You work in a medical office; you are a healer, a caretaker and a scientist and every day you make people feel better and give them hope. The last thing you need is too get bogged down by a lot of paperwork and get distracted by a bunch of regulations. However, if a medical office wants to keep on healing it must be HIPAA compliant and that requires a lot of clerical work and computer updating.
Staying HIPAA compliant is no easy task in today’s busy medical office. Companies are downsizing and a medical office manager’s responsibilities are growing every day, as are the number of doctors for which one manager may be responsible. Managing HIPPA compliance can be a daunting for even the most competent of manages and the assistance of an IT professional may become critical to your office’s survival. You will want to find an IT company that can manage several critical areas of HIPPA compliance.
Have a good security system for employees
HIPAA’s regulations are very strict when it comes to protecting the privacy and security of medical patients. Only certain employees should have access to electronic protected health information. Only those employees who have a critical need for this information should have access to EPHI files.
A good IT company can maximize your internal computer security, by continuously clearing your hard drive of unnecessary information and installing network access control. You will want to make sure that your employee’s activities can be monitored from the office manager’s station. It is also a good Idea to have your IT Company use Linux for those employees who do not need access to EPHI files.
Create an emergency backup plan.
HIPAA states that all medical offices are responsible for backing up their data and having disaster recovery procedures at the ready. Medical offices also are required to keep an electronic record of patient’s medical histories and they need to do this by having clear and concise images of their patient’s records. You will want to find a company that offers document imaging, to help you create a perfect emergency backup plan and also to make sure you are up to date on documenting records.
Have stellar computer maintenance
HIPAA requires a great deal of ongoing computer maintenance. An office needs to perform routine and event provoked audits on its computer system. It is also required that controls must be in place when introducing or removing hardware or software from a computer. The disposal of hardware and software are also strictly controlled, you will want to find an IT company that can dispose of hardware and software for you and do so in a secure manner.
These are just some of the things you must do to remain HIPAA complaint and avoid those nasty fees or, in more serious cases an office closure. Healing people is what your office does best and you shouldn’t have to get bogged down by the technical stuff.
Metro’s IT Consultant team can assist you with HIPAA compliance and all of your other IT needs. Give us a call and we’ll come do a free network assessment! Our number is, 559-492-5985.