HIPAA: Five Tips for Complying with The Certificate
What is HIPAA? Currently, this is one of the most frequently asked questions by many professionals working in the healthcare industry, especially in times of the Covid-19 pandemic.
But why is it so important and what are its benefits for healthcare companies? First, it is critical to comply with HIPAA to ensure that more secure procedures are in place regarding the handling of some critical information.
However, it must be emphasized that this law is North American. Based on this, there is no document or certificate in Brazil capable of attesting that your company is working following HIPAA.
Thus, working following HIPAA means working in accordance with the standards established by foreign law.
But following these guidelines is a movement that, fortunately, has been gaining many followers in Brazil.
It must be taken into account that HIPAA is extremely important, as it aims to ensure information security in all companies operating in the healthcare industry.
With that in mind, we have prepared an article with five fundamental tips to help your company work in compliance with this law. Check it out!
1. Know HIPAA in Detail
Why is it important to know all the details of HIPAA? To make sure all its points are met.
As mentioned, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) is a law of foreign origin and applicable in the United States.
So, it can be described as a group of standards aimed at companies in the healthcare industry.
The aim is to ensure data protection. Although HIPAA is legally applicable to the North American territory, this law has inspired many entities around the globe that are part of the healthcare universe.
These companies use various resources to adapt to the rules and guidelines set forth by this law.
The intention is to practice the procedures that guarantee enhanced security in relation to information that circulates in the healthcare sector.
As a result, customers are more confident in doing business with companies that adapt to this foreign law.
Therefore, you can increase the credibility of your brand in a market that is increasingly competitive.
Requirements to Be HIPAA Compliant
Certain requirements must be followed by all companies that aim to comply with HIPAA.
After all, they indicate the standards necessary to protect the electronic medical records of doctors and patients.
Based on this, one could say this law was created to cover several objectives, such as:
- Offer improvements to the healthcare industry;
- Ensure a high level of security of patient information and privacy;
- Determine that healthcare companies provide medical records to patients whenever requested;
2. Assess Your Company’s Infrastructure According to HIPAA
One of the key issues for companies looking to comply with HIPAA standards is a thorough analysis of their IT structure.
For that, they must have a broad vision of the possible vulnerabilities and risks that may appear during the activities.
In this way, it will be possible to identify sensitive loopholes to fully comply with this law.
Another interesting aspect is to assess the information security practices present in the organization and understand if the level of security provided by them is within the ideal.
Thus, analyze whether these practices are capable of guaranteeing the confidentiality of health information, as well as the security of data considered more sensitive.
An effective tip is to observe the procedures being performed to obtain the resources capable of correcting current threats, thus conforming to HIPAA guidelines.
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3. Use Effective Practices to Remediate Current Threats
The standards focus mainly on actions that aim to protect possible threats to the integrity and security of information.
Therefore, a company cannot disclose and use data not authorized by patients.
Likewise, the procedures must ensure the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of protected health information.
Based on this, adapting to the HIPAA guidelines requires a conscious attitude and in-depth knowledge.
For this reason, after performing the analysis of the entire infrastructure, it will be important to use the best security practices to correct the possible vulnerabilities of the company.
Often, this fix can only consist of some technical issues, such as using a better firewall or a system update.
In other situations, issues may require more complex and detailed actions.
So, it is often important and recommended to seek help from specialists or companies specialized in this type of service from the very beginning.
In addition to having a strong knowledge of HIPAA, these professionals understand the best practices to be used to comply with the law, helping a company to analyze and improve the entire IT structure.
4. Seek Help to Comply with HIPAA Standards
It is necessary to consider that HIPAA is still somewhat unknown in Brazil.
However, its standards have been drawing the attention of several companies in the healthcare area.
Probably, they seek to learn more deeply about HIPAA and its fundamental aspects to understand the best ways to adapt to its guidelines.
A matter of utmost importance is to ensure the protection of patient information and privacy.
For this, consider whether your company is really capable of dealing with potential cyber threats.
It is worth noting that to comply with all the provisions of the law, it may be extremely necessary to seek the help of a qualified professional.
After all, a specialized company will be able to remodel your organization’s infrastructure, providing total protection and security to the data in it.
5. Employee Training
In order to comply with HIPAA guidelines, it is important to encourage employees to use the standards appropriate to the legislation.
Therefore, it is essential to provide training to health company employees.
First, it is important to encourage them to develop a broad vision in compliance with HIPAA, respecting all parameters applicable to organizations.
This training should also inform them of responsibilities regarding business associates and covered entities.
Another important requirement is to explain issues regarding personally identifiable information (PII) and the best ways to handle data from underage patients.