The medical industry is strictly regulated and often with good reason. As a professional who deals with the treatment of illness and injuries, you often interact with patients during the most vulnerable time in their lives. While not every ailment is life-threatening or long-term, there are still many standards that have to be followed. Rules that are HIPAA compliance-related, are often among the strictest of medical industry guidelines. Having the proper systems, rules, and software platforms in place is critical to meeting HIPAA compliance and avoiding any possible issues.
HIPAA Compliance Defined
Meeting HIPAA compliance requires you to meet the standards and regulations as defined by the law. Proper tools allow you to track and manage information in a way that meets legal requirements. These include regular self-audits, proper management of any incidents of concern, business associate management, keeping documents and records, having a clearly defined remediation plan, and having proper training methods, policies, and standards of performance in place. While many of these requirements are simply good business practices, some can get highly precise and require the proper software tools to meet.
Why Compliance Is So Important
- Technology: healthcare is a broad and growing industry and as technology improves so does the amount of interaction healthcare companies have with various technological systems. Systems tracking healthcare records, doctor orders, and federal government databases are common and have made healthcare faster and more streamlined. However, such technology introduces areas of venerability such as data theft. A key component of HIPAA is the protection of patient records and, by following the rules closely, you ensure patient data is safe and secure.
- Protect Your Patients: trust is important in healthcare due to the nature of the industry. The safety and well-being of your patients is critical and should always be one of your main concerns. In the modern world protecting one’s personal information from various types of fraud and cybercrime is a challenge. Medical data is some of the most valuable information about a person and if that information is not properly protected it can have far-reaching negative results. Following HIPAA guidelines ensures that you do your part in keeping your patients’ private information safe.
- Prevent Fines: the government and regulatory bodies take HIPAA compliance very seriously. A violation of HIPAA procedures and compliance can lead to fines. Violation penalties and fines can vary in amount and the most extreme cases can be in the millions. Following proper procedures helps prevent violations and the associated fines they can cause. In addition, preventing violations also helps keep your patients happy as it means their information is safe and being handled responsibly by someone they can trust.
Following HIPAA rules is an unavoidable part of the medical profession and these rules and regulations need to be taken seriously and carefully adhered to. One way to assist your employees in meeting HIPAA guidelines is having a properly maintained data center and software available from them to track and record HIPAA-related information. Having the right tools in place helps prevent accidental violations, the mishandling of customer data, and helps record all the associated documents in a patient’s file.