HIPAA compliance is a big term that is often used in the healthcare industry. Any medical service provider to be compliant with the HIPAA rules has to follow various essential steps. Being HIPAA compliant is not easy and is rather a complex task. HIPAA compliance is an ongoing process and understanding the complex rules can be impossible as it will take too much time and with other tasks, it may not be possible. The best and one of the most effective ways to properly implement a full proof HIPAA program and get HIPAA certification is creating an action plan for compliance and assigning small regular tasks to get the entire HIPAA regulation.
The essential steps to be HIPAA compliant are as follows:-
1. Conduct a Risk Assessment:
Conduct risk analysis and ascertain that the risk analysis report has detailed information on the step to step implementation of the audit, the systems that were evaluated, and the risk or the vulnerabilities that were identified. Creating a risk management plan and identifying the areas prone to risk is a better option.
2. Create, review, and update all of the HIPAA policies and procedures:
Policies and procedures form the core for the success of HIPAA compliance. Run a gap analysis for your policies and procedures. Figure out the policies that are missing or the policies that are not of the required standards to meet the compliance. Check if the organization is following the policies that have been formulated by you. Using the HIPAA audit protocol as the core foundation for the formulation of policies and procedures can be of great help. It will be of great help to apply the HIPAA Privacy Policies depending on the HIPAA audit protocol.
3. Provide training to the workforce:
Ensuring that your workforce is adequately trained and educated about the HIPAA policies and procedures is a crucial step for HIPAA compliance. The employees should be well aware of the HIPAA process and policies and all the essentials regarding storing, transferring, destroying, or encrypting the sensitive data. Online HIPAA training to the staff can be a great way to ensure the effective compliance of HIPAA.
4. Conduct regular HIPAA audits:
HIPAA established requirements for regular audits to prove it’s being HIPAA compliant. Also to prove its compliance with the regulations and ascertaining who is assessing the protected health information and for what reasons. A thorough HIPAA audit program can reduce internal threats and external inappropriate access to the information. Also, it will give an insight to the organization regarding its areas of non-compliance and the efforts that it requires to meet the compliance.
5. Use security technology:
HIPAA does not specifically lay down the use of any technology, but the use of technology can help in HIPAA compliance within the organization. An organization should work with the information technology department or information technology vendor to ascertain the technologies that could be of help in HIPAA compliance. Inclusion of technologies for encryption for data transmission, intrusion detection software, audit logging software is required.