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5 Tips to Help Prevent Employees from Breaching HIPAA Protected Data

5 tips to help prevent employees from breaching HIPAA Protected Data
Most Breaches occur due to Insider Threats

More than half of healthcare data leaks come from the inside

Although the healthcare industry is incredibly important to a huge amount of people, it is also the industry most at risk from threats to sensitive data, especially on the inside. Reportedly 58 percent of security incidents come from people working within the industry itself. 

There are ways to protect your information from such breaches, here's five steps you should take: 

  • Educate - All healthcare employees must be educated on protected health information (PHI), including what information may disclosed or not. They must all learn the risks and rules involved with patient privacy and data security. For example, one must never disclose to others any detail from a patient’s medical record, no matter how inconsequential it may seem. 

  • Deter - Strictly enforced policies must be established, with the goal of reducing risk of data leakage. All employees should know the penalties for privacy breaches and HIPAA violations. The punishments can range anywhere from suspensions and fines to criminal charges and jail time. 

  • Detect - Technology designed identify breaches and check user-access logs should be implemented in all healthcare organizations. These organizations should also have an auditing process that has all access controls are closely monitored, ensuring that only authorized personnel are looking at sensitive patient data. 

  • Investigate - Investigations must be made if any potential privacy and security breaches are detected. Once the investigation is complete, steps must be taken to prevent a similar breach in the future. 

  • Train - All employees in the healthcare industry should undergo comprehensive training on reducing insider threats. The employees should learn all about data privacy when they first begin working for the organization. Additionally, all employers must stay vigilant in the education of their employees and should continue to pass along information regarding ways to reduce risk of privacy and security breaches. This can be provided through emails, newsletters, and memos.