Tips for Remaining HIPAA Compliant
HIPAA stands for the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act and is a federal law designed to protect people’s health information from third parties. It prevents covered entities from releasing patient information to anyone unless the patient has given permission for the release or if it’s part of specific transactions. If your organization works with patient information covered by HIPAA, it’s important to constantly stay on top of procedures to make sure you remain compliant. The tips below should help you cover your bases.
1. Have a Trustworthy Healthcare Compliance Team
It can be challenging for an organization to stay compliant without the help of a qualified healthcare compliance person or team. When searching for someone with this expertise, it’s important to make sure their entire team is trained in all areas of the law and can identify potential issues with practices and procedures. A trustworthy compliance team will also be able to keep up to date with HIPAA changes and ensure that your business stays compliant.
2. Conduct Regular Audits
To stay compliant with HIPPA, a company should conduct annual audits. These audits should include a review of all practices and procedures per HIPAA as well as an analysis of privacy policies and security measures to protect your client’s personal information. An ongoing review by an independent auditor helps the company ensure that it remains HIPAA compliant and establishes a unique relationship between your company and the auditor that benefits everyone.
3. Conduct Risk Assessments Regularly
Risk assessments should be conducted regularly so the company can identify potential risks that should be immediately addressed. HIPPA compliance requires that you only share information necessary for doing business with your patients, clients, or anyone else involved in the healthcare industry. The company should be able to conduct a risk assessment to determine whether it would be beneficial to share information.
4. Perform Penetration Testing and Vulnerability Scans
Regularly perform penetration testing to ensure your systems are not vulnerable to threats. IT and Cybersecurity companies will be able to identify any potential vulnerabilities and may be able to fix them before there is a breach of private information. Good cybersecurity practices are essential to maintaining the confidentiality of patient information, because HIPAA allows you to be penalized for any security violation or loss.
5. Ensure Remote Workspaces Are Compliant
Your organization should have procedures to ensure HIPPA compliance in remote workspaces. Suppose a business allows its employees to work from home or other out-of-office locations. In that case, the employees should be able to maintain their HIPAA compliance while working remotely and should be able to share information and documents with other employees. Remote employees should only access files on a computer coded with your organization’s proper encryption.
6. Conduct Cybersecurity Awareness Training for Staff
Employees should be appropriately trained on HIPAA security awareness training to ensure they know how to keep the information in their possession safe. Your company should conduct regular training sessions for your staff to ensure the business complies with the latest HIPAA laws. Employees need to understand how to protect information and prevent a data breach, and they need to remain knowledgeable about which documents must be encrypted and how your information needs to be protected.
HIPPA compliance takes time, effort, and dedication from the entire organization. It takes a team to work together to create a framework for the company to comply with HIPAA rules. For a business to stay compliant, it must conduct regular audits, perform penetration testing and ensure that all employees are adequately trained on cybersecurity. The HIPAA laws are in place to protect patients, and it is your company’s responsibility to ensure that these laws are followed.