Like it or not, technology, medical offices and facilities from coast to coast and HIPA
A are supporting the trend, which is expected to continue improving how the healthcare industry safeguards and protects sensitive information.
The healthcare industry has taken a front position in managing sensitive information since HIPAA became law, 10 years ago. With the increased demand in healthcare, also comes increased preparation to insure the protection of this information with the most advanced systems in technology. Technology, like business has a lifecycle, and as the market demand changes, so does technology.
The HIPAA standards can actually improve organizational challenges, requiring updates and analysis for safeguarding systems, training staff and staying ahead of the potential outside threats. Healthcare organizations need to enforce and apply internal controls and train staff to protect the privacy and confidentiality of individual’s health data every day. Operations should be fully compliant with the regulations, standards and laws governing the management of patient data, entry and record retention.
The moment an organization accesses protected health information, they become responsible for protecting it. The key to successfully retaining your HIPAA compliance is by updating policies and enforcing controls, along with training personnel on the policies, risks, and technology improvements. The reasons for updating are many and vital to the healthcare industry and it can be costly for the practice without the correct HIPAA controls in place.
Monitoring of system activities are critically important in continued operational clinical functions. For most organizations, changes can be difficult, and keeping up with those changes is even more frustrating. Too many practices decide against annual maintenance and ongoing support until a breach occurs. And when that happens, it is often much more costly to the practice than the cost of updating and regular monitoring.
Updating your system is not about deleting; it’s about improving the existing technology already doing the job. The updates are providing protection to the gaps in the system, and without the proper monitoring and analysis, these gaps are discovered only when the system fails. Your decision to update should consider many things such as the potential impact of interruption to your business operations and focus, and reducing the risk of data leaks before they occur.
HIPAA compliance is very black and white, with very few gray areas in the program in regulating the healthcare industry. Best practices and continuous improvements are standard business procedures to avoid branding damage and heavy penalties for loss or misused data. There’s not a day that goes by in which private information is not released unintentionally by human error or system defaults. The HIPAA regulations are intended to protect your patient’s privacy requiring your staff to be fully trained and cognitive of responsibilities within the operations.
It’s no surprise that practices rely on digital transmission for record keeping, security, and other services. Today, we see easier access to stored data at outside facilities to conduct business. This trend is a projection of our times and one that HIPAA anticipated much earlier than most developers or organizations. Like it or not, technology, medical offices and facilities from coast to coast are supporting the trend, which is expected to continue improving how the healthcare industry safeguards and protects sensitive information. It’s also the best reason for ensuring your staff, business associates and vendors are trained as to how to properly handle and mange electronic transmissions when sharing healthcare information pertaining to individuals.