Implementing safeguards can be a complex process, but it is essential for healthcare organizations to protect the privacy and security of patient data.
- Policies and procedures that healthcare providers put in place to manage the conduct of their employees and workforce members
- Prevent unauthorized access to ePHI and only allow access to authorized personnel
- Access controls
- Requiring user ID’s and passwords
- Conducting regular security awareness training for employees
- Designating a privacy officer to oversee HIPAA compliance
- Securing areas where PHI is stored (file cabinets, securing rooms, using surveillance cameras, etc.)
- Policies and procedures that cover the use and disposal of PHI
- Conduct risk analysis to identify potential vulnerabilities
- Encrypted ePHI both in transit and at rest
- Strong authentication process for users accessing ePHI (multi-factor authentication)
- IT systems are regularly updated to fix any known vulnerabilities
- Have a robust disaster recovery and business continuity plan in case of any system failures or data breaches
By putting these appropriate safeguards in place, healthcare providers can help prevent data breaches, reduce liability and legal risks, and demonstrate their commitment to HIPAA compliance.
Developing Policies & Procedures
To make sure healthcare organizations stay in line with compliance regulations, developing HIPAA policies and procedures is an essential process. This includes:
- Creating a comprehensive security management plan that outlines how PHI is collected, stored, and shared.
- Ensuring patient rights are protected and that any PHI is only shared with authorized individuals and organizations.
- Document policies and procedures and make it available to all staff members who handle PHI so HIPAA compliance is maintained and all established guidelines are followed.
Healthcare providers can make sure they are taking the required measures to abide by HIPAA standards and maintain the security of patient information by taking the time to develop a thorough plan.
Training & Educating Employees
HIPAA rules and regulations are complex, and it is urgent that your employees understand the importance of maintaining patient privacy and security. Employees must be aware of potential HIPAA violations and the specific protocols that need to be followed to comply with the regulations.
- Understanding how to handle PHI
- What constitutes a breach
- What actions to take in the event of a breach
- Designate a HIPPA compliance officer
Investing in regular HIPAA training sessions for your employees can go a long way in preventing costly mistakes and violations. It is essential to provide ongoing education, as HIPAA regulations are continually evolving. By training and educating your employees, you can create a culture of compliance within your organization, which is vital to maintaining patient trust and protecting their PHI.
Responding to Security Incidents and Breaches
As a part of a healthcare organization, you must always be prepared for security incidents and data breaches.
These incidents can happen at any time, and they can be caused by a variety of factors, including:
- Employee error
- Natural disasters
Your HIPAA remediation plan should include a detail response plan for security incidents and breaches. This plan should outline the steps you will take in the event of an incident, including:
- How you will investigate the incident
- Who you will notify
- How you will mitigate the damage
You should also have dedicated team in place to handle security incidents and breaches. This team should include trained representatives from all areas of your organizations, including:
In addition to responding to security incidents and breaches, you should also have a plan in place beforehand to prevent these incidents from happening in the first place. This plan should include:
- Regular security assessments
- Employee training
- Ongoing monitoring of your systems and networks
By having a comprehensive HIPAA remediation plan in place, you can ensure that your organization is prepared for security incidents and breaches, and that you are implementing everything you need to protect your patients’ sensitive information.
At Compliancy Group we supply you with the best way possible to simplify compliance for your organization. We make sure you have a remediation plan set from the get go! With our easy to use software, and our Customer Success Team guiding you through the entire process, it has never been easier for your organization to become HIPAA compliant!