Test Strategies for HIPAA Compliance

How to Comply With HIPAA: Software Testing Strategies

December 27, 2022 11:29 PM

HIPAA Compliance

HIPAA compliance testing software is a method to verify that software used by healthcare providers complies with all the security measures required by HIPAA and does not pose privacy risks for ePHI. From a simple web app or mobile app to an advanced IoT system that connects medical devices, any healthcare software that processes ePHI requires a HIPAA test for compliance.

Medical software firms (including SaMD and medical device manufacturers), healthcare providers, and pharmaceutical firms are among the majority of service customers. A HIPAA test for compliance is carried out in the following scenarios:

  • When healthcare technology is new, it will be introduced to the market
  • If the software used for healthcare is substantially modified, the changes could impact the software's HIPAA compliance
  • When official HIPAA requirements

Our Method of HIPAA Testing for Compliance

The HIPAA Security Rule comprises three principal protections:

  • administrative (e.g., setting up security management processes and incident protocols).
  • physical (e.g., access control to facilities, control, workstation usage, and device security).
  • technical (e.g., implementing access control or introducing activity logs and audit controls).

Conformity with physical and administrative security measures requires the establishment of internal procedures. In addition, it depends on business partners and healthcare providers like IT contractors, accounting companies, billing service providers, and many more. To ensure that your company adheres to HIPAA physical and administrative security requirements, read this HIPAA compliance audit guide.

When testing your software for healthcare, PerfectionGeeks checks its compliance with the following HIPAA technical security measures:

Access control
  • Unique user identification is required. PerfectionGeeks determines if all users have an individual name and ID number. This is essential for tracking and identifying users' activities while a user is logged in to the system.
  • Procedure for emergency access (required) PerfectionGeeks investigates the existence of written instructions for gaining emergency access to ePHI. Suppose access to the emergency is granted through the software examined to determine HIPAA compliance. In that case, PerfectionGeeks creates suitable test cases for each user role that needs access to ePHI in an emergency.
  • Auto-logoff (addressable). The app will ensure that the application ends the session at the end of a certain period of inactivity. This is essential to stop non-authorized individuals from accessing ePHI on a computer that is left idle.

PerfectionGeeks uses positive test cases to confirm that the app grants access to users who are authorized (with PINs, passwords, or password tokens; smart cards; biometrics; keys; or other keys). Conversely, when using negative test scenarios (e.g., an empty password or ID field, an ID that is not valid, an expired password, or a blocked account), test engineers ensure that the application does not grant access to unauthorized users.

Audit control

PerfectionGeeks guarantees that activity logs document all activities that occur within the program, focusing on attempts to connect to ePHI. Our test engineers ensure that the logs include enough information about what users do while accessing ePHI, i.e., the full description of the modifications made and the information added. Additionally, we test the activity logs of different user roles that attempt to connect to the ePHI.


PerfectionGeeks assures that the program has integrity controls that examine ePHI to detect human error (e.g., accidental modifications to ePHI that are not intended to be made). Another important function of integrity checks is checking backup data backups' accuracy and ensuring ePHI isn't deleted or altered illegally.

Transmission Security

  • Controls for integrity (addressable). The PerfectionGeeks test engineers review ePHI received and sent to ensure that the data hasn't changed during transmission. They also determine if the appropriate protocols for network communication and message authentication codes are in place to stop the data from being erroneously altered in transmission.
  • Encryption (addressable). PerfectionGeeks utilizes appropriate scenarios for users based on the role matrix. We then verify that encryption and data encryption are working correctly at each transmission point.
Failover/Load Balancing

It is probably the most crucial reason to adhere to HIPAA regulations since losing patients' data could put a patient's life in danger. The failover plan and load balancing can be used to check the system's capacity to run regular operations while backups are being carried out. It also checks the system's ability to allocate additional resources as necessary and can detect the need when it occurs. A robust failover strategy that is properly implemented and rigorously tested will ensure complete data protection, minimal loss, and prompt recovery in the case of an error.

The Roadmap for HIPAA Testing of Compliance Software

HIPAA Compliance

While every IT test for compliance will differ based on the specific software used, there is a standard method that PerfectionGeeks follows in most cases. It consists of four main steps:

  • software analysis of documents
  • PerfectionGeeks experts review the software-related document (software operational and other requirements, recently implemented software features, previously implemented security measures, and more) to develop a list of the security features that can be applied to your software. They also outline a HIPAA compliance testing plan.

  • The creation of a matrix of roles
  • PerfectionGeeks experts create an identity matrix of roles to determine the current user roles and the risks associated with performing various operations (viewing, adding, editing, deleting, and changing EPHI).

  • The design and planning of tests and test plans
    • Determining the tests required to verify software's compliance with HIPAA technical security measures (e.g., functional testing, penetration testing, vulnerability assessment, etc.).
    • Determining the composition of the testing team (number of test engineers and test automation engineers, security testers, etc.).
    • Making relevant test scenarios and test cases.
    • The decision to choose the share for test automation
    • Write test automation scripts, choosing and configuring the appropriate tools for testing when required.
    • Making the necessary test data and testing environment.
  • Testing execution and reporting

    Manual and automated tests based on predefined testing scenarios.

    A report on the newly discovered HIPAA compliance gap.

    Providing the required remediation steps.

    In the field of healthcare, some risks are high. The absence of HIPAA guidelines for protecting patients' sensitive data in your software development company can result in disastrous consequences ranging from negative press and the loss of trust among patients to lawsuits and risking patient health.

    Everyone in your organization wants to be the reason your business is subject to HIPAA-related repercussions. This is a good reason to keep the PerfectionGeeks team and your Software Testing Strategies plan in mind. The product will be of reliable quality, reliable product, a satisfied customer, and a safe environment for patients.

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