In the past year, many workers have transitioned to working from home, but in the healthcare industry, this can raise HIPAA concerns. Many staff working from home have relaxed their standards and may be violating HIPAA requirements.
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While the Office of Civil Rights has been exercising enforcement discretion in limited areas related to the COVID-19 pandemic, they have still been heavily enforcing HIPAA.
It is essential that you ensure that your staff is not violating HIPAA, even when not in the office.
How can you protect your patients’ protected health information (PHI) and ensure HIPAA compliance?
Start by the following:
- Make HIPAA training a priority so that your staff knows what is expected of them and is reminded of HIPAA regulations and your policies and procedures;
- Make sure your HIPAA policies and procedures are up-to-date, including with remote work policies;
- Ask your staff if they have a secure place to work, apart from family and friends;
- Make sure that employees are routinely changing passwords;
- If you are allowing staff to print or have physical records, make sure they are locking them when not in use;
- Enhance your practice’s IT so that there are Virtual Private Networks in place;
- Use encryption for all PHI.
If you have specific concerns about your work from home employees, let us know. Rickard & Associates helps clients put in place tailored policies and procedures to protect them from breaches.
In our next blog post, we will keep you informed of related issues. To get this important information delivered directly to your mail box, click here to Subscribe.
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