For IT providers and administrators, HIPAA legislation may seem as though it is ever-evolving and may appear to be a complex and tedious maze of requirements. While it is true that our healthcare system is fairly complex and maintaining compliance from an IT standpoint can be a challenge, Spectra Networks can help your business in three main areas, from physical security of your technology, to technical safeguards, to even administrative training for your employees who are on the front lines of protecting the privacy of your patients. Each month, we will be highlighting issues regarding HIPAA compliance and how to protect the rights of your clients/patients. This month, we are examining why HIPAA compliance is essential so that your employees and staff understand the “why” behind their actions. HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996) is the United States legislation that provides data privacy and security provisions for safeguarding medical information. This legislation comes with many safeguards, including employee training, physical safeguards on technology including passwords, encryption, and storage requirements, as well as technical safeguards when storing, emailing, or transmitting patient information. Why are these requirements so important?
HIPAA was designed to protect patients and their confidential information. Prior to HIPAA, no generally-accepted set of security standards or general requirements for protecting health information existed in the healthcare industry. As technology has quickly evolved in places where healthcare companies are maintaining digital records, this regulation become imperative. Imagine your sensitive medical or dental information in the hands of a hacker! Imagine your personal payment or health stats in the hands of someone with malicious intent!
The HIPAA regulations not only ensure privacy for clients or patients, but it also reduces fraudulent activity and improves data systems. These regulations are estimated to save providers billions of dollars annually. By knowing of and preventing security risks that could result in major compliance costs, organizations are able to focus on growing their profits instead of fearing these potential audit fines.
In addition to protecting patient confidentiality and reducing fraudulent activity, HIPAA allows you, as a patient, to deem who may speak on your behalf. If you were to get in an accident that left you unable to communicate, it is crucial that a trusted individual be able to represent you.
If your business is health care related and you need more information about how you can integrate new products while still maintaining compliance with HIPAA requirements, call or text Spectra Networks at 978.219.9752, or visit our website today. ]]>