The healthcare industry handles a lot of very sensitive data, commonly known as protected health information (PHI). PHI includes patients’ contact information, financial and insurance details, and personal medical records. In today’s digital world, most healthcare providers retain PHI electronically, making cyber security an essential part of their businesses. Any information leaked or left in the wrong hands causes many safety concerns, including fraud and identity theft.
The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) is one of the many solutions for protecting PHI and enhancing security protocols. Discover how HIPAA improves cyber security in healthcare and learn how healthcare providers keep important digital records in the right hands.
Promoted Risk Assessments and Management Plans
HIPAA compliance involves multiple requirements. Two major compliance requirements are conducting regular risk assessments and creating security management plans. Risk assessments ensure healthcare providers remain aware of any plausible security faults. This includes checking for any program updates and testing current firewalls and encryptions.
Management plans are written action plans and checklists for security emergencies. They inform employees on what to do after a patient data leak and how to efficiently handle security breaches to minimize safety risks. HIPAA’s promotion of risk assessments and management plans helps healthcare businesses reduce their chances of security breaches and enhance the protection of sensitive electronic information.
Established Security and Privacy Rules
HIPAA’s Security and Privacy Rules establish and enforce effective security regulations. The Security Rules mandate covered entities—healthcare providers, health plans, and healthcare clearing houses—follow ePHI safeguarding standards. HIPAA’s Security Rules require covered entities to use encryptions, train staff on best security measures, and restrict data access for personnel.
HIPAA’s Privacy Rules also establish PHI security standards but emphasize the importance of patient authorization. The Privacy Rules grant patients more rights over their PHI, giving them control to change, access, and share their sensitive data. The more authorization limitations and controls in place, the less likely the PHI will land in the wrong hands.
Both the Security and Privacy Rules establish security protocols that minimize security risks and improve PHI protection.
Monitored and Restricted Information Access
Technology advancements make accessing information a much easier process than ever before. Anyone with an electronic device and network connectivity can get their hands on certain data if they know how to look for it. Monitoring and restricting ePHI access cuts down the number of people who can obtain sensitive records. A smaller access population reduces possible security threats and makes PHI more manageable and easier to track. HIPAA regulations establish and enforce PHI access monitoring and restriction.
Healthcare providers protect people’s health with their medical services. With HIPAA, healthcare businesses further protect their patients by keeping their sensitive data secure. HIPAA improves the healthcare industry’s cyber security in many ways. The federal act’s regulations aim to protect the privacy and safety of patients and their PHI, and in doing so, they increase cyber security protocols, keeping electronic information safe and in the right hands.