Top Five Tips to Write HIPAA Security Policies
HIPAA recommends several security safeguards that must be put in place in order to guarantee the safety of and regulate the dissemination of Protected Health Information (PHI). In order to do this effectively, the act recommends the creation of Security Policies.
What are these security policies? These are nothing but rules which state the procedures and guidelines that determine the protection of PHI and enable its proper security. However, the HIPAA requirements are quite complex, and organizations often find it difficult to comprehend the intricacies of the multiple requirements.
One of the major difficulties which most organizations face while writing HIPAA security policies is that they find it difficult to gauge where to begin. Often, it is best to seek the help of experienced professionals to do the job efficiently and effectively.
In order to help you write your HIPAA security policies to ensure compliance, here are five tips that can help you along the way.
Review your Security Measures
When writing your HIPAA security policies, often a good place to start is by reviewing your existing security measures. By taking stock of the safeguards that you already have in place, you can get a comprehensive idea about what more needs to be done in terms of security policies. These can then be documented.
Be Thorough in your Documentation
Documentation is not merely the written representation of your security policies; in fact, a written policy document serves as the cornerstone of your HIPAA compliance initiative. Be sure to cover every requisite detail in your paperwork. It is recommended you print out a hard copy of your security policy for easy access.
Engage All Stakeholders
Security policy documentation is not something that should be done in isolation. It’s best to involve all levels of employees in writing the security policies. Often, insightful inputs can come from where we least expect them; so, engaging all stakeholders in the policy framing process is one of the key factors that can lead to a well-rounded policy document.
As mentioned before, one of the biggest challenges organizations face when framing and writing HIPAA security policies is that they cannot settle on their starting point. To overcome this, it’s best to use a template that can guide you with the basic framework and checklist to form the policies.
Employ Professional Help
Last, but certainly the most important, is to consider hiring experts to do the job for you. HIPAA security policy framing can be a complex task that requires in-depth domain expertise and extensive experience in formulating such policy documents. Therefore, it’s often best to leave it to the professionals.
HIPAA security policy framing can be a tough task to undertake. Following the above five tips can certainly simplify the process for your organization. Just make sure you are diligent and unbiased in your security assessment, have the right tools and personnel, and the rest will take care of itself.