Electronic storage of medical records has proven to be beneficial for patients, doctors, and the environment, but it does come with potential security issues. Patient records must remain HIPAA compliant, even in a disaster. Patient records can be compromised by a natural disaster like a hurricane or flood, a system failure, or even human intrusion. It happens.
A HIPAA Disaster Recovery Plan is a Compliance Requirement!
A HIPAA disaster recovery plan is not an option, but a requirement, as defined within the HIPAA Contingency Plan standard in the Administrative Safeguards section of the HIPAA Security Rule. Here is what is expected in a standard HIPAA disaster recovery plan:
- A HIPAA-compliant disaster recovery plan must state how operations will be conducted in an emergency and which workforce members are responsible for carrying out those operations. The plan must also explain how data will be moved without violating HIPAA standards for privacy and security.
- It must also explain how confidential data and safeguards for that data will be restored. Although HIPAA doesn’t specify exactly how to do this, it does note that failure to adequately recover from a disaster could lead to noncompliance. Failure to comply exposes officers of the organization to repercussions, such as fines or jail time.
- Organizations must have an administrative authority in charge of managing and enforcing HIPAA compliance rules, regulations and efforts. There should be a clear set of guidelines in place regulating who is and isn’t permitted to access patient information. All access to sensitive data and systems should be monitored.
Why risk noncompliance in a disaster, when you can prevent it? Call mPowered IT. We fully understand HIPAA compliance and ensure your medical office stays within it.
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