Listen to: "Overview of the HITRUST CSF Readiness Assessment"
If you work for a healthcare company, you already know the challenges the industry faces on a regular basis when it comes to both information security and HIPAA compliance. The HITRUST CSF framework is an industry standard when it comes to ensuring an organization remains both secure and compliant, but the actual assessment process can be demanding.
A readiness assessment is conducted by utilizing the tools and methodologies of the HITRUST CSF Assurance Program. This can help ensure the organization fully understands what their systems need to be compliant and that it is capable of handling everything independently.
What Is the HITRUST CSF?
This comprehensive framework is designed to ensure that your organization is a secure and proactive about data security as possible. As a company that handles personal health information or that is in the healthcare field, it’s important to have the confidence that you’ve covered all your bases and are truly taking all measures needed to secure your organization.
What is Readiness Assessment?
Readiness assessment is just what it sounds like. An organization can perform independent analysis, using the HITRUST CSF tools, to get a clear idea of where they fall in the process, the security challenges they face, and how well they are doing with HIPAA compliance. Assessing readiness means that the organization evaluates their own ability to comply with the factors listed in the HITRUST CSF assessment. While this can streamline the process and provide insight, it can also be challenging for some organizations to execute. This is because of the inherent difficulty in being truly objective about the procedures and programs already in place or overlooking challenges that would stand out to an objective third party.
The readiness-assessment process begins like any other HITRUST assessment, with the gathering of information and details about the current state of the organization’s network and data security. Since most organizations have an abundance of security measures in place, legacy measures that may or may not be up to date, and specific needs and goals, this can be a time-consuming process. This is one of the main reasons why many organizations turn to third parties to assist with assessment.
Once the data is collected, it is compared to the 135+ controls in the MyCSF platform. Each component is analyzed and supported with evidence and data – and then evaluated for risk and compliance issues. Since healthcare data can come from any part of an organization, there may be multiple lines of information, multiple team members involved, and many different programs and policies to consider. This process can also be lengthy, and again, it can be challenging to accurately assess your own company’s standards and procedures. It’s easy to miss or overlook key components that an objective third party would highlight as vulnerabilities in need of correction.
When is Readiness Assessment a Good Idea?
Since there are so many data points and details to check, a smaller, more agile organization has a better chance of success when assessing readiness. Newer healthcare brands can also benefit from the process, since there will not be as many legacy systems in place. Unassisted readiness assessment is best for streamlined, relatively new organizations with a good handle on current challenges and procedures.
Generally, the larger and older the organization is, the more complex the data and security procedures will be and the more employee and leadership buy-in is needed. HIPAA is over 25 years old, so organizations that have been working with it for years may have outdated processes or may not be following current industry best practices.
Is Third-Party Assistance Needed for Readiness Assessment?
It is not required, but for many brands, third-party assistance greatly enhances the HITRUST assessment process and ensures a better rate of accuracy and success. Because a third-party is inherently objective, they will be able to review the massive amounts of data comprised in the assessment with a critical eye – without existing biases or built-in preferences.
Objectivity is important, but the need for efficiency and speed also matters when it comes to HITRUST assessments. For most organizations considering a readiness assessment, speed and accuracy matter as well. If your team is conducting a readiness assessment, it’s likely the first time — or one of the first times — you have worked your way through an extensive lineup of critical security measures and risks. Third party experts can rapidly work through the process, identifying important information and determining what is missing or needs to be improved based on experience. This can speed up the process and ensure that it’s successful.
Learn more about the HITRUST CSF Certification Process.
Get Help with HITRUST CSF Readiness Assessment
The benefits of a comprehensive and complete HITRUST readiness assessment make this a critical tool for any organization, but you don’t have to go it alone. Get the expert and experienced help you need with this important but challenging process. Our team is ready to assist you through the HITRUST CSF process and ensure that your company achieves its goals.