5 Common Ways HIPAA Guidelines Can Be Violated

The Health Information Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) of 1996 lays down certain guidelines for…

The Health Information Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) of 1996 lays down certain guidelines for health care providers and insurance agencies. These guidelines are put in place to make sure that all your health information that is confidential remains that way. HIPAA also imposes penalties and fines when these guidelines are violated.
Protecting your personal health information is complex and involves a variety of processes and situations. Employees of health care facilities have to carefully follow all the HIPAA rules while performing their duties. Therefore, to achieve compliance in all areas the health care employees must be trained about the HIPAA guidelines so that misuse and violation is reduced.
• The internet is today an integral part of all hospitals and health care facilities. As most hospitals use electronic health records, all management and communication of your health information is done via the internet. However, it can also be harmful as carelessness while doing this may lead to misuse of patient information. For e.g. accidentally an email can be sent to wrong individuals Types Of Health Insurance In Usa which may result in confidential information getting in the hands of wrong people. For this, all confidential information must be encrypted while sending on the internet. When the information falls in the hands of unauthorized personnel there is a high risk of misuse. Also, in cases when patient’s personal information is posted in on the internet websites, violation can occur.
• The media and press are the next common causes of violation of your health information. This can occur if your information is spread through the newspaper or magazines. It is common for celebrities and politicians but does not usually occur in case general patients. Sometimes, it is the doctors who give the information to the media about the condition of the patient. This is also a violation. HIPAA states that it is the patient’s right to decide who can access his health information.
• According to HIPAA, information passed on to family members is also a breach, though it may not be as harmless as others. A written consent from you is mandatory before sharing your health records with anyone, even your own family and friends.
• In the health care organization, your health records may be handled by a number of people such as doctors, nurses, admission staff, billing staff, laboratory services etc. When so many people are involved in using and transferring information, there is a greater chance of accidental misuse of the information. Hence, it is recommended to have only certain employees to handle a patient’s records. Even they should access it only when absolutely necessary.
• HIPAA mandates the implementation of security measures by all health care providers, especially in case of electronic health records. Improper implementation of these measure may lead to a violation if the HIPAA rules. For e.g. one important Foods To Eat To Lose Weight In Stomach security measure to protect your information is to lock the computer when the employee in-charge is not present. When an employee accidentally forgets to do so, your health information is unprotected and anyone can access it and misuse it.
It is good to keep all the employees as well as patients aware of the ways that personal information can be violated. This will enable them to take special care to prevent these violations from occurring.