If there were no hackers, lost devices were found intact, and the employees followed HIPAA training perfectly there would have been no mess. HIPAA certification tries to minimize the violations of information. However the reality check is that HIPAA violations are ever growing. Here are the top five common violations and the tips to avoid them:
1] LOST OR STOLEN DEVICE- The tale of lost or stolen electronic gadgets and is horrible that people do not overcome this issue by means of encrypting and password protecting the devices. However encryption may not be required for HIPAA, but it is better option to do so. Encrypting and destructing are the two ways for making the protected health information unusable, unreadable, or indecipherable to the unauthorized individuals. Covered entities and business associates should understand that mobile device security is their responsibility. Theft can happen but having the information encrypted can save you from the incidents of stolen information from the stolen devices.
2] HACKING- Hacking is a nightmare and it alone is responsible for 23 percent of breaches of HIPAA. It may not be an elaborate plan. Hackers await the path of least resistance and can accomplish the illegal task of hacking in a numerous ways. Usually the most popular method is by exploiting the user profile with a weak password using malware or software exploit can help in hacking. To make your system less vulnerable to hacking the following steps can be done.
a) Update all passwords: Cracking a weak password is easy thus create a complicated one and moreover for different sites have different passwords.
b) Turn on software firewalls: Installing hardware firewall appliance is apt way to restrict traffic on the network.
c) Install malware scanning software: Installing anti virus software could be a good way to keep the virus away from the system.
d) Update your software: On regular basis you should update the system and programs and thus it will reduce the vulnerability of your device.
3] EMPLOYEE DISHONESTY- There are several cases of stealing of information
by the employees and volunteers for nefarious reasons. Accessing the files is wrong and disciplinary action should be taken to regulate this. Routine audit of employees should be instilled so that if any such malicious practices are being taken they can be stopped. For violations of laws imprisonment or fine should be levied.
4] IMPROPER DISPOSAL- The photocopier could also lead to HIPAA violation. Many photocopiers default to save copies on the hard drive and return the copier to the leasing company without deleting the drive and this could be means of another violation of HIPAA. Any information either on digital or paper it should be destroyed properly so that it cannot be come to anyone’s access.
5] THIRD-PARTY DISCLOSURE- Improper disclosure of PHI to third parties is a case of HIPAA violation can be prevented with regular hipaa training . Businesses are required to have associates and sub contractors, these parties are also responsible for protecting the PHI.