HIPAA is a part of the federal law, and it stands for Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. It started in 1996 when Former President Bill Clinton signed and approved it to be a national standard for all hospitals, clinics, and businesses related to healthcare. This act aims to make patients feel comfortable and safe, having them talk freely or disclose any sensitive information confidently.
The act states that every employee and business associates will protect every single detail that patients disclose. Their health condition information will be kept a secret unless the patient gives consent. Read on if you want to learn about the steps needed to become a HIPAA compliant establishment or business.
Implementing a Privacy and Security Policy
Businesses and establishments in the healthcare sector should implement and document a privacy and security policy. Every step taken should be documented thoroughly, especially the action steps to take when the HIPAA standard is violated. Having safeguards and protection protocols in place can prevent data breaches, defends, and protects sensitive information from possible cybercrimes, brute force hacking, and DDoS attacks.
Owners must hire people to act as officers who oversee a healthcare establishment’s compliance and safety aspects. They will help owners manage the air-tight policies and come up with the right contingency plans in case of a cyberattack or system failure. The policies and procedures implemented will always make patients feel comfortable and safe when they are at these establishments.
Training and Reviews
Every staff member must go through proper training programs and sessions to learn everything about HIPAA. It will prevent any possibility of violations and breaches if they have proper knowledge of the effective protocols of this act. Advice from the trainers and instructors at hipaaexams.com suggest that liability cases can be avoided with compliance training for all healthcare workers and business associates. It will increase your chances of gaining more positive recognition and exposure when every employee is certified to protect and adhere to the requirements of this act.
Consider doing frequent reviews every six months for continuing employees, too, making sure that they are still aware of the act’s requirements and protocols. Even if it’s not for training, periodic vulnerability reviews can check the exposure risk levels of the establishment. Adjusting every policy to fill up any holes or cracks in the system that can cause violations and liability will keep the business HIPAA compliant.
Make Every Policy Clear Patients and Staff
Healthcare facilities and businesses will develop several policies regarding HIPAA, and making these policies clear and easy to find for staff and patients will be beneficial. Having rules, regulations, and protocols available on the establishment’s websites and documents will remind staff of following the rules and updated guidelines to make patients feel safe. There should be physical papers for patients to read and sign to prove that their privacy is the number one priority.
When the protocols for breaches are listed accordingly and clearly, every staff member and officers will be able to follow them meticulously. Every employee will know the importance of documenting any type of breach and immediately contact the authorities when it happens. Preparation and having well-laid plans will always ensure that the act requirements are followed.
Having Email and Mobile Policies
To be HIPAA compliant in the age of technology, healthcare establishments must have email and mobile policies for extra protection. Implementing encrypted emails will protect your interests and a patient’s sensitive data. Also, investing in company phones for each employee is safer than using their own to link with the system. It will minimize breach cases and safeguard a patient’s health data completely. Consider hiring providers that can encrypt all of your data and devices that can be susceptible to theft or hacking. These extra policies and processes will prove that your business is compliant with the act and cares about people’s privacy.
This legislation or law was created to help businesses and establishments in enforcing high standards for health information protection. This act managed to reduce healthcare abuse and fraud cases significantly, promoting a safe environment for patients. The violation of HIPAA can lead to termination because employers can legally fire anyone who made any personal and sensitive information public.
Penalties can be quite substantial, and it can reach prosecution and fines as well. When you know that your security and the privacy of your health information is guaranteed, you will feel confident enough to go back to that hospital or clinic again. This increases the success and recognition of these establishments, making them an excellent choice for numerous people.