How Does HIPAA Relate to Security
Many HIPAA requirements focus on following security protocols that protect patient information. You need to meet physical, administrative, and technical safeguards before you conform to HIPAA rules. The following article will focus on how HIPAA relates to security. These steps will help ensure that you protect patient information, avoid fines, and maintain an untarnished reputation.
Give Your Employees Secure Accounts
Your accounts need secure ways to access information that will help with patient care. They also need security features that prevent data leaks. A secure employee account should:
- Require a user ID
- Automatically log off after a brief period of inactivity
- Require a strong password
- Automatically encrypt information entered into the system
- Automatically decrypt information the employee has authorization to view
You want to make sure everyone in your organization can quickly but safely access the data they need to do their jobs well. Striking the right balance may seem challenging, but common-sense policies usually become obvious within a short amount of time.
Use the Latest HHS Risk Assessment Tool (SRA)
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) provides a risk assessment tool (SRA) that organizations within the healthcare industry can download and use for free. The tool does not solve your security problems, but it can scan your system to identify common threats and vulnerabilities. Once you know about potential threats, you can hire an IT professional with HIPAA security experience to provide a solution.
Always use the latest version of the SRA to make sure you detect recent vulnerabilities.
Work With Service Providers That Follow HIPAA Guidelines
You may know that you have a secure system that protects your patient information. If your service providers do not follow HIPAA guidelines, though, you could have holes in your security that make it easy for criminals to infiltrate your network.
Require a risk assessment from any service providers and vendors that you work with. If you plan to enter into a new agreement with a company, check its security protocols to ensure it meets HIPAA requirements.
Don’t let your excellent security make you feel invulnerable. After all, several branches of the U.S. government were under attack for months during 2019 and 2020 before anyone discovered the threat. The vulnerability came from third-party software used by the agencies. If a third-party vulnerability can put the Department of Justice (DOJ) at risk, your organization must take similar threats seriously.
More HIPAA Security Information
You can learn more about how HIPAA relates to security by visiting HIPAA Journal’s HIPAA Compliance Checklist 2021.
If you need help with your network security, reach out to CPI Solutions to talk to an expert in healthcare security compliance. CPI Solutions provides network security, backup recovery, disaster recovery, and other services that can keep you in compliance with HIPAA standards.