HIPAA Compliance requires formulating a plan so that it can be successfully implemented. HIPAA, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, sets the standard for protecting sensitive patient data. Any company that deals with protected health information should see that all required physical, network, and process security measures are in place and followed.
The HIPAA compliance training is the key to thwarting cyber attacks, but the HIPAA compliance training will acknowledge the employees, Business Associates and patients regarding the security of the Protected Health Information.
Steps for successful HIPAA compliance:
Select Privacy and Security Officer- In smaller scenario there may be only one recruitment for the privacy and security work. However in larger organizations these duties need to be bifurcated and divided between two people. These two officers will be spearheading the HIPAA compliance plan. In case there is no one to perform the role then the HIPAA compliance will not be functional.
Assessment of Risk- This step is needed to check the workplace and electronic devices to assess the prone risks and vulnerabilities to confidentiality, integrity and presence of electronic Protected Health Information with the Covered Entity or Business Associate. This aspect covers the threat like access to passwords and also the natural threats like hurricanes and tornadoes along with the dangers of hacking done by humans. This assessment can either be done by oneself or by outside contractor. Outsourcing the assessment of risk can be expensive, and the option to combine the both can also be done. The essence of the assessment is based on the identification of areas of privacy and security issues. This step requires the preparation of list of all the computing and mobile devices that have paper files are stored. It should be considered that ones the office is closed how the devices will be secured. It is a continuous process and will have to dynamic as per the ever changing technology.
Privacy and Security Policies and Procedures- Once the step of assessment of risk has been undertaken the next step is to find a blueprint for the HIPPA compliance templates. The templates should include the policies and procedures to ensure the privacy of the information. The policies need to be upgraded regularly and changes should be communicated to the staff.
Business Associate Agreements- In many cases the entities that are outside the workforce also have access to patient’s PHI for performing the services on your behalf. Third party could be billing agents, attorneys, laboratories and many more in the risk assessment even they should be documented in your Risk assessment. Get a legal counsel to prepare an agreement for being used by you or third party for HIPAA compliance.
Training Employee- After all the above steps has been undertaken, it is crucial to train the employees for proper compliance of HIPAA. The employees are required to be trained annually and informed regarding the Privacy and Security policies for HIPAA. Training should be imparted on law and the plan of HIPAA.