Achieving HIPAA compliance involves meeting numerous rules and regulations that ensure the security of protected health information (PHI). Creating a HIPAA compliant environment can be complicated. To avoid violations and fines, URM Technologies recommends the following:
UPDATE POLICIES AND PROCEDURES
Be sure to regularly update policies and procedures in your company’s handbook as rules and regulations change frequently. Having these tools on hand will be useful when training new staff on the importance of HIPAA compliance or in the event that your company receives a complaint from an outside organization.
PROVIDE TRAINING AND EDUCATION
Routine training keeps HIPAA knowledge fresh and ensures that everyone is on-board when new policies are put into place. Schedule monthly meetings to educate your employees on security, privacy, and breach notification rules and consider providing tests to make sure that your training sessions are effective. Taking the time to train your employees properly and frequently will increase awareness of the do’s and don’t when it comes to protecting PHI.
CREATE AN INCIDENT RESPONSE PLAN
The first step in creating an incident response plan is to conduct a risk analysis — a physical check-up to detect security strengths and weaknesses. You can’t be HIPAA compliant without one. The analysis is used to assess the potential vulnerabilities, threats, and risks to protected health information (PHI) at your organization. Secondly, you’ll need to set up a breach response team that will take the necessary steps to respond on behalf of your company in case of a crisis. When finished creating your plan, be sure to test it for accuracy.
CONDUCT REGULAR HIPAA AUDITS
In the event of a HIPAA audit, companies need to be ready with the appropriate files and documentation. To prepare, conduct an annual internal audit by reviewing your policies, procedures, privacy settings and most importantly, a walk-through of your office. Remind employees to keep their workspaces neat and put away any private, visible information. Pretend you are an auditor looking for violations, and it will make your practice audit flow easier.
ENSURE BUSINESS ASSOCIATES ARE COMPLIANT
If you are a business that provides services for healthcare organizations, it is a top priority to make certain that your company and staff are compliant with HIPAA safety rules. Likewise, it is required that healthcare professionals have a signed HIPAA Business Associate Agreement with every vendor that comes in contact with PHI.
From updating policies, procedures, and incident response plans, to providing workforce education and conducting audits, maintaining HIPAA compliance is an ongoing job that you don’t have to do alone. Achieve peace of mind and regulatory compliance with intelligent data capture paired with a secure storage solution from URM Technologies. As active members of ARMA, NAID, and PRISM, we specialize in high-regulated information management for the healthcare industry.
As you utilize these tips for your company, don’t hesitate to reach out to one of our expert technology team members for a foolproof compliance strategy.
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