HIPAA Compliance Basics – IT HIPAA Compliance
If you are an organization subject to HIPAA, you need to understand and comply with all relevant requirements. Learn more about how this law applies to your company.
The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 set standards for all organizations that handle protected health information. In the past, HIPAA standards for privacy and security mainly applied to the management of paper health records and verbal exchanges of patient health information. In today’s modern world, however, the majority of protected health information is in a digital format, and these standards must be applied differently.
HIPAA sets guidelines organizations must follow when they collect and store private health information. The law provides patients with certain rights to access their own health information, as well as confidentiality protections. HIPAA also outlines the steps an organization must follow when private health information has been compromised.
The Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act
To ensure that all organizations subject to HIPAA are in compliance in the digital age, the government passed an additional law: the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act. Essentially, this new law raises the penalties that apply when a health organization violates any of HIPAA’s standards for privacy and security of protected health information.
How to Protect Your Data
In light of the many restrictive standards that apply to protected health information, it is essential for every organization that handles this information to take the matter seriously. Below are some tips to help you protect your data from vulnerability.
1. Invest in security software.
The right security software can help to maintain the safety of your data from hackers. Invest in advanced security software and update it as needed.
2. Train personnel.
Every employee who handles protected health information needs to understand the importance of complying with HIPAA laws. Take the time to train employees on the best practices for handling sensitive data, as well as the consequences for HIPAA violations.
3. Partner with the right professionals.
One of the best ways to keep your data safe is to partner with a reputable IT company that can design security measures to keep your network secure. The right company will also be able to help you take action quickly when a breach occurs.
4. Stay in the know.
Regulations are subject to change, and threats to your data are always evolving. Stay informed about all recent changes so you can keep your organization protected.
Keeping protected health information secure is not only ethical, but it is required by law. If you are an organization subject to HIPAA, compliance needs to be a priority at all times.