is grammarly hipaa compliant

Is Grammarly HIPAA Compliant?

Out of all the proofreading and editing apps in the healthcare industry, Grammarly stands out as one of the most popular and user-friendly. You can use it to find and fix errors in your medical transcripts automatically. However, before using it in any document, particularly those containing protected health information (PHI), you must ask: 

Is Grammarly HIPAA compliant, and why does it matter?

Is Grammarly HIPAA Compliant?

Why Grammarly and HIPAA Compliance Are Important in Healthcare

Accuracy should be a priority when producing medical records. Excellent proofreading and copy editing are necessary to ensure readability, consistency, and precision of medical terminology and the logical flow of information. Tools like Grammarly can help you in this area.

Medical records are not solely intended for the physician’s private use. They also serve a legal purpose. As Primary Care emphasizes, good documentation is not only a necessity in medicine but also a legal one. Signed medical reports may function as legal documents that serve as evidence in court when a physician is accused of malpractice. Moreover, medical records are necessary in worker’s compensation cases, insurance cases, billing collections, and injury cases. 

When healthcare providers and physicians create medical records, they have several legal duties. Aside from maintaining accurate and readable transcripts, they should also safeguard the sensitive information in those documents. According to HIPAA rules, healthcare providers and professionals should prevent the misuse of medical records, thereby violating patient’s privacy. If you are careless in safeguarding these records, your practice could face legal and monetary penalties.

Is Grammarly HIPAA Compliant?

Is Grammarly HIPAA Compliant?

The short answer is yes, Grammarly is HIPAA compliant, but only for Business Enterprise subscribers. The AI writing app’s support page mentions several factors that show Grammarly compliance with the federal law on data privacy. 

Grammarly underwent a third-party audit

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) doesn’t recognize or endorse any official HIPAA certification. However, it won’t hurt to employ the services of data security and privacy experts to check if your practice complies with HIPAA. 

Grammarly mentions that an independent third-party auditing firm checked the platform’s HIPAA Security, Privacy, and Breach Notification Rules compliance. These rules provide separate guidelines on protecting PHI, safeguarding electronic PHI, and notifying individuals in cases of a data breach. While the writing tool’s support doesn’t mention the name of the organization that audited them, its Business Security page shows several certifications from professional organizations.

Grammarly offers to sign a Business Associate Agreement

A signed BAA is one of the most critical requirements of HIPAA for covered entities and business associates. Uploading and editing medical transcripts containing ePHI on Grammarly on behalf of a healthcare service provider makes the writing service a business associate. If so, then it must provide a BAA.

A BAA ensures that both your healthcare practice and Grammarly agree to be held responsible for complying with HIPAA rules. The BAA is a legally binding contract outlining your obligations to each other and your clients. Not having a BAA with business associates can lead to severe consequences such as HIPAA violations, financial penalties, and class action lawsuits.

Is Grammarly HIPAA Compliant?

Benefits and Risks of Using Grammarly in Healthcare

Grammarly makes proofreading quicker. Also, it acts as your writing assistant, taking advantage of artificial intelligence (AI) and other advanced learning algorithms. It automatically checks for grammatical and spelling mistakes you might easily miss out on. It can also suggest writing style improvements, including writing clarity, sentence structure, and word choice as you write. You can accept or reject suggestions at the click of a button. 

Grammarly provides advanced security features for Business Enterprise users. You don’t need to expose clients’ data to unauthorized persons. AI can do proofreading and editing. It also provides HIPAA security features such as admin controls, granular account roles and permissions, 256-bit AES and SSL/TLS encryption, and domain authorization. 

Also, its Business privacy policy shows that the platform respects data privacy. It doesn’t sell or expose your data to marketing firms, unauthorized entities, or unauthorized Grammarly staff. The app also doesn’t record your keystrokes, access fields marked “sensitive,” or own your data. You have control over your data in accordance with governmental regulations on data privacy.

However, just like any online tool, using Grammarly has inherent risks. Any app that puts data on the cloud is vulnerable to cyberattacks. In October 2023, Salt Security discovered security flaws in multiple online companies, including Grammarly. Vulnerabilities in the app’s social sign-in process could allow cyber criminals to access user information, including bank accounts, credit card details, and other sensitive data. On a positive note, The Record reported that the app’s engineering team managed to resolve the issue promptly.

Using Grammarly Proofreading for HIPAA Compliance

Using Grammarly is a convenient way to proofread medical documents. It makes proofreading quicker, making your transcripts accurate, readable, and fit for private and legal use. Additionally, the AI-powered tool provides the necessary security features to enable HIPAA compliance.

Remember, using cloud-based apps has inherent risks when it comes to cyber security. The good news is you can mitigate these risks and protect sensitive data by implementing the measures necessary to make Grammarly HIPAA compliant.

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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