For organizations in the medical field, compliance with HIPAA (The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) is crucial. It sets the bar for the privacy, security, and integrity of healthcare data and helps to protect it from being accessed illegally. Unfortunately, the process gets complicated for many businesses and that’s why we wrote this post – to simplify everything and provide you with a simple checklist to follow.
Here are the steps you want to take to ensure that your medical organization is compliant:
Here’s a detailed HIPAA compliance checklist with further information about each step you’ll want to take to ensure HIPAA compliance:
HIPAA’s main objectives are to:
There are five rules for HIPAA compliance. To determine which of those five rules apply to your organization, you’ll need to go through each of them carefully:
Before putting together a HIPAA compliance program, you will need to have a comprehensive understanding of the risks your organization faces. A risk analysis is the first step in this process and will help you identify your vulnerabilities. A typical risk analysis has four main components:
To create a compliance plan, you will need to develop policies and procedures for your organization that are tailored to your specific situation and business needs. Your compliance plan should include:
Accountability means making sure that everyone in your organization who needs to be compliant is completely aware of their responsibility, in addition to being held accountable for meeting compliance standards.
Here are the best ways to establish accountability within your organization:
There are a few potential HIPAA violations that can occur in a healthcare setting. One is unauthorized access to PHI. This can happen when staff members access patient records without a legitimate reason to do so.
Another is the use or disclosure of PHI without authorization. This can happen when staff members share patient information with unauthorized individuals or, worse, use it for their own purposes.
Lastly, is a failure to properly secure PHI. This can occur when healthcare providers fail to encrypt patient data or protect it from unauthorized access. Each organization needs to look at its data security and ensure that no violations are happening or have happened in the past.
HIPAA is continually evolving, and it’s important for covered entities to stay updated on those changes. Make sure that you periodically check what the latest changes are and adhere to them to continue to be compliant.
To be HIPAA compliant, you absolutely MUST document everything related to handling protected health information (PHI). This includes all policies and procedures and any incidents or breaches of PHI. All documentation should be thorough, up-to-date, and easily accessible to all staff members. You will also need to have a process in place for regularly reviewing and updating documentation.
If there is a data breach, you must report it immediately. By law, you must notify the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) within 60 days of discovering the breach.
You will also need to provide a written statement detailing the incident and include exactly what happened, when it occurred, how many people were affected, and what measures you have put in place to prevent future breaches.
The HIPAA Privacy Rule Checklist is a comprehensive list of the key elements that must be in place to ensure compliance with the HIPAA Privacy Rule. This includes ensuring that all Protected Health Information (PHI) is secure and that patient privacy is constantly respected.
The checklist covers everything from employee training to incident response plans and is a vital tool for any organization handling PHI.
You can find a pdf of the HIPAA Privacy checklist where the information is included, in detail, here.
The HIPAA Security Rule Checklist is an available tool designed to help ensure compliance. The checklist includes a list of the required administrative, physical, and technical safeguards, in addition to providing guidance on how to implement each safeguard. It is divided into three key sections that include:
A list of required administrative safeguards. These safeguards include policies and procedures for protecting electronic health information, in addition to training staff on security measures.
Includes a list of physical safeguards. These safeguards include measures for protecting electronic health information from unauthorized access, use, or disclosure.
Includes a list of technical safeguards. These safeguards include procedures for ensuring the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of electronic health information.
Download our pdf of the HIPAA security rule checklist.
HIPAA compliance is essential for any medical organization handling protected health information (PHI). The above information provides a critical checklist of actions you can take to ensure your organization is compliant with HIPAA regulations.
To get on top of compliance, you’ll need to:
By following all of the above steps, you will be able to keep your organization both safe and compliant with HIPAA regulations.
Want to get the latest updated information on staying HIPAA-compliant? Download our checklist.