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HIPAA Compliant Websites & 18 Questions You Need to Ask

Sep 7, 2017 9:00:00 AM

HIPAA Compliant Websites & 18 Questions You Need to Ask

Whether you’re building a new website for your medical practice or seeking to make an existing site fully compliant with HIPAA standards, there are plenty of straightforward ways to ensure you have your bases covered.

In this blog post, we have also included a bonus 18 questions to ask your website design company. Full disclosure, Outlet Creative Group does all of these things and then some for you!


For a healthcare website, a simple padlock icon won’t cut it. The site needs to have proper encryption methods, access controls, and logging, as well as constant, necessary checks to ensure that everything is running in compliance with HIPAA.

These seven tenets built into each website created by Outlet Creative Group keeps Electronic Protected Health Information (ePHI) safe:

  • Transport Encryption: Encrypted during transmission over the Internet
  • Backup: Backed up in a way that it’s available for recovery
  • Authorization: Only accessible by authorized personnel using unique, audited access controls
  • Integrity: Not tampered with or altered
  • Storage Encryption: Encrypted when it’s stored or archived
  • Disposal: Permanently disposed of when it’s no longer needed
  • Omnibus/HITECH: Located on the web servers of a company you have a HIPAA Business Associate Agreement with (or hosted in-house with those properly secured servers according to the HIPAA security rule requirements).

It’s safe to say that any out-of-the-box website that you can build using a third-party provider probably isn’t HIPAA-compliant. Instead, you need to pay strict attention to transmission, ensuring that information stays encrypted and unaltered as it flows across the Internet.


Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Web Design Company

(Hint: Outlet Creative Group does this for you.)

  1. What services do you offer?

Do not assume that a company is good at one thing just because they offer another. Almost every web design company on Earth now offers digital marketing services as well; it doesn't mean they really know their stuff so don't make that assumption. It's great to have one company handle most or all of your digital work, but it's more important to get a solid result.

Outlet Creative Group is certified by HubSpot, the leading digital marketing company in the world. HubSpot sets the standard for inbound marketing best practices and we drink the Koolaid.

  1. Can you provide examples of websites that your company designed?

Looking at the design style of these sites will help you evaluate the design diversity of the firm. Also note the performance of the sites, whether the navigation is easy to use, if the websites are well-crafted, if the designs are current and modern, and how well the design matches the business style.

View the Outlet Creative Group Portfolio here →

  1. What strategies will you use to generate revenue for my site?

The company you select to design your website should be just as concerned about generating revenue for your business as you are. As such, they should be able to list proven strategies that they incorporate into a site design.

Outlet Creative Group only uses research based proven strategies for your marketing strategy, social media, content creation, and advertising.

  1. How will my project be managed?

Typically, a website design process includes four stages: strategy/research, design, site development, and launch and evaluate. When learning about the project management process of a web design firm, ask whether there will be a specific manager or contact person for your project, a timeline for the different stages, & the manner in which you will receive progress reports.

Outlet Creative Group will provide you will a full 4-stage process. You will work directly with our owner and experience excellent communication.

  1. How much time is devoted to analyzing my business, market and competitors?

Planning is key to ensuring website success. This requires researching your industry and performing a basic market analysis before planning overall functionality, content structure, elements, delivery and other components.

Benefits of us being a HubSpot partner are competitor insight tools, persona tools, and access to market research.

  1. Who will be working on my website?

Some web design companies may devote one person or a team of individuals to your project, depending on the scope of the work you want performed.

Outlet will never send your work off to a foreign land. We only work with those partners we know and trust.

  1. What are the qualifications of those working on my project?

It’s important to know the scope of experience of the person or team working on your project. Feel free to ask for samples of other websites they have done, discuss the expertise they have in web design and development tools, and request client references.

We have references, testimonials, and a portfolio ready for you to peruse.

  1. How many pages will my website be?

This is something that you will work out with the site design firm once content has been agreed upon. Search engines like websites with several pages of quality text and typically websites have standard pages, such as About Us, FAQs, Contact Us, and Privacy and Terms of Conditions. Together, you and the firm you select will determine other pages based on your business, such as Products or Services, Resource Center, a Blog, Case Studies or Testimonials, Photo Gallery, etc.

We will guide you through the design process and suggest the pages that will reflect your business philosophy and benefit your business.

  1. What happens if I don’t like the initial design?

Generally, initial project agreements call for either unlimited changes or a certain number of revisions.

Truth be told, if the planning process is done correctly, this should rarely happen. Outlet Creative Group gives two rounds of final revisions but ultimately we will do what needs to be done to make you happy.

  1. What is included in the price?

It’s important to know exactly what you’re paying for when given a project quote. Ask for an itemized list of deliverables that are included in the price and ask what isn’t included. For example, some firms offer hosting or maintenance that is not included in the initial project’s price.

Outlet Creative Group is known for our long proposals, list of deliverables, and contracts. We've got you covered!

  1. Will my website be compatible with mobile devices?

Mobile websites are a must. Find out how the web design firm approaches the mobile component of web design. For instance, a responsive design may be used to accommodate all visitors, whether accessing it from a desktop computer or a mobile device. Or, a separate mobile site may be included as part of the initial website design.


  1. Do you build search engine optimization (SEO) into websites?

All websites should be coded with SEO in mind. There are all kinds of technical issues that a new website can introduce. If you're having a new site designed, it's a good idea to have a SEO audit prior to launch to make sure there aren't any major issues.

Always! It's not even an option.

  1. What type of content management system do you use?

The content management system allows you to manage your website’s content without the need for coding.

We use Wordpress or the HubSpot COS.

  1. Will my current site experience downtime as you update it?

Once the redesigned site is ready to go live, it’s important to know how it may impact your current website. Ask what will be involved in the transfer process, if there are any risks and how any downtime can be minimized.

We have security processes in place to make this a smooth transition. 

  1. Will I own my website once it’s completed?

It’s important to find out whether you will own the domain name (registered in your name, not the web design company’s), website design and hosting account (registered in your name, not the design firm’s), or if the website design company requires your site to be hosted on their servers. Also find out if you will receive all source files for your site and access to your hosting account, backend administration platform and server.

We have different hosting options for different business needs. We will discuss hosting in the proposal process.

  1. Will you integrate social media into my web design?

Linking social networking sites to your website is now part of the norm in website design. Find out if the web designer will do this and at what cost.


  1. Do you offer on-going maintenance after my site goes live?

As technology and trends change, you may want to have additional web design and development work done on your website. This could include updating content or updating compatibility with browser changes. Ask the web design firm if they offer maintenance services and if they are provided on an as-needed, on-going, or retainer arrangement. Find out what the prices are to update content, and make minor and major edits.

Yes, Outlet Creative Group includes a maintenance package with all of our websites. This will protect your site from Malware, downtime, and destruction (boom).

  1. How do you measure results after the site goes live?

Your relationship with the web design company should not end once your site goes live. The firm should measure the results of its web design. You might hear terms like page views, unique visits, time on site, bounce rate, conversion rate, inbound links, search engine ranking, etc. Ask how this is done in terms of analytic tools and what numbers or benchmarks you should expect your website to produce. Find out how often you are provided with these statistics and the procedure for improving any that don’t meet performance marks.

Outlet Creative Group utilizes Google Analytics and HubSpot Marketing software to track results and improve performance.


Read even more questions from the article source http://www.rlmseo.com/blog/44-questions-to-ask-before-hiring-a-web-design-company/

Need a website that includes all of the above?  www.OutletCreativeGroup.com  (517) 879-9940

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