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Taking care of business…
If you’ve been watching the news, there have been a huge amount of HIPAA breaches this fall. Making sure our computers are protected sufficiently is the best way to protect our patients’ information and to keep HIPAA out of our businesses.
Check this out. This is what HIPAA refers to as its “Wall of Shame” and lists all of the breaches that involve more than 500 patients in a single geographic area. If you look through the list and pay close attention to individual doctors and dentists, you’ll see that most of the breaches are due to computers and devices that weren’t encrypted properly and were either lost or stolen.
Encrypting your hard drive and devices prevents breaches. Yet it costs some money up front, but in the event you lose, or someone steals, your computer or Ipad, or smartphone, or backup flashdrive or hard drive, if they are encrypted it’s not a breach. That’s a pretty huge deal. Here’s documentation directly from the HIPAA folks that specifies that encrypted items prevent breaches: HIPAAEncryptionGuidance .
Otherwise, you need to make sure your computer security is current and is sufficient for the type of system utilized by your office. You need the proper security software, passwords, firewalls, and systems in place to ensure that your system is protected during use. Discuss this with your computer dude to make sure you have the proper level of security so that information is protected as much as possible. Here’s some really helpful FAQs about Security, directly from HIPAA: Click here
Hope this info helps!