Preventing Problems: 6 Ways to Protect Patient Data

Breaches and cybercrime are continuing to be on the rise, especially in healthcare. It’s essential that you take steps to protect your practice’s protected health information (PHI).

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It’s important to protect your practice from a breach. Breaches can result in a loss of patient trust and patients and large fines from the Office of Civil Rights (OCR).

So how do you protect your practice from breaches and cybercrime?

  1. Perform a risk assessment: Find your practices weaknesses by doing your risk assessment and putting your policies and procedures into place. Not only will this protect your practice against a breach, but it will reduce OCR fines in the event of an audit.
  2. Institute a practice-wide minimally necessary requirement: Make sure that your staff can only access patient data that is required for them to do their job duties. Make sure all of your staff have unique login credentials.
  3. Have an incident response team: This should start with your HIPAA Privacy and Security Officers. Plan for a breach and assign roles so that a breach can be dealt with swiftly and efficiently.
  4. Train your staff: We help our clients train their staff, as it is essential that your employees know about breaches, how breaches occur, and how they can be avoided.
  5. Practice makes perfect: Practice your breach plan often, so that everyone knows their role.
  6. Talk to your business associates: Make sure your business associate agreements are up to date and have clear contracts with all vendors. An open dialogue can ensure that breaches are managed quickly.

As a whole, the healthcare industry is being bombarded by breaches. It is essential that you are proactive to fight off breaches and have a plan in place in case your practice is breached.

We can help you create or update a HIPAA Compliance Plan that includes employee training programs. Contact us today!

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P.S. If you or your patients are interested in consumer healthcare issues, check out myhealthspin.com.

 

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