As a nurse, you’ve gotten a authorized and moral duty to keep up a affected person’s well being data confidential. The truth is, well being organizations, as a complete, are obligated to adjust to HIPAA legal guidelines.
Turning into a nurse isn’t any simple feat: it takes a few years of onerous work to get your diploma. That’s why you wouldn’t need to lose your job over a HIPAA violation. There are a couple of measures you may take as a nurse to forestall information breaches.
Finally, the principle purpose is to guarantee that personal well being data at all times stays simply that: personal. Right here’s how workers in a healthcare group can forestall HIPAA violations and reduce information breaches.
HIPAA stands for the “Well being Insurance coverage Portability and Accountability Act.” This act requires that healthcare organizations observe procedures that make sure the safety of PHI (protected well being data).
Failure to adjust to HIPAA compliance necessities may end up in fines, sanctions, and even license losses. A HIPAA violation can are available in a couple of totally different kinds. Firstly, the most typical to breach PHI is thru social media.
Apart from that, overheard conversations and technological mishaps may trigger HIPAA violations. That’s why it’s finest to maintain all sorts of PHI completely confidential, whether or not it’s on paper, digital, or oral.
Easy methods to Forestall HIPAA Violations
Listed here are a couple of measures workers can take to forestall HIPAA violations.
1. By no means Share Login Credentials
Initially, you need to by no means disclose your login credentials. We might suggest this apply even exterior of the healthcare trade to guard your private information.
In healthcare organizations, all workers are given distinctive login credentials to get entry to on-line libraries of affected person data. That’s why you’re not allowed to share your login credentials with anybody, even fellow workers.
Even writing your ID and password to recollect it may end up in an information breach. If somebody is ready to entry ePHI utilizing the login credentials you gave them unethically, it could actually trigger you to lose your job.
2. Use Social Media Properly
One of many major methods you may unknowingly violate HIPAA rules is by way of social media. There are such a lot of ways in which issues can go improper on social media that may put your job on the road. Firstly, it could actually considerably blur the traces between your skilled and private life.
Sufferers typically develop shut bonds with their nurses or caregivers, naturally leading to following one another on social media. Nevertheless, it is a violation of HIPAA tips, though it might not appear so.
You may clarify these tips to your sufferers politely. Inform them why including one another on social media could lead to a HIPAA violation. It’s additionally important to politely decline any observe or good friend requests from sufferers beneath your care.
One other method to trigger a HIPAA violation by means of social media is with the photographs, movies, and statuses you put up. Even when your account is personal, an information breach can happen with only one share of a screenshot.
That’s why you need to make sure that no affected person, medical data, or charts are included within the image or video you put up. In the event you do need to put up a photograph with a affected person, it’s vital to have written consent beforehand.
In case you put up an image with a affected person beneath your care, keep away from utilizing captions that disclose their private data, comparable to:
- Well being situation, and many others.
One other factor to bear in mind whereas utilizing social media at work is to by no means disclose any personal data, even vaguely, in your standing.
3. File Encryption and Safe Storage
A typical mistake made by healthcare organizations is leaving delicate paperwork out within the public eye. Firstly, make sure that all vital paperwork containing affected person data are saved away in a protected, separate room.
Solely workers ought to be given entry to this room. Apart from that, no worker ought to be wanting into the knowledge of a affected person they’re not in control of.
Within the case that any file is out of that room, it ought to stay closed and hid from different sufferers.
These days, hospitals desire to retailer PHI digitally. To guard ePHI and forestall an information breach, make sure that there are HIPAA-compliant firewalls and encryptions in place. Make sure that a password is at all times required to entry any private data.
Though tedious, verification is important to keep up the credibility and trustworthiness of your healthcare group.
4. By no means Focus on Affected person Info Publicly
You could be questioning how discussing affected person data orally may end up in a HIPAA violation. There could also be onlookers and eavesdroppers standing by. They might use that private data incorrectly to your shock.
It’s pure for caregivers and nurses to speak in regards to the sufferers beneath their care throughout breaks. Nevertheless, it’s important that no details about the affected person passes onto different workers or others that enter the institution.
One other means you may violate HIPAA tips is by texting in regards to the sufferers beneath your care or your practices at work. You could assume your texts are personal and out of the general public eye, however it’s surprisingly simple to entry anybody’s private messages.
5. Get rid of PHI Securely
Final however not least, careless disposal of paperwork, charts, and check outcomes is among the best methods to present entry to unauthorized individuals. Not solely do you have to not preserve pointless PHI in storage, however you must also not throw it in with common trash.
Apart from throwing it in a safe place, you need to make the textual content on the paperwork unreadable. You are able to do so by blocking all the things out with a everlasting marker or destroying it solely with using a shredding machine.
A healthcare group’s failure to be HIPAA compliant may end up in felony prices. Moreso, it might even trigger the concerned workers to lose their job. That’s why it’s finest to keep up the moral and obligation of conserving all affected person data personal.
In the event you be aware that your group isn’t complying with HIPAA guidelines, you may both seek the advice of your compliance officer or file a grievance on hhs.gov.