Design Information Security Policies for HIPAA
Information Security plays a crucial role in HIPAA compliance. Along with ensuring portability of insurance data, the HIPAA policies also require organizations dealing with personal health information (PHI) data to ensure that proper information security practices are being carried out across the organization. This is of vital importance as it guarantees the safety and security of patient data and medical information pertaining to multifarious health conditions.
While it is quite clear that designing proper Information Security Policies is essential for HIPAA compliance, let us delve deeper and see why exactly an organization needs to ensure that proper IT security policies are being maintained at all levels of the business.
Information Security Policies
One of the very first things that any organization looking for HIPAA compliance should bear in mind is the fact that the Information Security Policies cannot be a vague set of practices that may or may not be observed. Instead a proper Information Security Policy should be a collection of clearly defined statements that are meant to steer employee practices regarding the IT assets of the organization.
How Security Policies Are Important
Information Security Policies form the backbone of a successful HIPAA Compliance. Their purpose is not merely to be limited to the pages of the policy document. Instead, the policies should, through proper training, be inculcated in the employees. Active engagement of the stakeholders at all levels should be sought to ensure that the policy document remains relevant at all times.
As HIPAA compliance requires proactive implementation of Information Security Policies, its best at this juncture to explore some of the reasons for this. The following are the top three reasons why it is crucial to implement Information Security Policies for HIPAA.
Threat Protection: At their core, security policies help to protect the digital assets of an organization from the dangers that are rampant in the cyber world. Threats such as malware, ransomware and coordinated cyber attacks can cripple the health system and compromise sensitive medical information. The presence of well-defined security policies help to mitigate, and protect against, such risks.
Access Restriction: When it comes to medical data, the access of the same should be limited only to those who require it. Proper security policies can help in this regard by clearly identifying the persons required to access a particular level of data. This not only ensures confidentiality but also helps to regulate data flow.
Simplifying Complex Compliance Documents: Compliance requirements such as those for HIPAA can be convoluted documents that need careful navigation. Security policies that are professionally prepared can go a long way towards helping an organization understand and implement compliance requirements efficiently and effectively.
For worry free compliance, it is imperative that organizations have a well-documented information security policy in place to guide day-to-day operations. It should also be kept in mind that the policy document is intended to be a dynamic one, and should be updated periodically keeping in mind recent developments.