FAQs on HIPAA Training for Employees

The rules associated with HIPAA training for employees are purposely versatile due to the varied functions Covered Entities do, the varied tasks of workers, and the varied level of Protected Health Information (PHI) access every worker gets.

The level of versatility can produce misunderstandings regarding which workers need training, what training must be given, how training must be presented, and when training must be received.

Which Employees Need to Have HIPAA Training?

According to the HIPAA Privacy Rule (45 CFR § 164.530) and the HIPAA Security Rule (45 CFR § 164.308), all employees must be given training. That includes agency personnel, consultants, and contractors whether or not they have any interaction with PHI.

While the HIPAA Security Rule is applicable to Covered Entities and Business Associates, on the other hand, the HIPAA Privacy Rule just concerns Covered Entities. As a result, Business Associates just have to develop a security awareness and training program as mandated by the Security Rule and make sure that all employees get HIPAA training irrespective of their part or task.

What HIPAA Training Must be Given to Employees?

Under the HIPAA Privacy Rule, each Covered Entity needs to create policies and procedures and train all employees regarding these policies and procedures. This is required and just right for employees to be able to perform their jobs within the Covered Entity.

This means the material of the HIPAA training will be based on the created policies and procedures by the Covered Entity. It will also be based on the policies and procedures that are appropriate so that every employee can perform their duties while complying with HIPAA.

How Should HIPAA Compliance Training be Provided for Employees?

There are several options for providing HIPAA compliance training for the workforce. In the past, HIPAA compliance training was done in a classroom led by an instructor, normally the HIPAA Privacy Officer or HIPAA Security Officer. Nonetheless, classroom-based training may generally be ineffective since there’s a lot to discuss in HIPAA.

For instance, a classroom-based training program for patient-facing workers must cover aspects of HIPAA like the terms of Privacy Notices, the Minimum Necessary Standard, and the Patients´ Rights under HIPAA, utilizing systems like EHRs compliantly, as well as the Breach Notification Rule. There is a lot to deal with in one training session, and a lot of for employees to keep in mind.

HIPAA Training Video for Employees

A HIPAA training video may be utilized to educate workers instead of classroom-based training. Videos allow trainers to break down and discuss HIPAA visually, which can result in more engagement and better retention. If utilized as an option for classroom-based teaching, videos could likewise take care of the problem of having trainees in one place simultaneously.

A problem with HIPAA training videos for employees is that it could be impractical to create another video that is appropriate for every employee´s function due to the cost. Consequently, though a HIPAA training video can be somewhat beneficial – for instance, for explaining PHI – it usually does not perfectly address the HIPAA training requirements.

Online HIPAA Training for Employees

Giving employees online HIPAA training made up of mix-and-match modules is better since it allows Covered Entities and Business Associates to comply with the requirements of HIPAA training. The modules could be grouped together to be applicable to every employee´s job – or employee group functions – and every employee could personally go through the training in their own schedule.

With online training, it is easier for a Covered Entity or Business Associate to give employees preliminary training, it is additionally easier to give refresher training or training mandated by HIPAA every time functions are impacted by a change in the policies or protocols since individual modules are less difficult to revise than full training programs.

When Should Employees Get HIPAA Training?

Covered Entities must give training on HIPAA policies and protocols within a reasonable time after an individual is employed by the Covered Entity and every time functions are impacted by a change in the policies or protocols. There’s no time frame established for when it is necessary to provide a security awareness training program.

Moreover, Covered Entities and Business Associates need to include HIPAA training for workers in risk analyses. This will help determine when more training is required by the employees to avoid unauthorized PHI uses or disclosures that were developed by way of poor practices. When a need for training is determined, it should be given within a reasonable time period.