Rabu, 09 November 2011

Top 4 HIPAA Training Procedures

Under US regulations, any covered entity is obliged to train its employees on the matter of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA). Any organization that uses, transmits, exchanges, or in any other way handles private health information is considered a covered entity and is subject to HIPAA requirements. The way in which employees receive HIPAA training within such an organization is completely up to the employer. Read below to find out the top four training procedures.

1. Employment HIPAA Training

The employer of a covered entity is required by law to provide all staff members with appropriate training for the period of time they work in that respective organization. The training should be initiated as soon as possible after the employees start working and the cost is entirely up to the employee. The type of training (classroom, online, hands-on) is completely up to the employer, but the method of training chosen should be able to support larger groups. In the case of larger institutions, the responsibility for organizing HIPAA training can be delegated to the Human Resources department.

2. Ongoing HIPAA Training

One of the most important HIPAA requirements is that the training employees receive must be ongoing. This is why, anytime HIPAA regulations are updated, the employer has to make sure that staff members are made aware of the changes. This can be accomplished via monthly or bi-annual newsletter containing any new requirements distributed to employees. Another option is to enroll staff members in refresher courses, which are shorter in length than the initial training courses and present more condensed information. Once again, as long as the employer makes sure staff members are trained on a constant basis, the method he or she chooses to do this is not relevant.

3. HIPAA Trainers

If the employer of a covered entity has numerous employees and does not have the necessary time or finances to enroll all of them in training, they can choose only one employee to undergo the training. This employee will pass the training course and become HIPAA certified which will enable him or her to train others within the company. This is an easy solution to training all staff members without spending too much money.

4. HIPAA Training Evaluation

Apart from having to ensure training for all staff members who have direct or indirect contact with protected health information, employers also have the obligation to evaluate the level of training within the organization. This evaluation can consist of security controls performed from time to time to make sure that all employees are compliant with HIPAA procedures. In case misconducts are detected during the security controls, the company has the obligation to report the incident and take countermeasures to prevent this from happening again.

These are the top four training procedures employers of covered entities can use to ensure that their organization is compliant with national regulations. For a maximum efficiency, employers should consider implementing all four HIPAA training procedures as opposed to choosing just one of them.