There are a lot of governing rules within the healthcare industry, and if you work in it, it is important that you follow them. Yes, you can get fined by the government or even be imprisoned for not following the guidelines set forth by HIPAA, which is plenty of incentive, but it is also very important to protect you patient’s privacy and all of their personal information. The catch is that you have to store patient information in order to ensure you are giving the best customer care and so there is a record of any problems or treatments for future health issues, but at the same time, those private documents shouldn’t be seen by anyone but the patient, the patient’s doctor, and those who the patient may allow to see the information. With an IT management service, you will be able to have assessments done to ensure you are protecting your patients as well as your practice.
What is HIPAA exactly?
HIPAA is short for the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act which was established in 1996 in order to create assurances for patients that they would have their information kept private and secure in order to prevent information being stolen and used in harmful ways, according to HHS.gov. It became especially important to create these laws as the internet became more popular and online files for patient information started to become the norm for many healthcare practices. People were concerned that the documents weren’t being protected properly or transmitted properly to other doctors, so the law was put into place to protect them.
It is actually a great protection for any practice in the healthcare industry as well. As your patients trust you with all of the personal details of your life, you are able to make a more accurate diagnosis. If they stop trusting you fully because of misuse of information, you will no longer have that trust and may even end up losing patients and your practice because if it. Whether it is your fault or not, misuse of patient information could be devastating to a practice in the healthcare information.
What should you do?
The first thing you need to do is make sure you know the laws. They are very specific and clear about what is and is not appropriate when it comes to sharing confidential patient information. It is essential that you have protection for your facility to keep all of your on-site information safe as well as an encrypted computer system that holds all of your data. When you work with an IT management service, they can come in and identify any areas you may not even realize there are holes in the system. The other great thing is that the service will work to make sure you are following all federal regulation as well as state or local regulation on the subject. Most of all, the service will work with you to check that all of your patients have their information secured.