HIPAA, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, is legislation that protects patient privacy and confidentiality. All medical practices must protect this data to ensure no unauthorized persons can have access to the privileged information of patients’ personal records and finances. As a professional medical facility, you must be compliant with HIPAA rules to avoid violations that could result in a loss of money, license, and reputation. Examine closely the following steps to fully know how to get your medical office HIPAA compliant.
Follow Policies, Procedures, and Protocols
Privacy practices are of the utmost importance within your medical office. Hence, privacy should be wholly exercised throughout the entire office space. A primary risk analysis may reveal current physical, technical, or administrative shortcomings that require corrective plans of action. This includes diminishing any occurrences of others within close distance overhearing patient information (PHI), implementing secure computer systems, and proper transfer and disposal of private information.
Workstation and Documentation Protection
If you’re wondering how else to get your medical office HIPAA compliant, focus on the groundwork of compliant practices at workstations. This is how you carry out solutions to risk situations. If staff utilizes computers or laptops to transmit PHI, then systems should be securely encrypted to prevent breaches, phishing, or unauthorized access. Computers should be locked with passwords and equipped with a time-out system. They should never be left unattended when unlocked and in use.
Visitors and incoming office traffic should not be able to view patient information on screen or paper from any angle. Paper documentation that contains PHI should be covered for protection and placed in a locked cabinet, secure drawer, or folder when it’s not in use. Information should be accessed only if necessary for work or with written patient permission.
Thorough Staff Training and Education
Application of privacy practices is nothing without the right training of HIPAA’s policies and procedures for your office employees. All staff that handles protected health information needs training on office privacy and security as a new hire, and then annually from then on. Your office should have a designated staff member who acts as a privacy officer to oversee training and be an accessible point of contact.
No matter the size or structure of your medical office, Gamma Compliance Solutions has a HIPAA compliance training manual that is perfect for your practice’s needs. This resourceful training manual is easy to follow as it consolidates HIPAA regulations to explain what is required for healthcare providers. Our online training and compliance materials will surely help your staff to stay in the loop of necessary regulations to ensure security, safety, and well-being for everyone. We’ve got you covered with our HIPAA-compliance products and packages.