Compile written procedures for standards, policies, and policies for conduct.
HIPAA compliance starts when a covered entity or business associate compiles their own written policies and practices. These policies can range from disaster recovery plans to employee codes of conduct.
These policies can also outline any employee training requirements or corrective action plans. Any policies generated should have a future-focused theme.
All staff should provide their comments or suggestions for any changes. When you request this input, your employees will accept and establish more buy-in as your company grows.
Name a compliance manager.
Your next HIPAA compliance step means identifying who is in charge of your compliance program. You can choose to assign responsibility to a compliance manager. You can also assign compliance responsibilities to a committee.
If you do assign these tasks to a committee, responsibilities can range from specific areas of discussion to creating calendars that organize how often they meet.
You should also figure out how to contact your compliance body. Identify how these committee members should work together to reach HIPAA compliance goals.
Create training programs and access to information resources.
A robust HIPAA compliance agenda won’t mean a thing if your workers don’t know anything about it. If a new worker joins your organization, have someone train them on HIPAA requirements.
Include those policies and forms your staff will need. Make sure your site provides employee knowledge testing and acknowledgment capability. Employee training should be a continuous process that ensures employees are always updated.
Your onboarding system should also be able to distribute any documents or policies that address your company’s HIPAA compliance requirements. Your employees will need access to your HIPAA information materials at all times. That’s why you should store your documentation on your online systems for easy access, such as Onspring.
That way, your new employee can use them day or night, to answer any of their questions about your company’s procedures or policies.
Create accessible communication portals.
As a business owner, you are already open to promoting a sense of transparency and openness in your business culture.
This includes confidentiality when discussing HIPAA compliance concerns. Allow your employees to share their opinions without the fear of retaliation.
Encourage your workers to seek answers if they feel insecure. Be a willing listener when your employees want to ask about a specific policy, procedure, or potential violation.
Your company’s policies and procedures should outline any available communication methods. These methods can include emails or suggestion boxes.
Also include where you will communicate any issues. Employee newsletters are a good source for this type of update vehicle. Make this information easy for your team to reach.
HIPAA requires an organization to outline its specific steps to enforce the program. Tell your staff how you plan to distribute your company’s appropriate policies. Tell them what training is coming up for any procedures.
You can merge policy management with this compliance component. Send automatic notifications to staff members when your company publishes a new policy. That’s the perfect time to ask for their input on the new policy.
Once you’ve done this, you have the record to justify actions when employees don’t comply with your program.
Audit and monitor.
Think of this segment like you think of your personal automobile. Your car needs regular servicing. So does your HIPAA compliance program. Regular program review helps make sure it’s relevant and effective.
Decide what frequency you’ll want to audit your worksites. Then you can draft any follow-up plans that detail your next steps after an audit.
Automated systems will also help you plan updates further down the road. Use automated notifications to remind you that you need to renew or update your policy. Allow your compliance officer or compliance committee to access your systems.
Quickly respond and utilize corrective action plans.
Comprehensive HIPAA compliance programs should also speak to any corrective actions to address violations.
Your company’s action strategy should define the way you identify, address, and handle any compliance violations. What is the best disciplinary action? Who do you contact?
The primary focus is to fix the issue. Correct your current program where necessary so that more problems don’t happen in the future.