Health Information Management

A mobile workforce presents unique challenges

HIM-HIPAA Insider, October 27, 2014

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A mobile workforce in the healthcare industry presents a unique set of HIPAA privacy and security challenges. As the number of large HIPAA breaches increases and OCR ramps up audits, organizations cannot afford to risk their bottom line and reputation by failing to protect patient privacy and security.
Security challenges increase when workforce members work remotely or when volunteers are brought into the mix. It is difficult for some healthcare organizations—especially homecare, hospice, and similar settings—to hire employees that are credentialed or experienced in HIPAA privacy and security, which means these duties are passed on to someone who already has other responsibilities. For example, I once encountered an organization whose maintenance technician doubled as a privacy and security officer.
When an organization does not have an employee solely dedicated to HIPAA concerns or does not appropriately train its workforce on HIPAA compliance, it may be vulnerable. Understanding and complying with HIPAA regulations is difficult enough for those of us who are credentialed and experienced; it can be overwhelming for someone who does not work with it every day or does not have extensive experience.
There are numerous administrative standards to the HIPAA Privacy and Security Rules that present challenges for organizations with mobile workforces. However, organizations can take certain steps to protect themselves from audits, fines, and penalties.
Continue reading "A mobile workforce presents unique challenges" by Roger Shindell, CHPS, CEO of Carosh Compliance Solutions in Crown Point, Indiana, on the HCPro website. Subscribers to Briefings on HIPAA have free access to this article in the October issue.

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