Being a doctor, you must realize the importance of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). All doctors must be aware of HIPAA. Implementing HIPAA in your medical practice is mandatory in most countries. You will suffer serious penalties if you do not train your staff to exercise the guidelines of HIPAA.
What Is HIPAA Compliance
The US government introduced HIPAA to safeguard the privacy of patients. Moreover, the act also ensures that patients’ data stays safe from troublemakers such as criminals.
Why Is Abiding by HIPAA Mandatory?
Criminals can easily sell patients’ Protected Health Information on the black market. This risk makes it almost mandatory for every medical professional to follow the rules set by HIPAA rules. Not following the act will cost you your license, affecting your medical department position. For violating HIPAA, doctors and nurses can go to jail.
Exercising Privacy Throughout the Organization
Privacy is essential for patients. Here are some ways to exercise privacy in your organization.
- Refer to patients respectfully by their names when you show them their place or room.
- Don’t converse with your patients in a busy area. It should be quiet and private, so no one else can hear the conversation and leak it.
- Don’t leave your patient’s documents unattended anywhere.
- Don’t barge into your patient’s room. Knock before entering.
- Keep your eyes open for unauthorized people. Make sure they don’t see the demonstration screens.
Give Privacy Reminders
To spread the message of how important a patient’s privacy is, pin notices on the soft board of the hospital.
Give flyers promoting the importance of a patient’s privacy, and don’t feel shy distributing them to the patients as well. Update your staff if there are any alterations in the security policies.
Moreover, you need to make revisions to the policies annually if needed. Regular revisions will ensure your medical practices are up to date concerning the circumstances, like updating software or any medical procedures. Updating your software will eliminate any glitches or flaws in the system.
Give Training Sessions to Your Staff Regarding HIPAA
All the staff members, from senior to junior, should attend HIPAA training sessions at least once a year.
Mark the attendance of your staff members who have attended the training sessions and those who haven’t. Keep a record of the trained staff by taking their signatures.
Conduct a Yearly HIPAA Test
This test tells the risks to security in your medical practice. A security risk test includes detail of safeguards that are technical and physical. You can conduct the assessment in your organization or call a HIPAA expert. He will perform the assessment.
If the assessment results are conclusive, you must find the solutions to address them as soon as possible.
Follow-up should be within six months. For example, if the report recommends you get a cross-cut paper shredder instead of a straight-cut, go for it. It will be best for the safe discarding of documents.
You should know where certain documents are for quick access. Moreover, make arrangements with your vendors regarding Business Associate Agreements. Such documents are significant.
Ensure you’re following the correct disposal techniques for every document type. If you have queries regarding the correct disposal, refer to your security consultant. Your security team can guide you in technical matters such as making email sending confidential or encrypting storage in medical devices.
Benefits of HIPAA Compliance
HIPAA compliance has a lot of benefits, such as those listed below.
Safeguarding Against Loss of PHI
Loss of private healthcare information is a crime to most. Your patients and health care will be at serious risk if PHI is lost. HIPAA ensures that all the data of the patients and employees are secure. It will be secured against any upcoming lawsuits for your medical practice.
The Well-Being of the Patients
A patient’s data is extremely important and confidential. With HIPAA compliance, staff members can get training on how to treat a patient’s information properly. A team that can implement HIPAA-compliant practices is a blessing for your medical practice. Moreover, HIPAA compliant texting will assist you in securing your conversations with patients.
Encourage your staff to practice the policies daily to ensure a healthy medical practice. Everyone should know how important a patient’s privacy is. Therefore, your medical practice must exercise HIPAA guidelines. Through this, your patients and your staff members will feel secure.
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