Healthcare Privacy, Information Technology (IT) Security and Compliance professionals are responsible for regulatory compliance and fulfilling business requirements without interfering with patient-centered care. As a group, these professionals are well aware that privacy breaches are commonplace and that staff regularly access patient records at which they have no right to look.
Privacy, IT Security and Compliance professionals need to ensure that privacy is protected. However, most healthcare providers do not have systems in place to prevent breaches, leaving the organization and its leadership vulnerable to breaches, litigation and regulatory enforcement.
Thus, the need for effective processes and technologies to detect and deter privacy breaches is great. Automated monitoring of access to electronic health records (EHRs) and privacy breach detection solutions are available, yet most healthcare organizations still use manual auditing processes that barely scratch the surface, leaving the organization open to the accusations of failure to take adequate preventative measures. When a breach occurs, it is frequently the Privacy, IT Security, and Compliance professionals who take the blame.
The protection of patient privacy is best dealt with strategically, rather than piecemeal or in response to a crisis. By developing a blueprint that includes budget and resource allocation as well as technologies and processes to protect patient privacy, it is possible to stay ahead of the curve, compliant with existing and forthcoming regulations, and give confidence to patients, physicians, senior management and the board.
Privacy, IT, Security and Compliance professionals operate under an increasing weight of regulatory compliance pressures from healthcare legislation including such as ARRA HITECH privacy and meaningful use criteria, HIPAA, EU Data Protection, UK Freedom of Information Act, California SB 541 and AB 211, Texas HB 300, Massachusetts 201 CMR 17.00 and Canadian provincial healthcare privacy law.