Only You Can Prevent HIPAA Violations

Healthcare Training Resource
December 3, 2013 — 1,230 views  
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The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) Security Standards make it necessary for physicians to the safeguard the security of a patient’s electronic medical information. This is to be done through different procedures and mechanisms which will protect the integrity, confidentiality and availability of information. Physicians need to have physical, administrative, and technical safeguards that can protect the electronic medical health information that they collect, maintain and use. Under HIPAA, physicians need to control in what way they disclose and use a patient’s protected health information.

Keeping in Check with the Laws

A majority of healthcare practitioners and physicians are well aware of HIPPA and even of the consequences that need to be faced when it is violated. As these consequences can be extremely dire it is essential for all medical faculties to keep themselves updated with the changes in laws, confidentiality rules, and the different ways in which they may be violated. Some of the most commonly occurring HIPAA violations occur due to the lack of proper training and enforcement. Staff that has inadequate or inconsistent training is more likely to have a higher risk for security breaches and violations. Training updates and screening processes to ensure staff have understood the importance or patient confidentiality is extremely necessary in preventing HIPAA violations.

Private Healthcare Information Policies

Developing a private healthcare information policy for the medical facility can be helpful to ensure that there are no violations of laws. The policies need to make it extremely clear to staff when, how and in what situation the private healthcare information of any individual may be disclosed. After implementation of the HIPAA Omnibus Rule, business associates are also now responsible for violations and have been required by law to inform covered entities of violations. These business associates and vendors should be made to sign private healthcare information agreements to ensure that they are on the same page with you.

Protection of Private Healthcare Information

It is very common in all medical facilities for staff to snoop around through confidential patient files. There are quite an alarming percentage of the most common HIPAA violations being associated with in-house snooping by staff. Inappropriate viewing of files and disclosure of private healthcare information is also quite common. Such issues can be a result of temptation on the part of employees. In other cases, resentful employees have even leaked confidential information for various purposes. The best method that can be employed to take care of such shocking concerns is by protecting all private healthcare information in a medical facility with the help of passwords and clearance levels. This can help ensure that only those with permission can view certain medical records. It also helps keep a track of who is accessing what information at what time.

Working with ROI vendors

Regularly reviewing and revising hospital policies so that they are in compliance with the latest developments and changes is also essential. Guidelines must include all possibilities so employees have a full understanding of their limitations. To ensure that there is compliance with the law, a large number of facilities are now choosing to work with reputable Release of Information vendors that are capable of reforming the process with adherence to the law.

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