Updated: Apr 8, 2020
HIPAA for Health Care Professionals
Introduced in 1996, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) laid the foundation for the future of healthcare delivery. HIPAA helps reduce the risks of fraud and improve communication between insurance companies and healthcare providers. HIPAA also laid the groundwork for EHR or electronic healthcare records which revolutionized communications within healthcare. The security and privacy regulation introduced by HIPAA and later policies helped the healthcare industry move forwards towards a robust data collection and monitoring mechanism that is of benefit to the whole country.HIPAA for healthcare professionals outlines how a to properly handle sensitive patient information.
The Importance of HIPAA
HIPAA was instrumental in helping the healthcare industry move from a paper-based record system to electronic health records. This did two monumental things for the healthcare industry. First, it provided secure protection of medical documents from theft or damage (fires, floods, extreme weather, etc..) Secondly, it increased the efficiency of healthcare delivery. In addition, it also opened new ways for the healthcare sector to work with technology as an engine of change. The seamless transfer of electronic health data amongst healthcare providers reduces the time of healthcare delivery and analysis of past patient history.HIPAA provides the oversight necessary to protect patient data from possible misuse and commercial profits.
What Does HIPAA Ensure?
HIPAA requires taking permission before collecting and using any patient information
Only required healthcare providers are allowed to access to patient data
Patient Health Information (PHI) can only be shared for services with business associates part of the healthcare entity
Only Non-specific information must be used when discussing patients information
Patients have the right to obtain copies of their medical records from any healthcare provider
Organizations need to implement security measures to protect both paper and electronic-based records
Patients should be immediately notified in case of a data breach both by healthcare entity and their business associates
The Future of HIPAA and Electronic Records
HIPAA for healthcare professional programs can help provide the basis for an advanced study and a life-changing career in healthcare. Understanding HIPAA can prevent unintentional breaches of confidentiality which has the potential to jeopardize healthcare care. Lastly, an HIPAA for Medical Professionals program also helps understand how HIPAA supports better Interoperability, communication, and interpretation of data for healthcare professionals.