There is no doubt that most of the entities for which HIPAA is mandatory take the necessary measures to ensure that HIPAA is implemented properly in their organisation. However, one must keep in mind that there is always room for improvement. It is important that one keeps updating their knowledge about any new things or changes in the HIPAA certification rules. With changes in technology, it is important that the organisations follow the HIPAA compliance rules strictly.
1. Keep an account of the basic compliance requirement:
You need to keep reviewing and checking if you are following the basic requirements of HIPAA. First, you need to check if you are a covered entity. You may also appoint an officer who will take care of the security. Documentation and analysis of risk to protected health information is also necessary. Maintenance, review and updation of the policies are also essential. Train those employees who are going to handle PHI. You must have a proper agreement with your business associates and also make sure that you have ways of determining any violations.
2. Adopt practices to protect your data:
For the protection of all the data it is important that you keep a tab on all the devices that you or the employees are using to access the sensitive data. Data encryption is a must and all the data has to get transmitted through a secure connection. When you decide that any hard drive etc will no longer be used, then you have to make sure that you destroy them completely. You also need to have your password policy in place. The passwords that are used have to be very complex. Also make it a practice to ensure that the passwords are changed on a regular basis. All the electronic access has to be audited on a regular basis.
A document which has sensitive data has to be maintained properly. Print sensitive data only if it is necessary. Also these documents should never be misplaced and they must be destroyed properly. One of the important things that one learns in HIPAA certification courses is how to identify any violation and how to take proper precautions to avoid any such breaches or violations from occurring. Basic patching is a must for all the devices that you connect by a network. This security protection will also prevent any violations or loss of data from occurring. You have to make it very clear to the employees that all the devices that they use to access any information must be well protected. Loss of PHI can occur when the device is misplaced or lost. The update of the existing BA agreement is also a very important aspect.
Overall one has to keep in mind that they have to be alert and take the best compliance measures in order to ensure that no violations occur and that all the sensitive information is protected completely. The measures suggested above are only for guidelines and they are not the complete list of measures that one needs to take.