With employees in and out of your practice and new technologies on the rise, maintaining HIPAA compliance in all aspects of your business gets harder and harder. Keeping up with HIPAA requirements isn't going anywhere soon, if anything, it will likely continue to get harder. That's why we think it's important to have a plan of attack for maintaining security of patient information in your practice.
We've got 6 tips for managing eye care processes that could lead to different HIPAA pitfalls in your practice. We'll start out with risk analysis, and touch on things like employee compliance, social media use, and more.
Check Off These HIPAA Compliance Tips this YearStart with Risk Analysis
While risk analysis is a requirement for Meaningful Use, even if you aren't participating, it's a good idea to perform a risk analysis on your practice. Performing a risk analysis will help you review and understand all aspects of your practice's physical safety, administrative safety, technical safety, office policies, and organizational requirements. This can be a big undertaking, but the advantages of knowing where risk could be in your practice are important.Don't Ignore Employee Compliance
Your entire team needs to be HIPAA trained and certified. Keeping documentation of your staff's compliance is an important part of the process. On top of their training and certification, review their work stations and ensure that passwords and patient information are secure and protected. It's one thing to complete your HIPAA certification, and it's another to make sure employees are implementing those practices.Confirm Compliance with Vendors
This is one that can slip through the cracks. Be sure to check with any business associates and vendors that you work with to confirm their HIPAA compliance. Confirming this verification secures your compliance and helps prevent the possibility of an outside party breaching your information and causing problems for your practice.Think about How You Use Social Media
We know that social media is an important tool for your practice, and being careful of HIPAA sensitive information on social media is something you need to be aware of, especially if different members of your team are interacting on your behalf. Social media is not the place to be sharing patient information with your followers, and it's not the place to be providing patient specific medical advice either. If someone reaches out to you with specific medical questions, let them know publicly that you will follow up with them via phone or secure message.Double Check Your Apps
Just like your vendors and associates, you should be making sure that any medical apps you're using in your practice are HIPAA compliant and secure. Better safe than sorry!Put a Timer on Your Maintenance
It can be hard to keep track of your HIPAA maintenance. That's why it's best to set a calendar reminder for yourself to check up on your HIPAA compliance and security once or twice a year. A reminder to tell you it's time to review your risk analysis and security measures will help ensure you don't go years between each check up!
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