Healthcare in the U.S. is a highly structured industry with its increasingly challenging business environment. With regard to the healthcare data recently about breaches, it becomes imperative to start an effective HIPAA compliance program for healthcare workers.
In this blog, you will learn 7 effective key elements to make HIPAA for healthcare workers become meaningful. These key elements will ensure the prevention of consequences and HIPAA violations. So without further ado, let’s get started.
1. Training and Education
A compliance program has everything documented. It means nothing if the organisation’s members don’t understand much about the law you comply with. Of course, the key to maintaining and establishing a very effective compliance program is providing staff and employees training.
You should always guarantee that the imposed plans and procedures are widely spread. The employees should be trained adequately on the purposes and even relevant policies of the program. There should be proper training for HIPAA, including management, and it should be offered to everyone. This could also depend on the organization’s size and other training sessions that should also be conducted for numerous procedures and policies.
2. Monitoring and Internal Auditing
It becomes very difficult to get a clear overview of the relevance and effectiveness of the programs without audits. It could be imperative to have the audits often and create a next action plan once they have been completed.
That is why relying on automated systems such as the HIPAA can help stay ahead and send reminders about the update, expiry, and renewal of policies. It is very important to grant access to the officer and the committee so they can view important documents in carrying out compliance tasks for audit purposes.
3. Policies and Procedures
Policies in work, such as building foundations, are important procedures to follow. The policies and procedures include the following:
- Code of Conduct or Ethics
- Corporate Compliance Program
- Disaster Recovery Plan
- Corrective Action Plans
- Acknowledgement Training
All staff members, employees, volunteers, hospital management, and even departments must follow the policies and procedures. It must also be in line with the mission or value statement of the organization. Always remember that these policies and procedures are being created proactively but never in reaction to an incident.
4. Effective Lines of Communications
Honesty and uprightness must also be incorporated into the culture of the organization. It plays a vital role in establishing a very great compliance program. The employees must raise issues about compliance without fearing retaliation.
Employees should also not hesitate to ask for questions if they are not really sure about the policy, procedures, or potential compliance violations. All members should have access of the organization and should emphasize the means of communication, especially to whom the matters must be addressed.
5. Designated Compliance Committee and Officer
It is when it is required to designate a compliance officer committee and officer and agree on who will be the main members to sit. Each role of members should be established, as well as their responsibilities as a group and how often they would meet. The same goes for what they discuss and how the information will be shared.
Of course, there should also be a clear guideline about with whom or how the discussions would be communicated or how everyone should work together to establish a very effective compliance program.
6. Disciplinary Guidelines
Implementing well-publicized guidelines would help the employees become familiar with and aware of the policies and procedures. Together with some other points, strong HIPAA compliance like the HIPAA for Healthcare workers could help streamline the process by sending out announcements to employees. Most especially when policies have been updated or the new one is being published. You must plan disciplinary actions if the employee does not follow the compliance program.
7. Right Action Plan
Of course, an effective and right compliance program is not only about implementing rules and procedures. It’s also about how the HIPAA violations are being addressed and about how the staff are trained. An action plan must explain how the HIPAA compliance violation confirms, identify, and handle disciplinary actions that must be taken.
Keep in mind that the key is to deal with both matters at hand and figure out how the current program could be settled and adjusted to prevent issues in the future.
HIPAA compliance is vital since it ensures healthcare professionals, health plans, and even business associates of entities under HIPAA. They must implement various safeguards to protect any sensitive health and personal information. It even sets boundaries on using and releasing health records.
With all these key elements in mind, hopefully, you understand how important HIPAA is for Healthcare workers. May you always keep these things in mind and see how these elements can be important.