When it comes to the HIPAA Privacy and Security Rules, the healthcare industry needs to ensure that the Protected Health Information in any form that is maintained, transmitted, and received by the organization is secure from potential risks.
Internal human errors due to lack of security awareness training, poor security protocols, and incomplete risk assessments are just a few factors contributing to stolen, lost, or compromised patient data and medical records.
Some top drivers of risk include:
- Poor Access Control Policies. Inadequate safeguards for user identity and access are easy fixes and need to be a top priority. Stronger password policies, account lockouts and auto-lock for systems and applications.
- Lack of user activity review. Auditing user activity in all operating systems and applications containing ePHI needs to be conducted regularly, especially when users can access medical data outside of the office (web / cloud).
- Inadequate employee training. HIPAA training is a requirement for all workforce in a healthcare environment. Security awareness and cybersecurity training is a must in order to keep your most valuable assets knowledgeable and educated on the risks to the organization.
- Failure to conduct a Risk Analysis. Cannot say this enough. If a comprehensive Risk Analysis is not completed annually, there is no way of knowing the threats and vulnerabilities to the organization’s network and environment, along with this being a HIPAA violation!
- Encrypt and secure data. If cybercriminals gain access to the organization’s data and the data is encrypted, they will not be able to successfully access medical data, PHI, and in some cases PII. Portable devices should always have encryption installed as they are easy targets for theft.
HIPAA compliance isn’t a one-time checklist. It’s ongoing, programmatic in nature, and requires demonstrated reasonable diligence to stay in good standing with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office for Civil Rights (OCR). Anatomy IT can provide you peace of mind with our expert HIPAA compliance services. To learn more, contact us here.