How Much Damage Can One Employee Cause?

Unfortunately, a single employee can cost you your patients, your reputation, and large expenses in fines and penalties.

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A Pennsylvania-based health system, Geisinger, recently had to notify over 700 patients after an employee inappropriately accessed their records.

Another Geisinger employee alerted the privacy officer that the employee was looking at records without a business reason. While the employee was able to look at medical records as a part of daily responsibilities, the employee inappropriately viewed over 700 patient records.

The patients were notified and the employee was terminated.

Now Geisinger must deal with the consequences of the acts of one employee.

How do you protect your practice from a similar situation?

Train your employees regularly!

Your employees are your first defense against breaches – both internal and external.

Your employees should be trained on how to react when they find any potential breach or violation of privacy or security policies.

In the Geisinger incident above, an employee correctly reported the wrong-doer to the privacy officer. If your employees know to quickly report other employees who are breaking the law, this can help you to cap your damages.

Also, if you use an EHR, make sure that you have adequate controls in place to control access.

It is also essential that you take employee concerns seriously, so that your employees know that their concerns will be thoroughly investigated.

Good communication is essential.

We help our clients investigate employee concerns and put into place any necessary remediation.

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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