You may never believe it'll happen to you, but every day online bank accounts are hacked and identities are stolen. Here are some tips to help you protect your practice and patients:
- Secure e-mail by encryption: Violations can occur even between those who know each other. Never send personal e-mail accounts patient & practice information.
- Wireless Routers: Always should be encrypted. Encryption modes are: WPA2 & WPA, not WEP.
- When getting rid of old computers: Make sure to clear all patient data and destroy all disks and hard drives.
- Password safety: Ensure every employee keeps their personal passwords to themselves. Also make sure to change passwords on a regular basis.
- Lock computer when not at desk: to avoid unauthorized use.
- Turn important documents (such as claims) face down before walking away from desk.
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- Do not copy and paste blindly: Patient's medical notes and information should not look exactly as it did for the previous visit, even if very minimal has changed. Why? When in a rush things may seem as if they are one way when really they are not (ex. drug names look similar).
- Patient information: Always follow HIPAA guidelines for security when sending/giving patient's information they request.
- Phone procedure: Remember certain individuals may have clearance to discuss patient information whereas others do not. Consent is needed from the provider's office and the patient.
- Shred: Designate separate bins for shredding and garbage. Each day shred what is unneeded. So that those not permitted to view confidential information do not.
- Traveling: Do not check your laptop when flying; always carry it on to ensure it does not get lost.
- USB: Provide an electronic copy of health records on a flash drive provided by your practice. Never use a flash drive that the patient brings in, as it could have unknown viruses on it.
As the input exchange of information utilizing technology become more and more prevalent, implementing security audits within your practice.
We found this HealthIT game very helpful and informative. See how well you and your employees score. You may be surprised! Answers and results are not as "common-sense," as you may think...You can never be too safe!