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How to Ensure HIPAA Compliance

Most healthcare professionals are trained in the Health Insurance Portability Accountability Act (HIPAA), but unfortunately, the training for this is not enough to be compliant. Healthcare practices are at risk of security threats because of the lack of regulation on the technology they are using to share patient data. 

The HIPAA security rule requires healthcare professionals to secure patient information that is stored or transferred digitally from data breaches. The HIPAA security rule consists of three components: 

  1. Administrative 
  2. Physical security 
  3. Technical security 

Understanding this will provide you with a clear framework for adhering to HIPAA compliance.  

Administrative Safeguards 

Within the HIPAA security rule, administrative policies ensure that patient data is correct and accessible to authorized personnel. The Administrative safeguards to consider are the following: 

  • Security management process – analyzing risk to Protected Health Information (PHI) 
  • Security Personnel – develop and carry out the security and procedures. 
  • Information Access Management  
  • Workforce Training and Management – training and supervision of professionals with access to PHI. 
  • Evaluation – Periodic Risk Assessments must be done to assess whether security requirements are met. 

Physical Safeguards 

Preventative measures are necessary to protect the physical hardware that contains patient information.  Understanding the best practices to secure your hardware. including computers, laptops, tablets, and mobile devices, is critical because these can be stolen, lost, or improperly accessed. Two key considerations are the facility accesses and controls and workstation and device security. 

Technical Safeguards 

This constitutes the applied methodology of protecting your network and devices. In most cases, it is best to seek out a managed service provider (MSP) because they provide all-encompassing security; these services include encrypting PHI, disaster recovery, intrusion detection, and firewalls. The most important aspect to remember is finding the right MSP that fits your technical needs to streamline your business in a seamlessly. 

To get a comprehensive look at what needs to be improved, it is best to be proactive and fill out a HIPAA Compliance Checklist. Moving forward, you can seek expert advice from a certified HIPAA professional to help implement the necessary parameters and practices.

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