Understanding HubSpot HIPAA Compliance Challenges (and Solutions)

July 18, 2023

To say that marketing in the healthcare industry comes with a unique set of challenges is a significant understatement. The regulatory and ethical concerns should (rightfully) be at the forefront of healthcare staff and administrators’ minds. Adding to the complexity of the industry, healthcare staff and administrators are tasked with maintaining HIPAA compliance.

How the internet has shifted healthcare

The internet has dramatically changed the way healthcare staff and administrators need to think about their jobs. The entire landscape has shifted over the past decade or two, including how potential customers find and interact with healthcare providers.

The point is that your potential patients find you online before they even contact you for the first time. If you’re following the basic tenets of inbound marketing, you’re crafting quality content that provides value for your target audience and creates opportunities for them to engage with you.

Of course, this means you’re collecting user data from them. 

So what happens when those customers become patients? How do you manage and store their data? Can you still store their data in marketing software? How does HubSpot HIPAA compliance work?

We’ll answer all your pressing HIPAA questions related to HubSpot (and most other marketing software platforms).

Healthcare administration challenges

Once you have your prospects in HubSpot, you have some opportunities to capitalize on that data and some challenges to navigate. At this point, you have a prospect that your marketing department will want to reach out to—someone they’ll want to interact with to determine their fit with your company.

One of the challenges here is that healthcare is often composed of disparate parts—you have your electronic medical record (EMR) database, which is separate from your marketing and sales tools. This can lead to disjointed marketing and sales efforts because your data isn’t uniform.

Aside from that, you may have additional tools you use to keep track of various aspects of your business, and they may not be able to “talk” to each other due to HIPAA compliance.

Of course, your patients and prospects will also have expectations from all of these tools you use. For example, it’s reasonable for them to expect:

  • Your website is user-friendly and helpful.
  • To be able to make or request appointments/services online.
  • Accessibility options.
  • Personalized communication from you.

The good news is that there are solutions for you, and one of them is HubSpot.

Can I use HubSpot and remain in HIPAA compliance?

HubSpot can still be a part of your healthcare tech stack, providing many benefits.  
First and foremost, HubSpot Marketing and Sales Hubs, in conjunction with your customer relationship management (CRM) system, will make sure you have a single source of truth. Your sales and marketing teams will always be working with the same data.

The data collected from potential patients and used for marketing or sales purposes will be fair game until they become patients, at which point, protected health information (PHI) must be removed from HubSpot. From there, your primary source of truth will be your EMR database because the data is now considered PHI.

Your marketing and sales teams will be able to continue to use HubSpot to reach potential patients and contacts who won’t be protected by HIPAA, such as vendors and partners. 

There are an increasing number of healthcare providers who are choosing HubSpot, many of whom are experiencing growth as a result. Others use HubSpot to manage their data and content more succinctly and now have more user-friendly websites.

You’ll still be able to use HubSpot in your healthcare marketing efforts—you just need to be mindful of prospects becoming patients and what happens to their data when that happens.

HIPAA compliance in HubSpot doesn't have to be hard.

Raka Health has experience building custom solutions that make secure data management easy–without hindering your marketing efforts.
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