Is Zapier HIPAA-Compliant?

Is Zapier HIPAA-Compliant?

Zapier, a popular business automation tool, enables applications to integrate and create automated actions. The result is easier and faster workflows in initially unconnected apps. However, organizations working in healthcare should carefully consider the apps they use.

If your business handles electronic protected health information (ePHI), the apps you use should comply with HIPAA laws that ensure individuals’ data privacy. 

Let’s answer “Is Zapier HIPAA-Compliant?” first before you use it to automate your workflows.

is zapier hipaa-compliant

What Are Zapier’s Security Features? 

Zapier’s Data Privacy Overview shows that the SaaS company takes its customers’ data privacy seriously. They claim to comply with GDPR, UK, and CCPA to fulfill their obligations to clients. Moreover, they conduct internal data audits to review their data collection practices. Customers are seen as “data controllers” of their data, while Zapier is a “data processor” that protects customer information. Both customers and Zapier, therefore, have roles in data privacy compliance.

Zapier’s Security and Compliance page shows the following security features: 

  • Independent third-party auditor certifications, including SOC 2 Type II and SOC 3, which you can download and review.
  • Controlled access to customer information for troubleshooting, customer support, and security incident response.
  • Two-factor authentication (2FA)
  • 256-bit AES and TLS 1.2 encryption to protect data at rest and in transit
  • Identity verification using Single Sign-On (SSO) with industry-standard Security Assertion Markup Language (SAML) 2.0
  • Cloud security using Amazon Web Services
  • Real-time security updates and support
  • Audit logs of user activities
  • Threat detection that identifies vulnerabilities in Zapier’s security system
  • External penetration testing
  • Security Bug Bounty Program that allows independent researchers to flag vulnerabilities

The list is long and impressive. However, the question remains: Are these stringent security measures enough to ensure Zapier HIPAA compliance?

Is Zapier HIPAA-Compliant?

Is Zapier HIPAA-Compliant?

No, you cannot ensure Zapier compliance with HIPAA despite the provider’s security features. Before using any software that handles ePHI, you must ensure that the SaaS provider can sign a Business Associate Agreement. Unfortunately, Zapier will not sign a BAA with covered entities under HIPAA. Here’s a quote from Zapier’s Data Privacy Overview:

“The use of regulated healthcare and medical data, including Protected Health Information (PHI) under HIPAA, isn’t supported on Zapier. Zapier also can’t sign business associate agreements (BAAs) or equivalent agreements for handling PHI or other similar information.”

A Zapier Community discussion on Zapier and HIPAA compliance also answers this question directly: 

“. . . we can not claim HIPAA compliance, since the use of regulated healthcare and medical data like HIPAA is not supported on Zapier.”

Can I Use Zapier in Healthcare?

The verdict is clear. Zapier does not claim HIPAA compliance, nor will it sign a BAA, which is required under HIPAA. But does this mean that you cannot use it in healthcare? While you cannot use the workflow automation platform to handle data containing sensitive patient information, you can still use it to connect apps that do not access PHI.

You can use Zapier integrations for marketing purposes. For example, you can create a Zap (an integration) to automatically share new Facebook page posts on your organization’s LinkedIn page. You can also create a Zap to automatically send a Slack message notification to your employees whenever you have a new Facebook post. This is handy if you want employees to help share and like your social media posts.

You can also create Zaps for your organization’s internal communications. For instance, you can connect iFax, a HIPAA-compliant internet fax app, with Slack. Zapier can trigger a message to a Slack Channel whenever you send a new fax. Just make sure that the content does not contain PHI. 

You can also use Zapier to manage your medical supplies orders. For instance, you can integrate Zoho Inventory with Gmail. This Zap can activate a Gmail notification to an employee when a new invoice or sales order is created.

Is Zapier HIPAA-Compliant?

The Benefits and Risks of Using Zapier in Healthcare

Automation tools like Zapier have apparent benefits in healthcare. It improves your administrative processes, automating simple tasks so your staff can focus on patient care rather than paperwork. It can also enhance customer and employee engagement if you use it for communication or marketing purposes.

However, using Zapier in healthcare is also risky for healthcare organizations. Since Zapier cannot ensure HIPAA compliance on its end, you shouldn’t use Zapier to handle PHI.

If a data breach happens and your organization is found liable, you can receive financial penalties and face legal consequences. HIPAA violation fines depend on several factors, including the extent of the breach and your response to the violation.

Alternatives to Zapier for Improved Workflow Automation

Undoubtedly, Zapier is one of the tried and tested automation tools in the market today. However, HIPAA compliance is non-negotiable in healthcare. If you want to automate your workflows without risking compliance, choose HIPAA-compliant software.

There are Zapier alternatives for healthcare, including Keragon and LogicLoop. It’s best to read their privacy policies and security features carefully and ensure they will sign a BAA before paying for your subscription. You cannot be assured of Zapier HIPAA compliance, but there are alternatives you can try out.

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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