is airtable hipaa compliant

Is Airtable HIPAA Compliant?

Airtable allows you to build custom data management apps for your healthcare organization. The best part is you don’t need coding knowledge to do so. However, Airtable’s user-friendly and powerful capabilities should take a backseat to one crucial consideration—HIPAA compliance.

This article covers Airtable and HIPAA compliance and why you should carefully determine its suitability to handle sensitive health information.

Is Airtable HIPAA Compliant?

How to Know if Data Management Tools Are HIPAA Compliant

HIPAA compliance is one of the main factors to consider when choosing any cloud-based tool. Ask the following questions to evaluate Airtable compliance:

Does it offer a business associate agreement?

A BAA is a legal agreement signed by covered entities, business associates, and subcontractors. It’s one of the requirements for any provider and healthcare organization that handles protected health information (PHI).

A BAA isn’t required for “conduits” like direct mail carriers that only send PHI and have limited access to such information. However, if you’re inputting, storing, and maintaining PHI in a data management tool like Airtable, then a BAA is necessary.

Does it provide adequate data privacy and security features?

HIPAA rules safeguard all types of PHI. The HIPAA Privacy Rule safeguards PHI in physical documents and other materials (medical containers, envelopes, etc.). Meanwhile, the Security Rule protects a subset of information in the Privacy Rule, specifically electronic PHI (sensitive data you send, receive, and store in cloud-based tools like Airtable).

Under these HIPAA Rules, the goal is to protect all types of PHI. They require that protected health information should only be accessible to authorized persons. Moreover, this sensitive data cannot be disclosed impermissibly to any third party for any purpose other than ensuring that an individual receives proper healthcare. 

Business associates that handle PHI should implement the necessary internal controls to keep data confidential. Best practices include user activity logs, two-factor authentication, account management, data backup and recovery plans, regular audits, and end-to-end data encryption. Business associates should also provide a clear written explanation of how they use, store, and disclose PHI.

airtable hipaa compliant

Is Airtable HIPAA Compliant?

Unfortunately, Airtable fails to meet HIPAA compliance standards.

First, the cloud collaboration service does not offer a Business Associate Agreement (BAA) with covered entities. As stated on the Airtable HIPAA and Ferpa page, Airtable does not sign HIPAA business associate agreements (BAA) at this time. Since a BAA is a required legal document under HIPAA rules, Airtable does not qualify as a HIPAA-compliant tool. 

Second, Airtable’s Privacy Policy does not cover its policies on PHI collection and storage. The policy covers various aspects types of data collection, including personal information. However, it does not explicitly address health-related data or PHI and its compliance with HIPAA standards. 

Airtable offers various security features. The Airtable Security page mentions strong security measures such as password-protected share links, visual activity fields, two-factor authentication, and SAML-based single sign-on. Also, it follows SOC 2 Type 2, ISO/IEC 27001, and GDPR compliance standards. However, without a BAA and the necessary safeguards for handling PHI, Airtable cannot be HIPAA compliant.

Is Airtable HIPAA Compliant?

Can I Still Use Airtable for Healthcare?

Yes, you can still use Airtable, but with one important caveat. You can use Airtable to build your apps and manage data, but you cannot use it to store protected health information. As the Airtable HIPAA compliance page mentions:

We work with a number of companies across medical industries who do use Airtable to manage business, research and other processes, but refrain from storing Personal Health Information (PHI) in doing so.

A business may use Airtable for marketing, CRM, and project management. Individuals may use it to log medical-related information (You can use it as an expense tracker, meditation log, meal planning app, etc.). However, make sure to exclude personal identifiers, including medical histories, treatment plans, government numbers, and anything related.

Moreover, never expose PHI to any third-party apps you integrate with Airtable. It is worth noting that the platform can integrate with many popular apps, including Google Drive, Salesforce, Asana, and Facebook. Even if you can sign a BAA with these apps, it’s best to avoid doing so to avoid risks and mitigate potential vulnerabilities.

Remember, maintaining HIPAA compliance requires strict controls across all channels. You should ensure that all software and hardware you use and the privacy and security protocols you implement are according to HIPAA rules.

Choose Airtable Alternatives for Data Management

Airtable is undoubtedly one of the most valuable and user-friendly data management apps out there. Its powerful customization features are also a huge benefit. However, without Airtable HIPAA compliance, its usefulness in healthcare will be severely limited.

It’s better to choose HIPAA-compliant data management tools specifically built for healthcare. This way, your healthcare organization can avoid the legal risks of HIPAA violations and, at the same time, protect your patients’ sensitive health information.

Kent Cañas

Kent is a content strategist currently specializing in HIPAA-compliant online fax. Her expertise in this field allows her to provide valuable insights to clients seeking a secure and efficient online fax solution.

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