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      4 Easy Ways to Maintain HIPAA Compliance in Your Medical Practice

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      In this age of cybersecurity and ransomware attacks, protecting patient data and maintaining HIPAA compliance within the practice is of the utmost importance.

      Implement HIPAA-compliant healthcare technology software

      While sometimes data security and HIPAA compliance can require complex solutions, other times it simply requires staff members to take some simple steps to ensure HIPAA compliance.

      Here are four ways to make ensure your practice is HIPAA compliant:

      Let's start with the basics. If your practice is looking to purchase an electronic medical records (EMR) and practice management (PM) system, the search should start only with systems that are HIPAA-compliant.

      Truth be told, it would be nearly impossible to find a system that isn't HIPAA-compliant these days, so hone in on the ones that go the extra mile to make sure each patient's data is protected.

      Study the security measures and evaluate which software works best with the specific needs of the practice. Also, don't worry about cloud-based solutions in regard to security. While many assume security in cloud-based solutions is not as impressive compared to a traditional on-site systems because of the increased control a practice has with on-site solutions, it's simply just not true. Research shows that cloud-based systems report less security incidents than traditional on-site systems. 

      ONGOING Staff Training

      Educating and training staff members on HIPAA compliance is an important way to maintain a high compliance standard within the practice, especially with employees who are directly using or disclosing protected health information in any way.

      It's not enough to conduct a one-time training, however. Compliance regulations are always evolving, so staff members need to be aware of any important changes as well as constantly participating in refresher courses to stay sharp when it comes to protecting patient information.

      Conduct Regular Risk Assessments

      No practice is perfect, and when it comes to protecting patient information, practices need to be perfect.

      A great way to strive for perfection is to conduct regular risk assessments throughout the practice. Not only do risk assessments reveal any potential vulnerabilities, but it will help ensure any confidentiality or integrity of protected health information.

      By discovering and addressing the vulnerability before it becomes a legitimate problem will save the practice a significant amount of money and stress.

      Possession of mobile devices

      One of the most prominent ways protected health information is stolen or exposed is through a staff member's mobile device. With many EMRs able to be used via a mobile device, it makes sense that staff members would utilize the capability in order to enhance the convenience of doing their jobs.

      However, this also increases the vulnerability in which data can be stolen, given the nature that mobile devices can often be misplaced or forgotten.

      Consistently reminding staff members to maintain possession of their mobile devices and to always their location is vital to maintaining a high level of HIPAA-compliance and integrity.

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