How to Execute A Successful HIPAA Compliance Plan
HIPAA compliance isn’t easy to handle on your own. Even when you have a plan in place, managing it can be difficult without help. How compliant is your practice?
HIPAA compliance is not an entirely straightforward process. Compliance is complex, and there is a critical element of assessment and planning that needs to go into your compliance strategy. HIPAA compliance has a long list of requirements, and overlooking even a single one can mean serious consequences for your business.
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How To Tackle HIPAA Compliance While Working With IT Companies In Monterey, CA
These tips will help give you a clearer idea of where your practice currently stands, and help you better understand the HIPAA rules as you prepare to make the changes needed to reach compliance. The key with each of these tips is to consider how one of your local IT companies in Monterey, CA can assist with them.
1. Delegate The Important Roles
Someone on your staff, or your IT support provider, should be taking on the role of Privacy and Security Officer for your organization. While not specifically asked for, you’ll also need to have members of your team handling compliance documentation. Individuals with good organizational and writing skills are needed in this position, given that documenting your actions is a huge part of HIPAA compliance.
A designated Security Officer and clear documentation are required to meet the Administrative Safeguards. This isn’t the sort of thing you can just hope to have taken care of; take action and give the responsibility to someone you can trust.
2. Gather Necessary Information Through Assessment
You can’t make any of the truly necessary changes to your current HIPAA compliance if you don’t know what you’re dealing with. Whomever you delegate the compliance officer role to needs to start by gathering crucial information about the state of your compliance.
This is one way in which IT companies in Monterey, CA can be so helpful. Many IT companies that specialize in HIPAA compliance and offer assessment and audit services that double-check an organization’s compliance against widely accepted best practices.
Your assessment, whether handled independently or not, needs to cover both macro and micro levels to make sure your electronic protected health information (ePHI) is secure. This is a mandatory aspect of any healthcare organization’s compliance endeavors. Not only is it compulsory, but it’s the foundation for implementing safeguards to better protect your organization
3. Roll Out Best Practices
Once you have determined where your compliance may be lacking, it’s time to address any such areas. The best way to do so is to consult with one of the IT companies in Monterey, CA and apply their expertise to the task.Your IT company should be capable of recommending and implementing policies and procedures. These will provide your staff, and anyone who handles your sensitive information, a blueprint explaining the do’s and don’ts when it comes to HIPAA compliance.
4. Train Your Employees
With the right practices and policies in place, the last part of your cybersecurity defense that needs attention is you and your employees. The best cybersecurity technology and practices in the world can be undone by one staff member who doesn’t understand how to use them, or how to protect the data they work with.
A comprehensive compliance and cybersecurity training program (delivered by one of your local IT companies in Monterey, CA) will teach your staff how to handle a range of potential situations:
- How to participate in compliance best practices
- How to identify and address suspicious emails, phishing attempts, social engineering tactics, and more.
- How to use business technology without exposing patient data and other assets to external threats by accident.
- How to respond when you suspect that your organization is noncompliant
5. Put An Incident Response Plan In Place
No matter how well you follow the above steps, don’t ever assume that you’re 100% protected from noncompliance and/or cybercrime. You have to have contingencies in place to dictate your response in the event that something goes wrong.This incident response plan should cover both how you determine that a breach has occurred, as well as how you report it.
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