Developing HIPAA Compliant Data Systems
Sensitive patient information, including identifying data, has to be protected at every stage of the care delivery system, including billing and processing. With the proliferation of specialized health care clinics that provide a spectrum of services outside of family medicine and ambulatory care, the need for consistent HIPAA compliance has never been greater. The introduction of telemedicine and remote diagnostics is also requiring that care providers and practice managers reassess data security. Raintree Systems offers comprehensive solutions for electric medical record (EMR) management. We can help ensure that your patients continue to benefit from the security put in place by HIPAA regulations.
Who Needs to Worry About HIPAA?
HIPAA regulations outline the management of protected health information (PHI) throughout the process of care delivery. This can potentially include many different agents, including:
- Anyone providing healthcare treatments
- Any agency responsible for providing payments or other operations
- Associates providing support for treatment, payments, and operations
- Business associates that have access to PHI
- Subcontractors with access to PHI
- Any other associate or agent that handles PHI
Each of these agents, and potentially others, must comply with the standard outlined by HIPAA regulations. Systematic compliance is necessary to provide comprehensive protection to PHI. Any gaps in compliance can put an organization at risk of legal action. Non-compliant organizations may also face fines and other penalties.
Compliance Means Many Things
Training personnel in the latest HIPAA standards is an essential part of compliance and so is the structure of an organization’s computer network. Electronic systems, including health information databases, electronic patient records, radiology and test records, laboratory systems, and pharmacy systems, all have to meet the minimum standard for security as outlined in HIPAA.
Network administrators can use the security protocols in HIPAA to guide system development and network architecture. Large hospitals and other major care delivery sites typically have no problem complying with these standards because they have a larger pool of trained personnel to draw upon. These agencies are also more likely to have up-to-date computer equipment, software, and network components that support compliance. Smaller care sites, especially rural ones, may lack both the personnel and the computer infrastructure to easily bring the organization into compliance. Raintree Systems can provide products that support HIPAA compliance while also making possible effective patient information management. Our record keeping systems help new and established care delivery sites protect PHI.
HIPAA data security compliance is supported by a comprehensive approach. Protocols for handling and disposing of PHI must be part of For instance, organizations must develop protocols specifying which personnel have access to PHI and under what circumstances. Limiting the access to portions of the facility where PHI data is kept is also important; implement a system for authorizing and restricting access. Finally, develop protocols to guide the transfer, removal, and destruction of PHI records and associated data.
Some media associated with ePHI and other electronic records can potentially be reused. If so, protocols regarding record removal and destruction should include this option. Outline which electronic resources can be reused and how they should be prepared for reuse.
Compliance Is Necessary
HIPAA is in place to protect patients and to help healthcare organizations resist lawsuits and other sanctions. Work with qualified vendors to secure the resources that will help achieve compliance.
No matter what happens in the healthcare industry, Raintree Systems Inc is committed to providing the support required for rapid, accurate record keeping. You can be sure we are keeping a close eye on this important new development. Contact us today at (800) 333-1033