HIPAA pharmacy requirements are similar to that of many other healthcare businesses. To provide guidance to pharmacists and pharmacy workers on how to comply with HIPAA, these requirements are discussed in detail below.
HIPAA Privacy Rule
Safeguarding patient protected health information (PHI), including a patient’s name and prescription history, should be a top priority for anyone working in a pharmacy. Privacy is important, and maintaining a patient’s anonymity is essential to being HIPAA compliant. The HIPAA Privacy Rule dictates specific standards that must be followed to ensure that PHI access and disclosure is only granted to authorized individuals, known as the minimum necessary standard.
This standard requires PHI access to be granted to only those individuals that require access to perform their job functions. As such, not all employees require the same access levels to PHI. To meet minimum necessary standard requirements, each employee must be given unique login credentials to access systems that create, store, receive, or transmit PHI. Through these unique login credentials, administrators can designate different levels of access to PHI based on an employee’s job role. It is also important to track PHI access to ensure that employees who are granted PHI access are not doing so excessively, and to detect when an employee’s login credentials may be compromised by a threat actor.
To determine which employees should be granted access to what data, it is important to establish written privacy policies and procedures. These policies and procedures should dictate the proper uses and disclosures of PHI specific to your pharmacy so that employees have clear guidelines.