If you ask me, I can’t say that I know of a single private practice owner who isn’t concerned about the privacy of their patients. And for good reason. HIPAA regulations are serious, and sanctions for violation severe. Aside from the detrimental impact a violation could have on your patients, the financial implications associated with privacy violations can upset the otherwise greatest of practices.
Check out a few tips we recommend below to give you peace of mind and that can help add protection to your small practice.
There may have been some buzz in recent years about the security and privacy of electronic information. But the truth is, paper documents are more susceptible to loss, theft, and damage than their electronic counterparts. The security of protected health information (PHI) has evolved over many years, and many now argue (myself included) that today’s standards for encryption, storage, and transfer of PHI is much better than can be achieved in the paper world.
Regularly Train Your Staff
Providing your staff members with standard HIPAA training is as easy as signing up your incoming team members or online training. Afterwards, you can also follow this up with clinic-specific training inside your practice. Some training programs can be found at a very affordable cost, so this is an investment that any practice can make in the privacy of their patients.
Set Up Automated Electronic Lockouts
An additional layer of protection includes implementing an automatic password protected lockout on all computer devices that can access PHI. These types of lockouts help make sure that unattended devices cannot be accidentally (or maliciously) accessed in a way that violates patient information. This is definitely something you want to have in place.
Monitor Your Network
I know what you’re thinking – this sounds a bit “big-brotherish.” But when it comes to your privacy, you want security in all the ways. Monitoring all access on your private practice’s computer devices can help protect your patients and their PHI. Better yet, network monitoring solutions can be obtained at a variety of price points, many of which are not cost-prohibitive to practices big and small.
Find out more about how Net Healthy Therapy for Private Practice can help you safeguard your business.
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