Medical service providers will need to seriously evaluate and beef up their IT security protocols if they hope to pass the HIPAA security audit.
As many as 79% of covered entities may likely fail to pass this HIPAA audit if they don’t prepare beforehand, and can be subject to a variety of fines for failing to do so.
Patient security is vital these days as can be seen by the Redspin Breach Report which shows that in 2013 there were more that 800 patient data breaches which involved as many as 29 million patient records.
Although new technology streamlines the work at medical facilities, today’s technology is also coming under greater risk and is more vulnerable to the wiles of hackers. This is especially true when you include the use of mobile devices such as Smartphone’s, and any other device with audio and video capability.
Outside threats can come from a variety of other sources such as weaknesses in the physical environment, third party vulnerabilities, and leaks which occur from within the medical facility by employees accessing information in an inappropriate manner.
The fines for failing a HIPAA audit will vary according to the breach potential and can range anywhere from $100 to as high as $50,000. Security breaches can also compromise the confidence of patient users and can harm business in a variety of ways.
The 3 basic protocols that the HIPAA audit of medical practitioners will to be to review the security in 3 areas including:
- Privacy Rule Requirements
- Administrative, Physical and Technical Safeguards
- Processes and Operations
Review Your Security Protocols Now
It is vital that you use a third party consultant that specializes in security and has a full understanding of the HIPAA and HITECH requirements to ensure your systems and security are secure from vulnerabilities.
It is not enough to simply rely on firewalls, but you should also look at intrusion detection, how to safeguard third party users, and consider using data encryption to secure your data.
It is also vital that you ensure that all staff members are fully aware of the HIPAA audit requirements and that you establish clear procedures for all your staff to follow to limit potential risk exposures.
The size of your business will vary the need for security measures but regardless, they need to be sufficient to be compliant to ensure you pass the audit and protect patient confidentiality.
Ensure your Medical Practice is HIPAA Compliant
The security of your medical practice is crucial. You and your patients depend on confidentiality, so review your security today. OffSite IT can help you with ensuring you pass a HIPAA audit so contact us today at (866) 828- or send us an email: 6674info@offsiteIT.com .