Healthcare Tips for the Holidays

While it’s easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, it is also an important time to protect your practice.

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The holidays are often chaotic in healthcare. Healthcare entities are often short-staffed, less focused on work, and experiencing larger incidents of breaches and an increase in patient volume.

Unfortunately, cyber hackers and auditors know that the holidays are an ideal time to find healthcare entities with their guards down.

This is why we recommend protecting your practice by focusing on the fundamentals this holiday season.

How can you protect your practice?

Start with these tips:

  1. Don’t just hit ‘accept’ or sign contracts to push through deals by year end. We know many technology and vendor contracts renew on January 1. This is often problematic for practices, as they may accept terms that carry significant liability. Make sure to review all contracts carefully and negotiate important contracts with your healthcare attorney. Don’t give in to the year-end deadline pressure to the detriment of your practice.
  2. Ensure your security is up to date and running smoothly and effectively. Hackers know that employees have their defenses down during the holidays. Make sure all of your updates are installed, your firewalls are up to date, your offsite backups are up to date, and all of your security is effective.
  3. Test your breach and audit protocols. Hackers and auditors are both aware of the oversight that can occur in the busy holiday season. Auditors may take advantage and pay a holiday visit to your office. Make sure your staff knows how to respond to breaches, outside auditors, and investigations.
  4. Have a quick staff training. This can be an effective way to ensure that compliance, HIPAA, and breach readiness are at the forefront of your staff’s minds. This can happen in conjunction with a holiday party, so that it is effective and festive!
  5. Make sure your assets are protected. Ensure that your contracts are up to date, any open employee concerns have been investigated, your insurance coverage is sufficient, and your estate plan is up to date.

If you need help with your safeguards , trainings, internal audits, or other for other legal needs, contact Rickard & Associates today.

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