What do we imply when we say HIPAA Audit Logs? As the names suggests, these logs are extremely essential as they check and keep a track of all interactions during HIPAA audit logs since they are required to check proper and complete compliance with HIPAA regulations. There are a few questions revolving HIPAA audit logs and the tenure for which it should be kept. Let us give you an insight to help you understand it better.
Before we begin to decipher the duration of HIPAA Audit logs, it is important to understand what is HIPAA compliance. HIPAA works to regulate and monitor guidelines and policies that protect or secure PHI i.e the Protected Health Information. The information can be any form, collected, stored or transmitted. Any information pertaining to the client is bound to be sensitive and calls for protection. When we talk about the digital aspect, it is crucial to understand that the information is vulnerable to many outside threats like hacking and the likes which come under cyber security. Such information is also known as ePHI, and they need to be dealt with a lot of caution.
All business associations and covered entities who deal with such type of information must take precautionary measures and be HIPAA compliant to deal with any such invasion of information which can not only breach the regulations but also lead to hefty penalty impositions on the same. HIPAA audit logs come handy in such situations.
There are certain protocols that need to be followed which also reflect more about the tenure of the audit logs. A newsletter on the importance of importance of HIPAA logging requirements states this:
“Audit logs are records of events based on applications, user, and systems. Audit trails involve audit logs of applications, users, and systems. Audit trails’ main purpose is to maintain a record of system activity by application process and by user activity.” What is even more crucial is the retention of the audit logs. These audit logs are pretty useful for investigating a particular case or to get detailed account of something. HIPAA log retention requirements mandate that entities store and archive these logs for at least six years. Six-year retention comes into question when looking into the documentation requirement. Many believe that the audit logs should be retained for a longer duration, but when it comes to the maintenance of policies and procedures, it creates a certain sense of confusion.