A lot of resources describing why HIPAA compliance is vital for healthcare experts often look at the goal of HIPAA rules instead of the advantages of compliance to healthcare experts. The same resources likewise are inclined to spotlight how noncompliance impacts patients and companies, instead of the effects it can bring on the lives of healthcare professionals.
This post talks about why HIPAA compliance is essential for healthcare experts from a healthcare expert’s point of view. It describes why healthcare experts cannot avoid HIPAA; therefore, by HIPAA compliance, healthcare experts can promote patient confidence, keep patients more secure, and bring about better patient results. This consequently boosts morale, produces a more gratifying work experience, and allows healthcare experts to receive more from their occupation.
On the other hand, the inability to adhere to HIPAA can have considerable professional and personal implications. However, the inability to adhere to HIPAA isn’t always the fault of a healthcare professional. At times it could be because of inadequate training or cultural practice. This post examines why Covered Entities may not often be able to give adequate training or keep track of HIPAA compliance, why they might not take responsibility if a preventable HIPAA breach happens, and how to steer clear of HIPAA violations because of insufficient knowledge.
Why It’s Impossible for Healthcare Experts to Avoid HIPAA
One of the goals of HIPAA is to give privacy protections for personally identifiable health data kept by Covered Entities. To achieve this, the Privacy and Security Regulations impose specifications Covered Entities should adhere to so as to secure the privacy of “Protected Health Information” (PHI). The inability to adhere to the HIPAA requirements can lead to sizeable financial fines – even if no data breach occurs and PHI isn’t exposed.
The majority of healthcare companies are Covered Entities and, therefore, must carry out guidelines and procedures to adhere to the Privacy and Security Rule requirements. As workers of Covered Entities, healthcare experts must adhere to their employer´s guidelines and procedures. Because of this healthcare experts cannot steer clear of HIPAA. Nevertheless, this isn’t the sole reason why HIPAA compliance is vital for healthcare experts.
The Advantages of HIPAA Compliance for Healthcare Experts
Trust is the most essential component of a patient/healthcare specialist relationship. Patients entrust healthcare experts with their personal information because they believe healthcare experts think about their best interests to achieve the best health results. Nevertheless, trust may be a delicate commodity. If their sensitive information are compromised as a result of HIPAA violation, patients might hold back data important for the giving of care regardless of the possible long-lasting effects for their health.
Healthcare experts can offset the risk of breaking trust by adhering to the guidelines and procedures enforced by their company to avoid HIPAA violations. Whenever patients are assured their privacy is given respect, this encourages trust that leads to the giving of better treatment to get the best health results. Better patient results boost the morale of healthcare experts and create a more gratifying work experience.
The Personal and Professional Effects of Noncompliance
One of the guidelines a Covered Entity needs to carry out is a sanctions policy whenever employees fail to adhere to HIPAA guidelines and procedures. Covered Entities must implement the sanctions policy and take action on HIPAA violations by healthcare experts since not imposing the sanctions policy violates the HIPAA. In addition, when the Covered Entity doesn’t act, noncompliance could fall into a cultural norm.
Being penalized for a HIPAA violation might have personal and professional implications for healthcare experts. Fines can be in the form of a verbal warning or loss of professional certification, which will make it hard for a healthcare expert to find another work – and, in case a criminal sentence results from the violation, it will probably be mentioned in the press which will have consequences for the personal reputation of a healthcare professional.
Who is Liable for HIPAA Violations?
As pointed out earlier, the inability to adhere to HIPAA isn’t generally the healthcare expert´s error. Though Covered Entities must offer training on guidelines and procedures that correspond with the functions of healthcare experts, they may not get the resources to offer training on each imaginable scenario a healthcare expert may come across or to keep track of compliance 24 hours a day so as to avoid the creation of cultural norms.
As a result, accidental violations of HIPAA can happen as a result of insufficient understanding. Nevertheless, Covered Entities aren’t always ready to take responsibility for accidental violations because of insufficient knowledge since it suggests they did not carry out a comprehensive risk evaluation, disregarded a risk to PHI privacy, and did not give essential and proper training or, if a cultural norm is created, did not keep track of compliance with guidelines and procedures.
How You Can Prevent Unintentional HIPAA Violations
In order to prevent unintentional violations of HIPAA and the personal and professional implications of noncompliance, healthcare professionals must make sure that their understanding of HIPAA includes all areas of their role and the situations they may come across. To accomplish this level of knowledge, it is necessary to take third-party HIPAA training programs that offer an exhaustive understanding of HIPAA and its regulations.
Being responsible for the understanding of HIPAA and utilizing that information to work in a HIPAA-compliant fashion keeps the career of healthcare professionals safe, increases their career prospects, and allows them to receive more from their career. Provided with the choice, the majority of healthcare experts would rather work in a setting that works compliantly to provide better patient results, where morale is great, and healthcare experts enjoy a more gratifying work experience.