Health Information Security Compliance has to be guaranteed at all levels and is of many types

Key Takeaway:

Health information security compliance requirements from HIPAA keep risk management at the core. These requirements also have other guidelines.

Health information security compliance is a vital requirement for healthcare providers. Healthcare professionals have to ensure security and privacy of Protected Health Information (PHI) and Electronic Protected Health Information (ePHI), which are part of Electronic Health Records (EHR). The guidelines, rules and requirements are mandated by HIPAA, which is in charge of ensuring that there is privacy and security of health information.

Challenges associated with health information security compliance

The very fact that a lot of health information is stored in electronic records makes health information security compliance all the more challenging. The way in which information flows between various players in the sector is also a factor: shared computers and information sharing with third party associates like laboratories and billers. If a healthcare organization is not compliant with health information security, it could be held indirectly responsible for issues arising out of these.

HIPAA has regulations and guidelines on how providers can keep PHI and ePHI. It suggests and strongly recommends risk analysis as the basis for health information security compliance. These are set out in the Meaningful Use requirements. Some of risk analysis methods include or relate to the following:

  • The provider's EHR software and hardware
  • Assessment of whether the provider's practice protocols are adequate
  • Risk assessment of the provider's physical setting and environment
  • Risk assessment relating to staff education and training
  • A thorough examination of EHR access controls
  • Risk management relating to contracts with the provider's Business Associates
  • The healthcare provider's practices in relation to patient relations and communications

Physical measures for ensuring health information security compliance

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