Protecting Your Employees Health Information
Valuing healthcare data should just be as important as valuing one’s health. Since the start of using electronic and digital medical records, data security has been more at risk of hacking and fraud. But with HIPAA compliance, the medical industry is now required to take further safety and security measures outlined in the federal law, to ensure the protection of medical records and healthcare information of patients.
Why is it important to keep your employees’ health data secured?
Keeping health data secure is not just about regulatory national standards compliance, but it’s also about making sure that healthcare patients’ and workers’ trust and safety are top priorities among medical institutions. It’s a fact that medical information contains personal information. It includes the patient’s full name, date of birth, address, mobile number, places of work and positions, IDs, credit card numbers, medical and social insurance information which are all targeted by most hackers and are susceptible to outside threats. These outside threats target medical information that could be used fraudulently and is even often considered to be more at risk compared to financial and other personal data.
Not only are patients potential targets among many hackers, but medical staff and employees are also at risk. With outside threats becoming more serious and dangerous, healthcare providers and organizations’ networking and services are more likely to be hindered. If banks and other financial organizations have prioritized data protection, medical institutions and organizations must do the same especially when it comes to disclosing protected health information.
In fact, there are other existing federal laws that administer the proper handling of employees’ health and medical data. Among these are the following:
- The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996
The HIPAA is a federal law passed by Congress in 1996 which was created to prevent disclosure of sensitive patient healthcare information and data without the patient’s consent. The law outlines regulatory standards and rules that medical facilities and institutions must abide by.
- The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990
The ADA or American with Disabilities Act is a civil rights law that prohibits discrimination against persons with disabilities in all areas of public life. This was passed by Congress to ensure that persons with disabilities have the same rights and opportunities as everyone else in society.
- The Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008
The Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of GINA is a law that protects American citizens from discrimination based on their genetic information in employment and health insurance
What is HIPAA compliance?
The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act also known as HIPAA, is a law passed by Congress to protect the safety, integrity, and privacy of American patient’s medical information. The HIPAA privacy rule regulates and controls how healthcare providers release, disclose or handle protected health information to employers. There are instances wherein employers ask for information about employees without being authorized to do so. In this case, healthcare providers are not permitted to release such information.
Although HIPAA does not directly cover the security and protection of employment records, if health and medical-related information are disclosed within these records, authorization has to be provided to the medical staff in charge and should only be handled for the reason stated.
HIPAA compliance is a culture and mandatory protocol within the medial industry. Other than prioritizing the protection and security of patients’ healthcare information, its intention in the workplace is to protect employees from sharing confidential health information with individuals who are not authorized to know such information.
Can applications help secure one’s health information?
With the medical field shifting to digital and online platforms, it’s more important for medical facilities to have medial data protection. This prevents risks of various threats like targeted attacks and hacking. HIPAA compliant applications and software are placing additional security features into their systems to make sure that data is kept safe and protected at all times. HIPAA compliant text messaging apps include different security features such as pass-code protection, time-limited messages, and remote lock-wipe that will maximize and strengthen security within the system. To ensure compliance, HIPAA compliant applications will also include cloud-based compliance options, secure encryption, and guaranteed security credentials. Not only is it easier and faster for healthcare providers to communicate with patients and colleagues, but it’s also safer and more protected.