If you’re running a business in the healthcare industry or in a business that utilizes, stores, and shares protected health information, then you may need to strictly adhere to HIPAA compliance. Essentially, the Healthcare Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 is a federal statute that provides protection to an individual’s private medical information.
Due to the increasing number of cyber threats and data breaches nowadays, it’s important for businesses that are governed by the HIPAA rules and regulations, such as healthcare providers, health insurance providers, healthcare clearinghouses, and other business associates to be compliant. This is to guarantee the integrity and confidentiality of protected health information.
Keep reading this article to learn what it takes to be HIPAA-compliant.
- Developing HIPAA Policies And Procedures
Typically, developing certain policies and procedures is important for your organization to be HIPAA compliant. This is especially true in a world where cybercriminals and hackers are attacking almost all types of sensitive electronic data and information. When this happens, your organization can be susceptible to cybersecurity threats and data breaches, which can result in a damaged reputation or loss of revenue.
Thus, if you want to ensure compliance, make sure to include some breach management plans, which safeguard you when handling protected health information. By doing this, you can get the most out of your security policies and procedures that can help you make compliant from start to finish.
- Conducting HIPAA Training To All Staff Members
Providing HIPAA training to all staff members is what your organization takes to be compliant. When your employees are well-familiar with the fundamentals of HIPAA compliance, you’re most likely to reduce your organization’s risk to cyberthreats and data breaches. Additionally, by training your staff, you can also prevent them from being a cause of HIPAA violations, which are costly and complicated.
Therefore, to make sure your business doesn’t become non-compliant due to a lack of knowledge of the proper protocols, it’s best to train all your staff about cybersecurity and other related procedures. Just contact a HIPAA training provider to do the training activities on a regular basis.
- Establishing A Security Team
In addition to training, being HIPAA compliant means you should establish a security team within your organization. This team, for instance, can be responsible for making sure all security and privacy protocols are upheld at all times. They can also be in charge of setting up policies and procedures in case a cyberattack occurs that causes harm to your electronic data and information.
However, when building your security team, it makes sense to appoint individuals who are experts in HIPAA. That way, you can rest knowing your security team would do their best to manage the security and privacy of protected health information to ensure compliance.
- Performing Risk Analysis
To become HIPAA-compliant, you also need to perform a risk analysis of your current security and privacy protocols. It means your organization would try to figure out the likelihood that risks would arise and how they would affect your business as a whole.
By doing a risk analysis, you’re able to determine whether your policies and regulations are enough to safeguard protected health information. It can also help you find out whether your organization’s plan is effective in mitigating the risks.
Lastly, when you do a risk analysis, you can make the necessary adjustments with your policies and procedures, including the recommended remediation activity and other contingency requirements necessary to guarantee HIPAA compliance.
- Evaluation And Auditing
Aside from the risk analysis, being compliant with HIPAA also means conducting regular evaluations and audit on your security and privacy procedures. It should be viewed as a constant assessment that all the identified vulnerabilities have been addressed and remediated within a certain period of time.
To do so, it’s essential to have proper documentation so you would have proof of everything you, ensuring compliance. When you properly document your assessment and audit findings, you can have peace of mind knowing you can use the documentation to convince the auditors and regulators that you’re compliant with the HIPAA rules.
As an organization that would be provided or has given access to any protected health information, you have the responsibility to ensure that it’s safe and secure against any potential cybersecurity attacks and data breaches. This is one reason why the federal government requires you to become HIPAA-compliant.
However, HIPAA compliance can be an overwhelming undertaking, especially if you have no idea how and where to start. Fortunately, by keeping the ways mentioned above in mind, you would know what it takes to make sure you comply with the policies and procedures necessary to protect sensitive information.