What Is HIPAA Compliance?
Before we dive into the HIPAA compliance checklist, let’s make sure we cover our bases with a clear definition of what HIPAA compliance is. HIPAA compliance is a US law set in place to safeguard patient healthcare information. Technology plays a major role in HIPAA compliance, as hardware and software are used to keep all the digital patient data secure.
HIPAA Compliance Titles
We still have more to highlight before we get into the HIPAA compliance checklist. There are 5 titles associated with HIPAA compliance, but the only one that really relates to technology is Title II. Title II states that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services must establish national standards for the processing of electronic healthcare documents. There are also additional privacy regulations set in place by the HHS that must be followed to stay within compliance.
The HIPAA Compliance Rules
There is one last thing we need to go over before we can begin formulating our HIPAA compliance checklist. Let’s talk about HIPAA compliance rules!
The HIPAA Privacy Rule
The privacy rule is derived from the “Standards for Privacy of Individually Identiﬁable Health Information.” In short, this rule highlights the importance of protecting every patient’s health-related data.
The HIPAA Security Rule
The security rule outlines the expectations for how the patient data will be safeguarded. This HIPAA rule is short for “Security Standards for the Protection of Electronic Protected Health Information.”
The HIPAA Enforcement Rule
Don’t break the rules! The enforcement rule states that if companies are not following the laws set up within HIPAA compliance, they can be investigated for compliance infringement.
The HIPAA Compliance Checklist
Once you have your bearings, you can start to go through the HIPAA compliance checklist. The first step on the list is, to begin with, a complete risk assessment and gap breakdown of your data. Are there any red flags? Any processes you need to rework?
The natural next step is to remedy those risks and address any of those compliance gaps that you can. For this part of the compliance process, we recommend the consultation of someone in the healthcare security field. It’s important to have a strategy behind your internal compliance audit, along with the knowledge to avoid any mitigation.
You are almost halfway through your HIPAA compliance checklist! Step 3 is simple. There are applications and compliance reporting tools available to users that can help comb through the mess and keep things organized, and most importantly, stay under compliance in the future.
Once you have your ducks in a row, it’s important to maintain your compliance status. We highly recommend implementing breach protocols to ensure your staff is well trained, and you’re prepared for whatever gets thrown your way.
The last step of the HIPAA compliance checklist is to be proactive with your compliance. Make a point to continuously evaluate and manage your company’s risks. This way, you are several steps ahead in the event of a compliance audit.
Checking All the Boxes
Hopefully, this HIPAA compliance checklist proved helpful for you to begin your journey towards healthcare compliance. At EMPIST, our all-encompassing compliance service scans and reports your information to keep your systems secure and updated for your next compliance audit. If you have more questions regarding IT compliance for your business, visit us online!