The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, (HIPAA), is intended to protect private information and data and to make sure that the health care system is more efficient. Since technology is widely used in hospitals, the availability of information about patients, their healthcare portfolios and general patient care has greatly improved. However, technology makes it easy for healthcare providers to lose or share patient information without a patient's consent and create potential HIPAA violations.
It takes a lot of discipline to comply with HIPAA policies and it is important for employees to take training courses that will help them know what to do to avoid making HIPAA violations. If a HIPAA violation occurs, the consequences can be minimal or serious. A healthcare professional who is found to have violated HIPAA policies may pay hefty fines or serve a jail term. The common HIPAA violations that can take place in a workplace include the following;
Failure To Maintain Oral Privacy:
Oral privacy is one of the HIPAA provisions that can be demanding for healthcare providers to comply with. This is especially the case with ignorant employees who access patient information. They may not think that it is wrong to mention a patient's name or tell other people about the current health condition of a patient. When this happens, the employee concerned can be fined, jailed or have his/her medical license revoked. If the HIPAA violations occurred accidentally, the fine will could range from $100 to $1,000 dollars per violation.
Failure To Safeguard Information Sent Via Email:
This common HIPAA violations, which involves failing to ensure that third parties cannot access information about a patient that is sent through email. The best way to avoid making this violation is using data protection and recovery measures and having adequate knowledge about cyber security.
Looking at Patient Files Without A Valid Reason:
This is a common HIPAA violations that can be committed by insurance providers, healthcare professionals or staff members. HIPAA regulations state that it is illegal to look at the information of a patient for no reason. Implementing this regulation is hard and it is also very hard to prove that such a violation occurred. However, it is essential for all workplaces that deal with patient information to be aware of this regulation in order to improve the standards of the professional healthcare that patients receive.
Failure To Destroy All Old Patient Information:
Healthcare providers who have access to confidential patient information are supposed to destroy old information about the patients in a systematic manner. When this fails to happen, it is considered to be a violation of HIPAA regulations. The Act stipulates that healthcare providers should properly destroy confidential information so that it cannot be misused and avoid HIPAA violations.
Healthcare providers should take measures that will ensure that HIPAA regulations are followed. One thing that they can do is to appoint an individual who will be in charge of reviewing the procedures and policies relating to patients. They also need to take security measures to ensure that sensitive information is not misused. All healthcare workers also need to receive training about HIPAA regulations through regular training courses that will keep them up to date with new guidelines to avoid HIPAA violations.