Top five Tips to HIPAA Compliance Audit
With rising incidents of data breaches and an increasing rate of medical data related offenses, legislation such as HIPAA is becoming more important than ever.
One of the best ways to ensure compliance is to conduct a HIPAA compliance audit. However, any compliance audit for HIPAA can quickly become the bane of an organization handling PHI unless they prepare beforehand.
To help your organization, here are the five top tips you can follow before and during the compliance audit.
Know the Act
The first and foremost thing to do for any HIPAA compliance audit is to ensure you and your staff have a thorough knowledge of the basic tenets of the act. HIPAA requirements can be confusing, and at this stage it is often beneficial to hire professionals who can help you understand the ins and outs of the regulations.
A lack of knowledge about what exactly you are required to fulfill can be the perfect recipe for a failed compliance audit. So, make sure you are well abreast of the latest HIPAA requirements.
Make Sure your Vendors are HIPAA Compliant
As an organization handling PHI, you may use software and hardware equipment, the majority of which may be supplied by third party vendors. However, to ensure HIPAA compliance make sure that your organization deals only with vendors who themselves can guarantee the safety of PHI.
It’s best to perform a background check on a vendor before committing to the deal to guarantee that the vendor fulfills the required checks for compliance. Looking before leaping is a strategy that seldom fails.
Appoint a Security Assessment and Privacy Officer
Under HIPAA, every covered entity should have a privacy and security officer; this does not necessarily have to be a brand-new hire, but it’s best to leave it to the professionals. The officer would be responsible for taking steps in order to meet the regulations. The officer should initiate periodic reviews of the security policy and ensure they have a record of all past breaches and how they were addressed.
Just assessing and documenting policies and procedures is not enough; you need to take concrete steps to ensure that they are being faithfully executed. To know the progress on this, talk to your employees.
Your staff can offer valuable insights that can help you along the road to compliance; make sure you keep them on the same page and encourage their active participation in the audit process.
The above tips can certainly advance you towards your target of achieving HIPAA compliance. In case you feel the need, you can also hire professionals to take care of the details so that you can focus on your core business operations