The Health Insurance Portability and Answerability Act (HIPAA) takes the privacy with the patients’ personal information very seriously and means that covered entities like hospitals and insurance firms and plans follow all the suggestions framed for such purposes, and undertakes to penalize such entities or their employees for almost any breach.
These laws cover a host of different situations that encompasses every one of the possible aspects related to protected well being information (PHI). Employers are required to give education to employees for ensuring compliance to HIPAA security policies rules but often times actions undertaken on the spur of the moment can cause a violation.
The following 5 illustrations explore some such violations.
– World wide web: The Internet is now an integral section of health care; in fact HIPAA has always motivated the management and communication of PHI from the electronic medium. However this otherwise useful medium can be a prime cause of violations too. Such breach can occur erroneously if employees send emails for the wrong recipients or communicate through size emails. Such breach can also happen when the communication is intercepted simply by unauthorized sources, which is why HIPAA advises encryption of such information. There may also be many cases of willful violations where employees publish confidential information on certain health related websites.
– Media: Another example of HIPAA Certification violation is when staff leaks PHI to the media just like newspapers and magazines. Such illegal disclosures tend to be often seen when the information worries celebrities and politicians for obvious causes. Also at times nurses or doctors might find yourself speaking to the media when a known figure is at a hospital, however this is a breach too and such matters has to be left to the concerned spokesperson.
: Expressed Permission: Very often you may spontaneously reply to a patient’s family member and share personal information, but remember that as per the law it is a violation. The patient is required to give a written and in some cases a verbal consent and only after that any area of the PHI can be disclosed to family, no matter how close.
– Need to find out Basis: Often a violation takes place when way too many people are party to the private information which increases the probability of an accidental or deliberate disclosure. Thus it’s a good idea that only those employees must gain access to the data that need it to execute their duties. Also avoid accessing the info more often than necessary because excessive views will probably be recorded in the maintained logs and will often incite suspicion.
– Lax Safety Measures: Several past cases have shown that many violations are not caused because of lack in security measures but because of poor implementation because of general callousness. Common examples are if the computer is left unlocked where the data is available to anyone or storing sensitive data on machines which can be not adequately protected.
As an employee working at any of the covered entities it is vital that you find all the possible situations which can be in breach of the HIPAA regulations because such violations invite penalty although done unknowingly.
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