The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) was passed by the Congress of the US in 1996 and regulates four key aspects of healthcare:
- The ability to transfer and continue health insurance coverage for American employees when they change employment or remain unemployed;
- The mitigation of fraud and abuse in the healthcare field;
- The establishment of standards for various electronic documents across the healthcare field;
- The establishment of rules and regulations for the protection of confidential information about individuals’ health.
The fourth aspect of HIPPA is the main concern for any healthcare professional because it has very wide and detailed applications. Confidentiality refers to all types of health information, irrespective of the medium of storing or transmission:
- Printed copy
- Electronic document
- Oral communication.
In this article, we will present some of the most common HIPAA violations that may occur in your practice and how to mitigate them using ChiroWebMD chiropractic software.
1. Unauthorized Access to Patient Records
One of the most common forms of HIPAA violations is snooping on a patient’s health records by an unauthorized person. In most cases, the unauthorized person is a staff member of the healthcare unit, acting out of sheer curiosity.
ChiroWebMD chiropractic software helps you prevent such a situation. Each member of your staff has a specific user role assigned with access strictly to the data they need to perform their job duties. At the same time, the user with administrative rights can see an overview of the actions performed by the other users in the software suite: accessed, edited, or deleted documents.
2. Using Personal Devices and Email Accounts for Accessing EHR
Electronic health records (EHR) can easily be hacked or accessed by an unauthorized person if they are stored or accessed from an unsecured personal device (smartphone, laptop, or tablet). The use of personal devices is a sensitive issue in many industries. In the healthcare field, it leads to the risk of HIPAA violation.
The chiropractic software developed by ChiroWebMD mitigates this risk by storing all EHR in a secure cloud facility. Users who have the access to these documents will view and edit the documents within this cloud storage facility, without the possibility of downloading or attaching them to an email message.
3. Releasing Patient Information to Unauthorized Persons
Healthcare staff must never share any health records or information about a patient’s health with anyone who is not authorized to receive this information, including family members and friends. However, it is one of the most frequent reasons for lawsuits for HIPAA violations by hospitals, clinics, private practices, and other healthcare facilities.
As a chiropractor, you and your staff are also subject to the obligation to refuse to share patient information with unauthorized persons. With ChiroWebMD chiropractic software, you can control access to health records. As for verbal communications, you can use the software suite to train your staff and explain the risks and penalties they may face.
4. Loss/Improper Disposal of Patient Records
Printed documents can be lost, stolen, or destroyed. At the same time, without a paper shredder available, the documents that are supposed to be destroyed may be taken by unauthorized persons from the waste bin.
The secure storage facility provided by ChiroWebMD chiropractic software prevents the loss or destruction of any document, either accidental or intentional. When a specific patient file needs to be disposed of, it is deleted in a secure manner, which prevents further retrieval.
5. Failure to Use Encryption for EHR
Encryption is the process of making an electronic document secure from unauthorized access by hacking or other unlawful methods. Authorized personnel needs to type in an encryption key (a password) to access these documents. Otherwise, anyone gaining access to a device where the documents are stored (computer, server, laptop, etc.) can view, edit, copy or delete them. And this represents a major HIPAA violation.
As we explained above, ChiroWebMD chiropractic software uses secure cloud storage to keep all your sensitive patient files. This secure facility features advanced cybersecurity and encryption.
ChiroWebMD is the only chiropractic software created especially for practitioners like you. Find out more on https://chirowebmd.com/