HIPAA compliance is an intimidating and frightening concept, especially since penalties can incur fines as high as $250,000, depending on how severe the infraction is. That’s why it’s crucial to ensure your organization and staff remain compliant through regular compliance training.
But how can you keep your organization HIPAA compliant? Here are the best practices to follow.
- Know the Consequences
One way to stay compliant is to know the consequences, which can cost a company a fortune in penalties, lawsuits, and a poor reputation.
If an organization is not HIPAA compliant, the fine can go up to $250,000, or even an annual maximum of $1,500,000!
- Understand Why It Matters
While some people might see the laws as complex, burdensome, or even annoying and challenging to understand, it all boils down to protecting your patients. It’s crucial to not just be aware of why the laws are set but to understand why it matters, so employees are more inclined to remain compliant.
- Perform a HIPAA Security Evaluation
This will mean evaluating the organization’s security policies and procedures, ensuring that everything is updated, and reflecting all operational and environmental changes. This combination of technical and non-technical evaluations produces a prioritized gap analysis.
- Conduct Risk Analysis
This risk analysis goes over high-level evaluations, applying to PHI data assets identified during your previous security evaluations. That means assessing any potential risks and vulnerabilities to the availability, confidentiality, and integrity of data so that such risks can be identified and mitigated appropriately.
- Have a Contingency Plan
Knowing the specific risks your organization can face can determine the proper preventative measures needed to stay compliant with federal regulations. That’s where a compliance and mitigation plan comes along, which must include every aspect of the HIPAA Security Rule.
Those aspects must incorporate administrative safeguards, like policies and procedures on emerging technologies. It should also include physician safeguards and technical safeguards.
- Layer Authentication Processes
Yes, cybersecurity learning is also a must in organizations that should stay HIPAA compliant. You shouldn’t only rely on passwords for your software and employee accounts. You must layer the authentication process with multi-factor authentication.
Match a solid and unique username and password with other secure and accepted factors to prevent data breaches that can cost the organization money.
- Use the Right Software and Apps
Ensure that your organization uses the appropriate HIPAA-compliant software to make it easier to manage protected health information. The electronic record-keeping must include data storage solutions and forms complying with HIPAA requirements.
Besides that, you must ensure that the cloud storage and apps the organization uses are compliant. All storage and apps used need to meet HIPAA security guidelines, with the service providing a business associate agreement that states they are HIPAA compliant.
Wrapping It Up
Follow these practices to stay HIPAA compliant to avoid hefty fines and losing your business from poor reputation and lawsuits.