HIPAA Compliance Tips
If you’re in Tampa and work in the Healthcare industry, remaining in compliance with HIPAA is extremely critical. Failing to do so could lead to substantial fines to your organization; in fact, studies reveal that such an occurrence could wind up costing you up to $25,000 depending on the severity of the penalty.
To help prevent infractions from taking place, it’s highly recommended that your Tampa medical office appoint at least one trained and qualified individual who understands HIPAA and the guidelines under this law. The staff member should oversee employees handling patient protected health information, monitoring that all patient files data remain secure and safe from exposure.
In the same sense however, it’s still equally important for health professionals to know the fundamentals of employee compliance standards, in association with best HIPAA practices.
Reminders for Your Employees:
- Medical health facilities need to supply ongoing, up to date training which includes the proper handling of PHI for employees who are looking after health plan administrative functions.
- Always be sure that you are never sharing sensitive PHI with others who shouldn’t have access, such as co-workers or acquaintances.
- Avoid accessing a patient’s record unless it’s imperative or you have written consent from the patient.
- Prevent occurrences of others overhearing information regarding the patient. Never speak of a patient by their first and last name within hearing distance of others.
- Keep all critical files secured in a lockable cabinet or desk if they contain PHI. Never leave files and other PHI out unattended.
- Close computer programs when not in use, especially if they include patient information. This is crucial if you are away from your desk for an extended period of time. Always turn to password protected programs/websites for extra security.
- Be sure to back up all electronic information that covers PHI. Storing your patients’ information in a HIPAA compliant cloud serveris more secure than using a localized server or hard copy documents, as recent studies from the US Department of Health and Human Services.
- Securely dispose of documents that include PHI with professional document shredding services.
- Make sure computers are updated with the latest anti-virus scanning software installed. This greatly assists in protecting against malicious software.
Like all Privacy legislation, HIPAA standards are always changing as technology shifts and new trends emerge; ensure you are aware of any changes.
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