The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) has been the basis of the American healthcare system since its establishment, intending to safeguard privacy, confidentiality, and protection of health-protected information (PHI). For the considerable commodities in charge of PHI surveillance, the regulation is notoriously formidable to comply with since it necessitates specialized security measures as well as network and process procedures to protect sensitive data.
The HIPAA Security Rule demands all qualified organizations and third-party organizations to conduct a security risk assessment of electronically stored health data in order to ensure compliance (ePHI). As the healthcare industry increasingly relies on technology, ePHI becomes more vulnerable to hacking and unauthorized access. Businesses should do HIPAA security risk assessment more than ever to understand their network’s strengths and weaknesses. Here are some ideas for doing a meticulous security risk assessment.
The following three tips can facilitate an accurate HIPAA security risk assessment
Companies should vacate no stone unturned in order to conduct an adequate Security risk analysis.
Capture The Security Risk Assessment Essentials
While there is no precise approach to follow, the nature of healthcare reveals that ePHI can be circulated across several points of contact, including businesses and workers, putting it at greater risk. To analyze the security hazards in their surroundings, they must first capture the diverse assessment requirements, which include:
- The Analysis’s Scope: The Security Rule applies to any ePHI developed, maintained, received, or maintained, transmitted by an organization, including all types of digital media (hard drives, discs, floppy discs, CDs, and so on.) or any other storage device.
- Data Gathering: Organizations must determine where their ePHI is kept and managed, as well as where information is transported. The process of processing and acquiring data, as well as the technique by which it was collected, must be recorded.
- Investigate Existing Security Standards: Companies are accountable for how third-party entities manage their ePHI. In other words, they have to track and reckon the effectiveness of security measures.
- Specify the probability of danger recurrence: Data breaches are never entirely risk-free. As a result of Security Rule Security Rule, enterprises are required to analyze the possibility of possible danger.
- Discover the probable outcomes of a Threat Event: In addition to analyzing the likelihood of prospective threats, businesses must consider the implications of a breach. This is an assessment of the incident’s potential impact on the security, integrity, and confidentiality of ePHI.
- Determine the Risk Level: After determining probability and effect, organizations can build an overall risk rating based on the severity of the patients. The risk level must also include a list of activities to reduce the risk. After determining the details required for successful security risk assessments, the company should amend and expand the scope of its assessment as required.
Come Up with Action Plan
Like a never-ending data hunt, Security risk evaluations are not a one-time occurrence. The most successful businesses have a plan in place to deal with shifting security requirements.
One of the first tasks for a corporation is to identify how frequently it will do security risk assessments. The frequency of risk assessments will be determined by the amount of business handled, and the volume of PHI handled. The network should be evaluated at least once per quarter. Other factors to consider include:
- Who is in charge of supervising security risk assessments?
- How are they assessed? What KPIs do they monitor?
- Are there any regions that are particularly vulnerable?
These questions just abrade the consistency of what organizations must be aware of regarding HIPAA compliance. However, after you’ve determined the scope of your research and have a strategy in place, it’s time to conduct a security risk analysis.
Make Use of Security Risk Assessments Tools
For firms wanting to undertake a risk assessment, there are several tools and resources available, such as the Security Risk Assessment (SRA) Tool, to aid in the process. In an alliance with the Health Information Technology Office (ONC), the Office for Civil Rights built the tool. The SRA Tool is a free program created to oblige healthcare workers to accomplish a security risk assessment.
An assessment of healthcare security risk is typically conducted in what manner?
Physical, technological, and administrative security measures and processes are often examined thoroughly in security risk assessment methodologies for the entire organization.
Data collection for a security risk assessment often consists of a combination of interviews, questionnaires, and technical evaluations, as well as walking tours or inspections of facilities and the examination and collecting of evidence and documents.
To ensure that the assumptions about the status of security controls implementation are backed by documentation, evidence, and technical testing, standard auditing methods should be utilized in combination with the “trust but confirm” approach.
In what time frame does a security risk assessment take place?
In large and medium-sized healthcare facilities, from the start of the project until executive reporting, an enterprise security risk assessment typically takes 6 to 12 weeks. Smaller businesses often need between 3 and 6 weeks to complete the security risk assessment.
How should security risk assessments include vendors and business associates?
Yes. Security should be evaluated for third-party platforms and providers that store or handle PHI for the organization. This may be accomplished as a continuous business process connected with vendor acquisition and oversight. Security risk assessments must involve an assessment of the extent and effectiveness of the healthcare institution’s security risk management processes.
The healthcare industry is rapidly responding to a variety of market dynamics, including fast technological advancement. HIPAA compliance will become increasingly onerous as the amount of information produced in the healthcare sector grows. Conducting frequent security risk assessments is a key step in creating a safer healthcare environment as healthcare organizations seek to predict and reduce security issues before they occur.