Compliance with the HIPAA rules and regulations is one of the most critical things for healthcare providers and any other businesses dealing with health information. As HIPAA is a federal statute, therefore, its main goal is to protect certain health information through the implementation of data privacy as well as security provisions.
In order to avoid any legal problems, the covered entities as well as their business associates that hold the medical information have to make sure that they are compliant with the HIPAA rules. Hipaaguide.net offers complete guidelines for compliance and has become an important information source for organizations and individuals.
Why does HIPAA Training Matter?
Any healthcare entity or an organization using, storing or maintaining any patient-related health information has to be compliant with the HIPAA regulations.
When the healthcare employees have trained adequately, the HIPAA regulations are not only helpful in ensuring privacy, improving data systems and reducing any fraudulent activities, but they can save millions for the providers annually.
After proper training, the employees are able to know and prevent any security risks that might result in a huge compliance cost. This way, a healthcare organization can easily focus on increasing its profits and keep growing without any fears of potential audit fines.
What are the HIPAA Training Dos and Don’ts?
A healthcare organization needs to have information about the necessary dos and don’ts of HIPAA training. These are helpful for an entity to know how it can put itself in the best possible position so that it can comply with the critical HIPAA training requirements.
Train Your Employees
Training the employees is one of the most important steps for a business to comply with the specific HIPAA rules and regulations. When an individual is properly trained, they will be able to safely handle protected health information.
This way, the employees get a chance to apply the policies to carry out all the functions in an effective manner and avoid any issues along the way. Training allows every individual in the organization to be knowledgeable about the protocols.
Conduct Audits on a Regular Basis
Another important aspect that an organization has to do for ensuring compliance with HIPAA is conducting regular audits. A business must have policies in place, however, it is also important to check whether all these rules and procedures are being followed by the individuals in the organization or not. This way, a healthcare organization will know whether it needs to improve or modify the HIPAA training practices to guarantee compliance.
Analyze any Potential Risks
For making the most out of the HIPAA compliance efforts, it becomes crucial for a health organization to conduct a risk analysis. This way, any potential risks can be identified quickly, especially those that can make a business non-compliant with the procedures. When an employee becomes aware of the known threats to the health information after training, they become capable of developing measures to resolve them and mitigate the troubles in the long run.
Revise Your Policies Annually
Over time, there are always a few changes made to the HIPAA rules and regulations. This is the reason why it becomes important to analyze and revise the HIPAA policies and update any patient forms when training the employees. Reviewing all of the policies each year and then updating them becomes as important as any other processes in the office and changes in technology.
Don’t Access Any Files Through Unsecured Devices and Connections
There is no doubt that technology has brought convenience and ease to access any information, but it also comes with a few downsides.
There is always a risk to data privacy and protection. Employees need to be properly trained to know that if they access any files through unsecured connections and devices, it can make an organization non-compliant. It means that passwords and pins have to be enforced on the devices while utilizing Wi-Fi and unsecured browsers have to be avoided.
Never Deal with HIPAA Compliance by Yourself
When you deal with and tackle HIPAA compliance by yourself, it can be a big mistake that you need to avoid. It doesn’t matter whether your employees have been trained properly and the organization has been able to cover a few aspects of HIPAA, you cannot handle everything on your own to stay compliant.
Although it can be a little costly to get help from a consultant, it is still the best way to avoid any penalties. The consultants have all the proper knowledge, skills and expertise to prepare your healthcare business for compliance.
Never Go into the Patient Information without Reason
There are times when the employees are not able to see the patient for some time. Therefore, they can become curious regarding what happened to the patients or what was their status when they visited the last time.
No matter what happens, the employees should be given proper training regarding not looking up the patient information. In simple words, looking at the patient’s record for any personal reasons is never permitted.
Avoid Consequences of Inadequate Training
There can be a penalty per provision of the HIPAA violation. If there is a data breach, training, documentation and risk analysis are things that get pointed out when there is an incident.
Mostly human error is involved in the breach, and if the training is inadequate, it becomes easy for the OCR to give all the details as compared to better training that might have avoided the breach. These incidents can be quite costly in terms of money, time and reputation of the organization. So, if the workforce members are careful, then the overall risk will be lower.
For those running healthcare-related businesses, HIPAA compliance has become a crucial aspect. It doesn’t matter which stage your organization is in regarding the compliance efforts; you need to keep in mind all the dos and don’ts.
By taking all the necessary steps, you will be sure that your business is protected against any HIPAA compliance violation penalties that can be costly.