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Health Information Trust Alliance (HITRUST)

What does HITRUST stand for?
The abbreviation HITRUST stands for the Health Information Trust Alliance. 

What is the Health Information Trust Alliance (HITRUST)?
The Health Information Trust Alliance is an organization that helps the healthcare industry with maintaining compliance, processing data, and managing information risk. The Health Information Trust Alliance (HITRUST) was formed in 2007 for the purpose of addressing the challenges that the healthcare industry faced in relation to maintaining privacy and security of patient health information. 

By working with leaders in business, finance, healthcare, information security, and technology industries, the Health Information Trust Alliance created the Common Security Framework (CSF) which is a certifying, cybersecurity framework that allows healthcare organizations to manage their compliance, privacy, and security measures. The Common Security Framework follows guidelines presented in the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) along with the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act (HITECH). There are nineteen domains that the Common Security Framework covers. These domains are as follows:

    • Access control 

    • Audit logging and monitoring

    • Business continuity and disaster recovery

    • Configuration management

    • Data protection and privacy

    • Education, training, and awareness

    • Endpoint protection

    • Incident management

    • Information protection program

    • Mobile device security

    • Network protection 

    • Password management

    • Physical and environmental security

    • Portable media security

    • Risk management 

    • Third-party security

    • Transmission protection

    • Vulnerability management

    • Wireless protection

There are three levels of assessment that are offered by the Health Information Trust Alliance. The levels are:

    • Self-assessment

    • Common Security Framework validated

    • Common Security Framework certified

If an organization has been Common Security Framework certified, then they are compliant with all of CSF’s requirements. In order to become CSF certified, an organization must go through a series of steps which include downloading the Health Information Trust Alliance’s CSF, using the framework to perform a readiness assessment, and then going through a validated assessment via MyCSF. After completing those steps (and passing the assessments), your organization will be Common Security Framework certified for two years.  

There are many benefits to using the Health Information Trust Alliance’s Common Security Framework. Such benefits include:

    • Sharing sensitive data in a secure manner

    • Flexibility for each individual organization

    • Managing compliance procedures

    • Compliance and risk management assessment efficiency 

    • Protection from cybersecurity threats

In addition to providing the Common Security Framework, the Health Information Trust Alliance (HITRUST) is responsible for supporting a variety of programs that assess information risk and protect patient information. Some of the Health Information Trust Alliance programs are:

    • HITRUST De-Identification Program

    • HITRUST RightStart Program

    • HITRUST Shared Responsibility and Inheritance Program

    • HITRUST Venture Program

The Health Information Trust Alliance is a multifaceted organization that provides excellent frameworks, programs, and certifications for the betterment of healthcare practices everywhere. 

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