The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) is an important piece of legislation that regulates the healthcare industry. However, according to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), less than a third of all healthcare organizations are compliant with HIPAA standards.
If the HHS finds your organization non-compliant with the HIPAA, your business could face hefty fines and even criminal charges.
The challenge of staying compliant
In today’s ever-shifting digital landscape, there are more threats to electronically stored data than ever.
Staying compliant with HIPAA standards vigilance and know-how. Here are three tips for healthcare organizations to ensure that they are keeping healthcare information safe and complying with HIPAA requirements.
- Understand previous mistakes
Learning from your previous mistakes is an important skill in life. However, it is even better if you can learn the lesson without ever making the mistake yourself. According to the HHS, there are common issues that come up during audits. You can review previous HIPAA security reviews to identify and understand these common issues. Doing so can help you avoid these issues yourself.
- Conduct a risk analysis
HIPAA guidelines require all healthcare organizations to conduct a risk analysis. A risk analysis helps an organization identify potential threats and concerns.
In this context, a risk analysis can help an organization identify any vulnerabilities to the confidentiality, and availability of sensitive information.
Additionally, you may also want to utilize the HIPAA gap analysis tool to measure your information security against HIPAA standards. This can help you preemptively identify any inconsistencies your practice may have with HIPAA requirements.
- Develop an action plan
There are two steps to an HIPAA audit. First, the HHS Office of Civil Rights will conduct an initial review of your organization. They will then share the initial findings with you and allow you to make adjustments before completing a final review.
Because of this two-step process, it can be beneficial to develop an action plan for an HIPAA audit. Doing so can help shorten your response time of dealing with any issues that crop up during the initial review.
Staying compliant with the HIPAA is an important part of running an excellent healthcare organization. While the guidelines may seem complicated, it is important to remain vigilant and do your part to keep sensitive health information safe.