Featured image by National Cancer Institute from Unsplash
Many people do not realize just how frequently they come into contact with medical records. Hospital administration, clerical employees, and even researchers deal with medical records regularly. Therefore, everyone needs to know how to avoid common HIPAA violations.
HIPAA violations take place with regularity, with a few common examples being poor security issues, hacking, and even gossiping about patients in the elevator. As a result, it is critical for everyone to understand how to avoid these common HIPAA compliance concerns. What are a few ways that your business, including those who work in the medical field, can avoid these frequent HIPAA concerns?
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1. Make Sure All Records Are Disposed of Properly
One of the most common ways HIPAA compliance issues arise has to do with the disposal of patient records. The reality is it’s still easier for doctors to carry handwritten notes around instead of lugging around a computer. Unfortunately, these notes also have confidential health information.
Sometimes, people forget these notes and leave them hanging around on a desk or nurse’s station. In other cases, doctors might throw them away, but they could miss the garbage can, causing the notes to land on the floor. These are serious HIPAA issues. It is important to make sure that all employees and professionals understand how to dispose of patient records appropriately. The shredder is the best place for them.
2. Train Employees and Police On Them Regularly
Next, hospitals can avoid HIPAA issues if they train their employees properly. People have a lot to do on a daily basis, and they do not necessarily think of HIPAA issues as often as they should. As a result, they might commit HIPAA violations unintentionally or unknowingly.
Hospitals need to do a good job of keeping an eye on their employees. They need to be trained appropriately, and they need to be policed regularly. It might even be beneficial to have employees go back to HIPAA training for continuing education from time to time. This can make a significant difference when hospitals are trying to minimize the chances of getting hit with a HIPAA compliance issue.
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3. Put Automated Security Measures Into Place
Lastly, hospitals might also want to find ways to put automated security measures into place. Doctors and nurses are busy people. They will not always log out of a computer before they walk away. If they leave the computer open when they walk away, this could be a major HIPAA issue.
Hospitals might want to have automated security measures in place that cause the computer to lock immediately when someone steps away. That way, the chances of accidentally exposing medical records are next to none. Hospitals might also want to work with IT professionals to find ways to put these automated measures in place. All patients deserve to have their confidential information protected by the hospital.
Secure All Medical Information Properly
These are just a few of the easiest steps that everyone who comes into contact with confidential medical records should take to make sure that HIPAA compliance issues are handled appropriately. Even though it can be difficult to stay up to date on the latest information related to HIPAA, it is a critical step that all hospitals, businesses, and medical practices need to take. HIPAA compliance issues can be expensive, and it is always better to avoid these sanctions. Furthermore, all patients deserve to have their confidential information protected. Reach out to a professional for help with these issues.
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