Health Information Management

Privacy and security primer: Tips from the September 2014 issue of Briefings on HIPAA

HIM-HIPAA Insider, September 22, 2014

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  1. Much like resolution agreements, OCR reports can serve as teachable moments. Examining the top issues can help organizations identify common trouble spots, which can help them consider areas where more effective safeguards and mitigation may be necessary.
  2. The best way to safeguard your organization from theft and loss of devices that store PHI is encryption. Start by encrypting all desktop and laptop computers at your organization.
  3. It is recommended that organizations restrict workforce members from storing sensitive data on flash drives, but this practice may not work well for some organizations. If workforce members must use flash drives, issue ones that have built-in encryption.
  4. Implement a policy that restricts workforce members to using an encrypted company-issued phone for business purposes.
  5. Configure smartphones so the data can be remotely wiped in the event that the device is lost or stolen.
  6. Circumvent unauthorized access or disclosure of paper PHI by implementing clean desk policies and performing regular checks to enforce them.
  7. Periodically monitor employee behavior and ensure they are following proper procedures. These compliance checks can often provide valuable insight for future training.
  8. Whether your organization wipes leased devices in-house, relies on the leasing organization, or contracts with a third-party to do so, ensure that the necessary precautions are taken. Establish a business associate agreement prior to allowing an outside company to wipe data from devices.
     

Continue reading "Privacy and security primer: Tips from the September 2014 issue of Briefings on HIPAA" on the HCPro website. Subscribers to Briefings on HIPAA have free access to this article in the September issue.

 



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