The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (known colloquially as “HIPAA”) was created with patient data privacy and security in mind. In 1996, the Internet was nowhere near the scope it is today, and breaches in security were not foremost on everyone’s minds. The Holter monitoring team at Medicomp understands how HIPAA sometimes feels stifling to many organizations, and offers the following tips to bring to light the positive aspects of this important law.
- Invest in HIPAA-compliant technology: Many organizations perform risk assessments, then bypass many of the fixes because of higher costs of HIPAA-compliant technology packages. However, 5.6 million patient records were compromised in 2017 due to 477 security breaches in the health care industry. Because these organizations did not meet HIPAA compliance regulations, fines ranged from $3.5-$5.5 million. Think before purchasing technology similar to HIPAA-related software with a greatly reduced price; it could affect your bottom line.
- Train your staff: Employee errors make up 17 percent of data breaches, according to a 2018 data breach investigation report by Verizon. Utilizing a non-HIPAA-compliant phone system, such as texting or calling a fellow employee on a cell phone to discuss a patient’s status, leaves your organization open to penalties or theft of sensitive patient information. Training seminars and educational information for employees will positively affect your patients.
- Know your vendors: A recent study proved that 56 percent of health care organizations experienced a data record compromise at the hands of a third-party vendor. For any parties who have access to your records — from data entry personnel and payroll specialists to companies outside your organization — confirmtheir employees are well-versed with HIPAA regulations, and that your computer records and storage methods are also compliant. Communicating with your vendors will develop a better relationship, and the information you share with them concerning HIPAA regulations will give you a common goal.
Ensure your healthcare organization not only meets all HIPAA regulations, but practices them daily. Include data software and third-party vendors under the compliance umbrella and know that Medicomp’s technology falls under the certification prerequisites. Call our specialists at 800-23-HEART and visit our website to learn about the latest in Holter monitoring and how it can advance your patients’ health.