Digital Age and HIPAA Compliance

MD Referral Program
from the Desk of 
William J Owens Jr DC DAAMLP CPC

Office Infrastructure – Consultation #21

 

Digital Copiers, Computers, Faxes and HIPAA

 

HIPAA rules dictate how we protect and distribute confidential patient health information.  We are all familiar with who we can disclose diagnosis, treatment and prognostic factors too.  We are familiar with consent and release of record requests, but in the digital age, potential for harm due to non-compliance with HIPAA extends farther than most doctors and offices would believe.   This Consultation is about becoming aware of the digital footprint of patient information regarding your copier, fax and computer systems.  I am by NO MEANS an authorized HIPAA “expert”, but here are some resources to get you started thinking about your office and what you can do to ensure you don’t get tangled up in HIPAA violations.  

 

HIPAA Security Rule

 

“The HIPAA Security Rule establishes national standards to protect individuals’ electronic personal health information that is created, received, used, or maintained by a covered entity. The Security Rule requires appropriate administrative, physical and technical safeguards to ensure the confidentiality, integrity, and security of electronic protected health information.” 1

 

Copier Data Security

http://business.ftc.gov/documents/bus43-copier-data-security 

 

Disposal of Consumer Information

http://business.ftc.gov/documents/alt152-disposing-consumer-report-information-rule-tells-how

 

Medical Identify Theft

http://business.ftc.gov/documents/bus75-medical-identity-theft-faq-health-care-health-plan

 

Computer Security Systems

http://business.ftc.gov/documents/bus58-security-check-reducing-risks-your-computer-systems

 

You will see that disposal of leased digital equipment and disposal of outdated computer hard drives can be a big issue, especially if you host your own server and EMR software.  That is why cloud drives are becoming more and more popular.  When it comes to faxing not ALL digital fax companies (the ones that go to your PC from a fax machine) are HIPAA compliant.  If you are using an online fax service call them IMMEDIATELY and make sure that they are HIPAA complaint.  Most are not…

 

1:  http://www.hhs.gov/ocr/privacy/hipaa/administrative/securityrule/index.html

 

 

 

0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply