HIPAA violations by caregivers can result in stiff fines – and these are not paid by workers themselves, but by the home care agency. If you want to avoid fines and penalties and ensure the long-term success of your business, avoiding HIPAA compliance violations at your agency is critical. Here are 5 tips that will help your caregivers stay HIPAA-compliant and avoid violations.
Education is the first step in avoiding violations. With the right training, you can dramatically reduce your risk of caregivers accidentally violating HIPAA regulations, and protect your business from fines and other penalties. With tools like CareConnect, it’s easy to set up courses and train caregivers on ePHI (Electronic Protected Health Information), what’s covered as ePHI, how to stay compliant, and common mistakes that can result in HIPAA violations. Learn more about our eLearning platform here.
POLP, or Principle Of Least Privilege, is a concept from the world of IT. In essence, it means that a worker should only have the information necessary to complete a given task. For example, if one of your caregivers works with only a single client, there’s no reason they should have any kind of access to information about other clients.
By following POLP, you can reduce the amount of data that’s accessible by caregivers, and restrict them to the information they solely need for their roles. This, in turn, reduces the risk of suffering HIPAA violations.
HIPAA has specific rules that messaging apps must follow to be compliant. That’s why tools like CareConnect are so important. The secure architecture of CareConnect means that it meets HIPAA requirements.
This protects you and your caregivers from accidental violations. Make sure your caregivers are using CareConnect and other HIPAA-compliant apps, and train them to avoid using things like SMS, email, and other unsecured platforms to share patient information.
Using digital forms and other digital tools is a great way to reduce the risk of violating HIPAA regulations. It’s easy for a caregiver to misplace or lose a form, but it’s harder for them to misplace their laptop or phone. By primarily using HIPAA-compliant digital tools, you can streamline the administration of your business and reduce potential HIPAA violations, too. And that leads to our final tip:
CareConnect is a cloud-based service. This means that if you fire a worker, or they lose or misplace their mobile device, we can disable their user account immediately. In turn, this eliminates their access to sensitive ePHI and other patient data. That’s just one of the many ways we help with HIPAA compliance and data protection.
However, if your workers use other tools that may contain data protected by HIPAA, you may want to go a step further and install a MDM (Mobile Device Management) application. This is an application that can destroy sensitive data on a phone remotely, wiping it and ensuring that – even if it’s lost or stolen – the data in question will be inaccessible.
HIPAA violations are a scary and costly prospect. That’s why CareConnect focuses on developing cutting-edge tools and features that help both agencies and caregivers avoid violating HIPAA regulations. If you’re interested in learning more, just contact us for a demo.