Over two decades ago, the government passed the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, and most who work in healthcare have heard of the consequences of violating this act. Whether the violation is small or large, penalties are severe.
The United States Department of Health & Human Services provides a chart to help professionals understand the complaint process and how it can affect you. Some violations are accidental and may not be your fault, but it is important to be aware of them anyway.
Data stolen through a missing or lost device
If a doctor or other professional misplaces a phone, a laptop or any other device that contains protected patient data, it can result in a serious HIPAA violation. One way to avoid this problem is to use a password-protected or encrypted device.
Employment training mistakes
Employee training on HIPAA regulations is a vital part of keeping patient information safe. Upper management is usually responsible for this training, but in a smaller clinic or office, the task may fall to the small business owner who opened their own practice. Regular training keeps employees up to date and fresh on any changes to patient privacy laws.
Breach of database
These are often the most public HIPAA violations and are a cause of concern for any organization. Every group should have extensive security measures against database breaches.
While gossiping and sharing in the office can lead to HIPAA violations, simple human conversation is not to blame for all HIPAA violations. A proactive approach to training and updates can help keep health care employees safe from complaints.