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Digital signatures and HIPAA

Are digital signatures a requirement of the new HIPAA standards?
Digital signatures can be used to meet certain requirements of the final HIPAA security rule, but they are not required. They were included in the draft security rule, but were dropped due to various implementation and standards issues from what I understand. According to HHS in the final security rule, "All comments concerning the proposed electronic signature standard, responses to these comments, and a final rule for electronic signatures will be published at a later date."
For more info on this topic, visit these SearchSecurity.com resources:
  • Best Web Links: Health care/health services
  • White papers: Step-by-step: HIPAA compliance and ECM
  • Executive Security Briefing: Instilling a HIPAA mindset
  • This was last published in October 2003

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