What is a HIPAA compliance checklist and how does it help me? Help you yes, solve your HIPAA compliance problem no. A checklist is going to help you determine what your gaps are. Gaps are the existing disconnects your organization currently has with relation to what the HIPAA regulations are telling you, you must have. Many will say that the best way to attack a problem is do a checklist and see where you are at. That is fantastic news, I can get a checklist and I am done. Oh contraire, that is just the initial phase, there is much more to compliance than a checklist. It is the tracking of your compliance plan, which would include the checklist or as we call it the GAP ANALYSIS.
The Gap Analysis is first event that happens and a checklist or questionnaire is how it happens. Comprehensive checklists about Privacy, Security, and Breach Notification are paramount to get you started with your plan. Your questionnaires should be able to point out your deficiencies and provide you with some guidance. What checklists fail to do is allow you to easily track the remediation of the known deficiencies, and ability to track your documents and all the changes you make to them. Compliance plans are an everyday breathing part of your Healthcare organization and if it is not, than you face the probability of major fines up to 1.5 million dollars for being found in willful neglect.
HIPAA compliance checklists are intended to identify gaps and they do, they may even suggest policies, but it’s the tracking mechanisms that are lacking. The ability for multiple administrators to work on the project and not have to view it in a three ringed binder is critical to a successful compliance plan in our opinion. The checklist approach will get you one third of the way but making sure you have documented all your steps and can produce to an auditor all your findings is critical to your compliance plans success.