5 steps to guide you through HIPAA compliance

Though HIPAA is mandatory for healthcare providers, there is no magical product which can be sought to by the companies in order to get fully compliant and also there is no sanctioned checklist to guide you to certification. For guidance, we have chosen some five steps which can help companies get companies build a security program that will help them pass when they have a security check.

1. Assign A Security Official
The security official does all the work; rather, this is the person who tracks compliance requirements and brings projects to the internal groups responsible for implementation. Though most large organizations have designated an information security officer, smaller shops too should not ignore the importance of having a single person responsible for coordinating all HIPAA activities.

2. Determine Your Individual Risks

Risk assessment should be conducted at least every five years and a sustainable security management process should be establishes to reduce risks and vulnerabilities to a reasonable level. This process consists of assessing risk, mitigating identified risks, and documenting risk management processes and procedures. Remember, every time a new system comes online, or a change to an existing system is proposed, the risks need to be assessed.

3. Document Everything
The need for documented policies and standards comes up often in HIPAA’s Security Rule. CMS provides a list of sample questions for HIPAA security audits; most involve review of documentation, starting with policies and procedures.

4. Unique codes for each user
Information access management comprises your policies and procedures to authorize access to personal health information. Every user must have a unique identifier to access patient data.

5. Prepare For Incidents
HIPAA requires that procedures be in place to identify and respond to security incidents, minimize the harmful effects of incidents, and document them and their resolution. Large companies may need to have standing incident response teams with forensics experts on staff, while smaller companies could assign these duties to existing staff and plan to outsource specialized tasks during an incident.