Nothing is more critical than protecting the confidentiality of your patient’s health information. This information may inflict irreparable damage in the wrong hands, such as those of hackers and other criminals. As healthcare providers, one of our most critical tasks is safeguarding this information. Although we all take this responsibility to safeguard patient information seriously, there is always an opportunity for improvement. Here are five techniques to increase your organization’s HIPAA compliance:
Assuring that their systems stay HIPAA-compliant over time is one of the most difficult difficulties encountered by healthcare providers. As company procedures and software systems evolve and are updated, there is always a possibility that your office may become non-compliant or susceptible to a data breach, even a modest one.
Protecting your firm and patients may need the appointment of a HIPAA security expert, either as a consultant or a full-time employee. You can outsource HIPAA-compliant hosting services for more security benefits.
While your present team may be able to negotiate the HIPAA regulations, they confront efficiently, and the intricacies of the job may evolve with time. New technologies and upgraded systems will all need to be evaluated by a competent expert familiar with HIPAA regulations.
A dedicated employee to handle security requirements, update policies, and perform risk assessments may seem a significant investment. Still, it pales compared to the expenses and sanctions associated with a data breach. Depending on the size of your firm, a professional HIPAA Security Officer may be required to maintain compliance.
2. HIPAA Education
Most of your employees probably see HIPAA compliance training as an understandable obligation and a boring burden. We are all aware of the significance of HIPAA regulations for preserving our patients’ privacy. Still, employees can lose sight of these regulations over time.
Therefore, engaging in ongoing education and training for your team is crucial, enabling them to stay knowledgeable about their obligations.
Your organization’s HIPAA training sessions should be continuous and include all non-employees and third-party contractors with access to sensitive patient information. Everyone engaged must thoroughly understand the regulations and guidelines they must adhere to during operation. In addition, these training sessions should never be seen as simple formalities; instead, they should be regarded as an integral component of continuing employee training.
3. HIPAA Compliance and Business Partners
Anyone with access to the protected data of your patients must adhere to the same standards as your firm. This includes frequent audits, training, and contracts stipulating the specific security criteria that must be met before handling HIPAA-related patient information.
As healthcare professionals, we are all aware that the health of our patients is our priority. We may not realize the importance of information and sensitive data to a patient’s health.
While many healthcare professionals care strongly about their patients’ physical health, they often forget the importance of protecting their protected health information (PHI).
Compliance with HIPAA allows staff employees to be trained on appropriately handling patient information. It helps them better serve their customers and be more aware of the consequences of each encounter they have with a patient.
And with HIPAA training and education, you provide your personnel with the skills they need to comprehend the value of PHI and protect it efficiently.
Recruiting a staff that can offer HIPAA compliance services is one of the simplest methods to raise patients’ health knowledge. They will be able to properly teach your staff about HIPAA privacy regulations and explain to your patients exactly how vital they are.
4. Comprehensive Data Breach Contingency Plan
Even the most careful and well-prepared organizations may face the worst-case scenario: the unauthorized use or disclosure of protected patient information. In addition to doing everything possible to prevent a data breach, your organization must also have a plan in place well before one occurs.
According to this guideline, the affected persons must be called quickly and told of the situation’s circumstances. The nightmare scenario for your entire organization would be to enter this situation without a clearly defined plan. Your team can make this nightmare scenario more manageable by investing in the creation of a breach response plan.
5. Systems Audition
Every computer system has security flaws. When these systems contain valuable personal information, hackers and criminals are highly motivated to exploit their vulnerabilities. Your organization’s responsibility is to protect this data from every known threat. By regularly auditing your systems with tools for risk assessment, you can significantly reduce these risks.
HIPAA compliance can be so complex and laborious that even the largest organizations may experience compliance issues. Numerous organizations continue to seek answers to the question of achieving HIPAA compliance.