was small – 11.3 percent, it was the first time there was a decline in the number of breaches.
Complying with HIPAA rules and conducting HIPAA security risk assessments are the driving forces for a decrease in breaches. With the added asset of the HIPAA security risk assessment (SRA) tool, organizations can comply better with the risk assessment requirements.
Understanding the HIPAA Security Risk Assessment
The CFR 45 164.306 outlines the HIPAA security risk assessment objectives that the Covered Entities (CE) and the Business Associates (BA) are required to follow. They are:
- The CE and BA must ensure the integrity, confidentiality, and availability of all protected health information they create, receive, transmit, and maintain.
- Ensure compliance by the workforce.
- Protect against any predicted disclosures and use of data that are not permitted under subpart E – privacy of the individually identifiable health information.
- Safeguard healthcare data against potential threats, vulnerabilities, and hazards that may hamper the security and integrity of data.
The Security Rule allows a ‘flexible approach’ to implementing administrative, technical, and physical standards. All standards must be incorporated, unless an implementation specification is not ‘reasonable’ and an alternate measure can be incorporated.
The Security Rule also mentions that Covered Entities must check whether their BAA (Business Associate Agreements) comply with the Rule and Business Associates are to report any security incidents to the CE.
The HIPAA Security Risk Assessment Tool
The healthcare industry faces numerous threats daily the number of cybersecurity risks is continuously rising. Failure to complete the required HIPAA risk assessment due to its complexity and time gave rise to cyber threats. So, to make things simple for the Covered Entities and Business Associates, the ONC (Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology), in collaboration with the HHS OCR, created a downloadable HIPAA Security Risk Assessment (SRA) Tool to guide them through the process of risk analysis.
The SRA tool is built to help healthcare providers carry out a security risk assessment as per the HIPAA Security Rule and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Service (CMS) Electronic Health Record (EHR) Incentive Program. The audience for the SRA tool is small and medium-sized providers, and it may not be appropriate for large organizations.
The 3.3 version of the HIPAA Security Risk Assessment Tool encompasses varied features such as HICP (Health Industry Cybersecurity Practices) reference, file association in Windows, bug fixes, and the SRA Tool Excel Workbook. Furthermore, the risk assessment helps organizations to remain compliant with administrative, physical, and technical safeguards. It also detects areas where the organization’s ePHI could be at risk.
SRA Tool for Windows
The SRA tool for Windows walks users through the risk assessment process by using a wizard-based approach. The users are shown multiple-choice questions, vulnerability, and threat assessments, and vendor and asset management. Additional guidance and references are given on the way. Reports can be saved and printed after the risk assessment process.
Moreover, the HIPAA Security Risk Assessment Tool can be installed on computers running 64-bit versions of MS Windows 7,8,10,11. Information is stored locally on the user’s laptop or PC, and the HHS doesn’t view, collect, store, or transmit information entered in the SRA tool.
SRA Tool Excel Workbook
The 3.3 version of the HIPAA Security Risk Assessment Tool encompasses the SRA Tool Excel Workbook which includes conditional formulas and formatting to calculate and help detect risk in the same way as the SRA Tool application.
The SRA Tool Excel workbook is intended to replace the ‘paper version’ and can be a suitable option for users who don’t have access to Microsoft Windows and may need more flexibility than offered by the SRA Tool for Windows. The SRA Tool workbook can be used on any type of computer capable of handling .xlsx files.
Using HIPAA Security Risk Assessment Tool
The downloadable HIPAA Security Risk Assessment Tool guides users through the process of conducting risk analysis. The SRA tool is not mandated by the Security Rule but helps organizations to perform a thorough risk assessment. It also offers an exportable report that can be shared with the auditors.
The process of using the SRA tool is:
1. Log in by entering your name or initials, and select a place on the computer to save the SRA report after the assessment. After log-in, you’ll see an image like this:
2. Then enter details such as practice information, organization’s assets, Business Associates, and vendor information, and add any additional documents to the SRA. Refer to the images below to know what it looks like.
3. Then answer a set of multiple-choice questions, vulnerabilities faced by the organization, etc. At the end of each section, the HIPAA security risk assessment tool will show you areas of success and review. Check the image below.
4. At the end of the HIPAA risk assessment, users can get a risk score, areas of vulnerabilities, and reviews. The report can be saved for further analysis on the computer or printed.
HIPAA compliance is a mandatory requirement for healthcare organizations and medical software development companies. Failure to comply can bring with it penalties and criminal charges. It plays a pivotal role in securing the ePHI. So, to get 100 percent HIPAA-compliant healthcare software, connect with the best of the best software development companies. Arkenea, a top-ranked healthcare software development company guarantees HIPAA-compliant software that suits your organizational needs.