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3 Tricks To Help You Catch Potential HIPAA Violations

Thursday, June 29th, 2017

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) requires hospitals and other medical institutions to implement security procedures as safeguards for patient information. Poorly guarded information could lead to identity theft, as well as professional and personal consequences for people with compromising medical conditions or histories.

The penalties for HIPAA violations are also severe for hospitals. Lawsuits can cost a hospital thousands to millions of dollars. It is critical for the sake of a patient’s well-being and the integrity of the hospital to confront potential HIPAA violations proactively. The following are three ways to catch and prevent potential HIPAA violations in your healthcare facility.

Conduct regular audits

No procedure or policy, no matter how rigorously studied and drafted, is sufficient to remain compliant with HIPAA without regular audits. You must continually test, examine, and review your procedures. A major component of this continuous review process is the audit.

Active audit systems increase your ability to monitor daily actions taken regarding HIPAA compliance. Audits allow you to identify potential issues and address them before they become habits. A reliable audit system lets you quickly report any HIPAA violations and can help you show your employees where they can create or prevent violations.

Hold regular and consistent training

The biggest data breaches occur because employees take security lightly. You must ensure that your employees are regularly trained on the importance of proper safety protocols. Remind your medical and IT staff to hide their passwords and log out of employee profiles.

Review and discuss HIPAA compliance with your data partner. Many hospitals employ third-party companies to maintain their data systems, which presents potential areas for data breaches. A basic signed agreement listing HIPAA rules is insufficient. You must work with your data partner to ensure that their employees respond to and respect HIPAA compliance as much as your staff.

Follow-up with new policies

You must follow-up on new HIPAA compliance procedures, as they require constant and careful maintenance. Regularly check in with your human resources department, physicians, and outside business vendors. Everyone involved with your healthcare practice should understand the importance of HIPAA compliance.

Ensuring that your hospital remains in compliance with HIPAA is a continuous process. If you would like to discuss the complexities of crafting and implementing HIPAA compliance procedures, contact the healthcare team at Brown & Fortunato, P.C today. Give us a call at (806) 345-6300 or Contact Us by email to learn more about our practice areas. You can also visit our offices in person at 905 S. Fillmore St., Suite 400, in Amarillo, Texas.

This information is subject to change. Please check for updates that are more recent than the published date of this article.