HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) made it a compulsion for the healthcare industry to abide by certain regulations which are significant to protect the valuable information and keeping the medical records safe and sound. However, people commonly neglect HIPAA laws in their busy routines. For this reason, you need to be aware of such most common regulations that if neglected can seriously harm the integrity of important health data.
Remove the Medical History
HIPAA law demands you to eliminate all the outdated and erroneous medical data. You are not allowed to put any type of the patient’s information in the trash before decimating it. You can assign this task to a Document Decimating Agency or you can perform it on your own which is relatively laborious to safely destroy the data every day. You need to be very careful about the full destruction of the unnecessary or archived medical records before trashing them. Be mindful when going to any location outside your official premises, never take with you a USB or a digital drive with important records stored in it. Here, the recommendation is to keep the storage devices in-house and always encrypted.
Disclosing Patient’s Information
Revealing patient’s information to a third party without de-identifying it means that you have seriously violated the HIPAA regulation. Some healthcare providers do it unintentionally when sharing the clinical documents with a medical billing company or an outsourced company. Some staff members also share such type of information over the web which is vulnerable to hacking. You are allowed to do so only when your technical team is sure that the sharing protocol is safe.
Misplacement of the Medical Information
When you carry with you any official data in your laptop or other storage devices, it is possible that you misplace the gadget or there are instances when someone stole the laptop from your car and sold it to hackers. To avoid this it is advisable to encrypt your data before moving it to a portable device and keep it password protected.
The devices and software you use to secure medical information should also be secured with anti-hacking software or antivirus. You can approach an IT expert to incorporate a cloud-based system for overall protection of all the medical records. It is also advisable to have well-formulated passwords and encrypted systems to avoid losing valuable data.
Hacking of the Medical Records
You need to update all the passwords on a regular basis to avoid hacking of the valuable data. Do not set the commonly used terms/phrases as your passwords. In addition, incorporate hardware firewall application to get rid of unwanted traffic of visitors to your site. It is also necessary to keep on updating your software on a regular basis.
Unlawful Use of the Medical Information
Making use of or selling outpatients’ information or any medical record is unlawful and is considered a HIPAA violation. According to some surveys, some medical staff members had been found involved in the accessing of medical records for personal gains and to sell it to hackers.
Recruiting less qualified or untrained workforce can also cause data breach leading you to pay money to hackers. All of your staff member s should be well-qualified and knowledgeable about the current rules and regulations of HIPAA and they should be provided with proper training and security measures.
How to stay protected?
You need to abide by all the rules and regulations of HIPAA to avoid violations. You can avoid violation of HIPAA laws by implementing a comprehensive training program. Moreover, your team requires being well-informed by the changing laws of HIPAA by revising the rules and regulations as well as getting the required notifications in time. All of the equipment and software you incorporate in your practice should be HIPAA compliant too.