A common misconception in many industries is the state of compliance and security. Many businesses believe that having security measures in place means they are staying compliant as well. However, just because you have comprehensive security in place for your medical records and other patient data doesn’t mean you’re staying compliant. Keeping compliant and safe requires more than just a protective casing for your data. You need an active security program combined with a sturdy compliance plan to avoid the risk of breaches down the line.
HIPAA IT COMPLIANCE
HIPAA regulations establish national standards that should be followed and enforced to protect medical patient records, personal information, and healthcare provider data. These compliance regulations are extensive but help paint a picture of what is and isn’t acceptable. Failing to stick to these parameters can result in expensive fines and increased audits.
Should a data breach occur when you are not compliant, you will take a significant blow to your reputation beyond the monetary fallout. IT should be working to create, not just a secure framework, but a compliant one. Staying compliant means you need to be diligent, always staying ahead by constantly reviewing your services and whether they stay within regulations. Each branch of your business can do its part to ease the burden of compliance checks, while also helping IT.
HIPAA COMPLIANCE AND IT SECURITY
IT security should be in charge of planning and implementing a secure framework that will keep everyone safe and compliant. With a proper IT security officer in place, the framework is able to be applied to software, such as servers, and hardware, such as computers. Compliance is a process best taken in steps by a compliance officer or someone similarly versed in the many compliance practices.
Once your business has its HIPAA IT compliance certification, you’re clear for at least the next year, but keeping that HIPAA certification in practice is an extensive job. HIPAA compliance for IT vendors works much the same as normal compliance, except in this case, they are extending protective services to another entity, meaning they need to be even more rigorous in keeping up with compliance than standard businesses, in some cases.
IT SECURITY STANDARDS
Keeping up with compliance can be difficult, as there are multiple steps to be aware of. Because ITque has many clients in the “professional services” space (i.e. legal, healthcare, financial, etc.), we have an in-depth understanding of HIPAA compliance (as well as these other industries) and how to create a compliance program that stands the test of time. Here are some highlights to help you work through creating the perfect program that keeps you safe and compliant:
- Create and implement written policies that regulate standards of conduct.
- Design and designate a compliance officer and committee that can work hand in hand with IT and other departments to ensure continued compliance and safety.
- Create training courses to help everyone stay compliant and avoid security issues.
- Develop lines of communication that are secure and effective.
- Conduct internal monitoring and auditing to streamline processes.
- Enforce standards with disciplinary guidelines through a public channel so everyone is always aware.
- Respond promptly to any detected issues with security or compliance so they don’t continue to grow.
By following this list and working with your IT service provider, you can not only stay ahead of any issues but prevent them altogether. If they do occur, you will have a system in place to deal with them promptly.
If you need help creating a plan or staying compliant, ITque has the expertise to help you create the perfect plan to keep your patients’ medical and other data safe and secure while also staying HIPAA compliant. Stay compliant with ITque.
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