HIPAA— it’s a term that you use with your patients and clients every single day. Protecting the people who need medical attention is part of the job for any healthcare provider. The information that you have on patients is among the most sensitive in the world. Losing it to a security breach could prove catastrophic. That is why HIPAA regulations are so strict. Non-compliance can garner negative publicity, loss of clients, and cost your practice millions of dollars in fines. There are several ways to avoid these consequences when you choose managed services in Tulsa:
The easiest way to avoid HIPAA non-compliance issues is by employing a well-trained, well-informed staff. In the event of a violation, don’t expect officials to excuse you because of ignorance. It is your job to make sure that everyone in your practice knows the rules. Make sure to emphasize protocol when it comes to physical and electronic documents. The law requires that you protect patient records from unauthorized access with internal and external storage or whenever documents are in transit.
Partner with your managed services provider in Tulsa to keep your I.T. security systems up to date. Use encryption, strong antivirus software, patch management, and deep-packet firewalls to block any suspicious activity.
Maintain Mobile Devices
You can further ensure the security of personal health information by training employees on mobile device etiquette. Improper handling of data on mobile devices, both company-issued and personal, can result in massive security challenges. The most damaging way to jeopardize patient data on a mobile device is by simply losing it. On-site security measures can only help so much. That is why it is imperative to train your staff on proper password management and encryption before theft or loss becomes an issue.
Avoid Disclosing Information to Third Parties
Disclosure of personal health information to unauthorized entities is one of the more common HIPAA violations. This occurs when an employee shares sensitive data with an associate, contractor, or other business partners without the patient’s consent. Major data breaches and legal cases have come about as a result of this. Some healthcare professionals, like one woman in Arkansas in 2006, have even disclosed patient information to third parties for personal gain.
Always make sure that you only disclose personal health information through the channels authorized by the patient. This means that if they only want a telephone call on a mobile number in the evening, that is the only method you should use. Transmitting information to a patient in any other way constitutes a HIPAA violation. It should also go without saying that you should never discuss a patient’s personal information in a public setting.
When it comes to protecting the personal health information of your patients, you need the best I.T. you can get. If you want to avoid serious HIPAA violations, partner with us at JMARK Business Solutions, Inc. for your managed services in Tulsa. From security management and support to mobile device management, we offer proven solutions to keep your practice compliant with the law. Do what is best for both your business and your patients— contact us today.