is qualtrics hipaa compliant

Is Qualtrics HIPAA Compliant?

If you’re a researcher or entrepreneur, you might have heard of Qualtrics. An experience management platform, many businesses leverage it to improve client journeys through surveys, data processing, and report generation. 

Widely used in different industries, including healthcare, Qualtrics processes information securely while ensuring compliance with relevant regulations in the industry. But does that include compliance with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act?

Is Qualtrics HIPAA compliant? 

Follow along to gain a deeper insight into Qualtrics and HIPAA compliance.

Is Qualtrics HIPAA Compliant?

The Significance of HIPAA-Compliant Healthcare Surveys

HIPAA helps safeguard sensitive patient data. This United States federal law covers any organization, professional, or health insurance company that creates, receives, transmits, maintains, uses, and stores protected health information (PHI). The law also extends to business associates like Qualtrics, a web-based software used to handle PHI.

Since users and respondents may enter electronic PHI in cloud-based platforms like Qualtrics, ensuring that it has adequate security features to help you follow HIPAA law is necessary. A platform that doesn’t abide by HIPAA rules lacks strong encryption, administrative controls, secure infrastructure, well-trained staff, and other safeguards for data privacy. Using non-compliant platforms to handle PHI could easily set your business or organization up for a HIPAA violation.

is qualtrics hipaa compliant compliance

Is Qualtrics HIPAA Compliant?

Yes, Qualtrics has advanced security features for HIPAA compliance. It offers the following services to ensure protected health information remains secure, confidential, and private:

Business associate agreement

HIPAA requires all covered entities and business associates to sign a BAA. Since Qualtrics is considered a business associate under HIPAA, it should be able to provide a BAA. The Qualtrics Contractor Business Associate Agreement outlines the platform’s responsibilities and accountabilities as a business associate.

Robust encryption

Protecting sensitive data from cyberattacks requires robust encryption. To prevent malicious entities from eavesdropping and session hijacking, Qualtrics encrypts all data in transit. It uses HTTPS or TLS encryption and HTTP Strict Transport Security (HSTS) to protect the electronic PHI being sent.

Additionally, Qualtrics prides itself on being the “only experience management company” that provides an extra layer of protection for your data. The platform lets you bring your own data encryption key for added security.

Restricted PHI access

You can quickly redact or restrict staff that handles personally identifiable information in your organization. This practice follows HIPAA’s “minimum necessary standard,” a fundamental principle emphasizing that covered entities and business associates must only use, disclose, and request the minimum amount of PHI necessary to accomplish the intended purpose. If you use or disclose PHI to authorized staff, you should only give the information required for that person to perform their job.

Easy data deletion

Qualtrics offers one-touch data deletion. Under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), individuals can request personal data deletion under specific circumstances. Commonly referred to as “the right to be forgotten,” this provision gives individuals control over their data.

While HIPAA does not explicitly have a “right to be forgotten” like the GDPR, it addresses secure data deletion. Under HIPAA, you and your business associates must implement thorough PHI disposal and destruction practices. This is so no one else, primarily unauthorized entities, can access, recover, or retrieve the sensitive information you deleted.

Physical safeguards and data recovery options

Aside from administrative and technical safeguards like passwords and user multi-authentication, Qualtrics ensures that essential data stays safe. Perimeter defense, nightly encrypted data backups, redundant hardware, and advanced firewall systems protect its infrastructure. Moreover, security professionals monitor these defenses 24/7 to ensure that your data remains accessible at all times.

Is Qualtrics HIPAA Compliant?

Third-party audits

Qualtrics’ security and compliance page shows several security certifications. These include ISO 27001 to attest information security best practices; FEDRAMP, which makes it qualified for government use; and HITRUST, which shows that it follows the standard control framework for protecting healthcare data. 

Note that the Department of Health and Human Services doesn’t specify or endorse any official HIPAA certifying body. There is currently no recognized HIPAA certification. However, these certifications aim to prove that a business associate like Qualtrics values information security and data privacy.

Achieving HIPAA Compliance With Qualtrics

Qualtrics HIPAA compliance is a must, especially if you intend to use the platform to collect and process PHI. Aside from protecting sensitive patient data against malicious entities, HIPAA-compliant platforms help you avoid a run-in with the law. Unfortunately, some businesses disregard this fact, putting themselves at risk of losing their credibility.

Remember, the cost of a HIPAA violation equates to paying hefty fines and facing severe legal consequences. A data breach can bring in lawsuits, heavy penalties, and the loss of your organization’s reputation. 

A secure and trusted solution can improve experience management while ensuring the privacy and confidentiality of PHI.

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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