Jira is one of the most popular software development tools for agile project management. Healthcare organizations can use it to track tasks and coordinate project changes across teams. But like any other software handling sensitive information, Jira must comply with relevant industry regulations. In this case, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).
So, Is Jira HIPAA-compliant? Read on and find out its role in healthcare project tracking. It pays to know whether you can use it to manage tasks involving personal health information.
Table of Contents
The Importance of Project Management in Healthcare
Project management involves careful planning and organization to achieve specific goals and objectives in line with the needs and vision of an organization. In healthcare, it is crucial to improve care and treatment outcomes.
Effective project management also helps facilitate smoother collaboration, enhancing communication and coordination among those working towards a common goal. It allows for efficient resource allocation so healthcare organizations can adequately utilize their finances, equipment, and staff.
Regarding this aspect, project tracking tools like Jira can provide real-time progress visibility, allowing organizations to make data-driven decisions and avoid potential project delays.
But, since healthcare projects primarily involve handling protected health information (PHI), Jira compliance with HIPAA is a must. Otherwise, your organization could face serious legal and financial headaches.
Is Jira HIPAA-Compliant?
Yes. Jira HIPAA compliance is available on the Enterprise Plan of Software Cloud, Confluence Cloud, and Jira Service Management (JSM) Cloud. Clients can keep their personal health information safe and secure within these platforms.
In Q3 2023, Jira rolled out HIPAA compliance for their Enterprise, Standard, and Premium plans. On top of that, the project management software is willing to sign an updated Business Associate Agreement (BAA) with their clients.
Also, Jira encrypts all attachments for added security, and only those with permissions can access the files. Documents containing sensitive data such as PHI and financial information are securely stored in its database. Users will also receive notifications for all activities involving PHI.
Benefits and Risks of Using Jira in Healthcare
Here are the pros and cons of using project management and tracking tools like Jira in healthcare:
Automate and customize workflows
Jira supports complex workflows necessary to meet the needs of medical providers. Using its events and workflow validator, users can get notified when an issue arises and respond via the workflow validator. Project boards can also help organize tasks and view the current progress of your backlogs. Plus, you can label tasks as To Do, In Progress, and Done.
Address quality and compliance issues
The project and task tracking tool has an up-to-date system that complies with the latest regulations set by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. It helps medical providers implement HIPAA privacy and security policies to meet compliance. Moreover, Jira helps speed up the automation process in preparation for regulatory audits.
Save money and resources
Unlike other project management tools, Jira provides a free version with unlimited project boards of up to 10 users. The Standard plan is also available at an affordable rate of only $8.15 monthly. There are also no extra charges for signing up and deploying new modules.
Presents limited collaboration features
Jira software can be challenging for new users because of its complex features. While it supports large teams across multiple projects, the direct collaboration feature is limited and does not include built-in instant messaging.
Makes data vulnerable to third-party cloud platforms
Switching between apps using Jira is easy but can pose security risks. With over 3,000 app integrations, your data can be prone to breaches and cyberattacks, especially when using unsecured third-party cloud platforms. Despite that, users can enable authentication procedures and restrict access requests. Also, you’ll need to ensure HIPAA compliance for any third-party app linked to the Jira platform.
Retains inactive accounts, which can create security risks
Employees who leave the organization may lose access to their user accounts, but aren’t automatically deleted. Organizations must conduct timely audits to avoid creating more security risks because of unmonitored active accounts.
Alternatives to Jira for Secure Healthcare Project Management
If you’re looking for a better alternative to Jira, here are some project management tools you might want to consider:
Medical organizations can use ClickUp instead for better collaboration and appointment scheduling. It’s a HIPAA-compliant project management software where you can build cross-departmental workflows for better project monitoring and patient coordination.
Another HIPAA-compliant project management software is the popular Monday.com. With its unified platform, users can create workflows and track their projects online in one place. Aside from providing BAAs, Monday.com employs 256-bit encryption and conducts regular security audits.
Asana is a good choice for task collaborations and meeting team project deadlines. It also complies with HIPAA and ensures that PHI remains protected via robust encryption and restricted user access.
What to Look For in a Project Management Software
More than completing tasks, project management software for healthcare must take data privacy and security more seriously. When choosing the right project management solution, ensure it has access controls and permissions and, more importantly, be willing to sign a Business Associate Agreement (BAA). Always look for intuitive software with collaboration and time-tracking tools to streamline workflows and increase productivity.