The most common cause of a HIPAA violation is a lack of risk assessment and remediation. One of the biggest risks that is often forgotten is employee error and mishaps.
Luckily, there is an easy way to cut these risks almost entirely; a training program.
When every team member knows the HIPAA procedures they’re required to follow the chances of a problem go down significantly. Read on for a full guide to training programs within your practice focused on HIPAA compliance.
Understand the Importance of Training
It’s easy to dismiss training as an important business practice. But HIPAA training is absolutely crucial to running a successful, efficient operation.
The most important thing that comes from HIPAA training is the base of knowledge needed to make smart decisions.
Each employee will leave the training having a good understanding of what HIPAA laws actually are. They’ll know why they were put in place, what they cover, how they can be violated, and what the consequences are for violations.
Most of the regulations that fall under HIPAA are common sense if you have this base of knowledge. But they might not be thought of without it.
Giving your employees this foundation allows them to use it when making decisions in their job on a daily basis. It can act as a guide as they work with patients’ personal information and do their best to keep it private.
Employee HIPAA training also gives you the peace of mind that everyone working within your company knows what’s expected of them. You should see much fewer surprises after everyone has had thorough training.
Get a Trainee List
Anyone who works in a medical office needs to have a good understanding of HIPAA. That includes its rules and regulations and the consequences of violations.
Regardless of the position, everyone working within a medical facility has some access to patient personal information to some degree. That could be actual access to medical records or just having the ability to see a file while open in the room.
Because of this potential access, every employee needs at least some HIPAA training to make sure they are compliant. But the level of training will vary depending on the specific position and responsibilities.
Experts in business say that giving all employees ample training opportunities provides them with the best base to complete their tasks to your satisfaction.
The more they know the better they can do.
Set a Schedule
HIPAA training for any healthcare provider and facility employees shouldn’t be a one-time experience.
Instead, the practice should set up a schedule for regular training for continual education. HIPAA rules can change occasionally to adapt to chaining healthcare options and technology advances. It’s important to stay as current as possible to completely avoid violations and penalties.
It’s also helpful to have more than one session to help employees process what they’re learning. Instead of drinking from a firehose, they can have a steady stream of information.
After they’ve had time to process from their first training, they can come back with any questions they may have. The expert can help with real-life examples and make things as clear as possible. Keeping the communication line as open as possible will help to end vulnerabilities and potential issues.
Each healthcare facility will need a different schedule for training but at least two times a year should be a good place to start. Then you can add in extra sessions if necessary.
Find the Right Program
The key to making your training as worthwhile as possible is to find the right program that suits your specific needs. There are a lot of options available, so it’s important to do your research before committing to a program.
Before you begin your search take inventory of the employees that will need training, their responsibilities, and potential vulnerabilities related to them. Having this list will allow you to find a program that covers everything you’ll need. It would be such a waste to finish a training only to realize one role wasn’t covered.
The training programs you’re looking at should be able to give you a brief overview of what will be covered so you can double-check it will work.
Another way to customize your training program is to decide how the information is presented, either virtually or through live trainings. You may even decide to do a mix of the two options.
With as many options as there are available, you’ll be able to find a program that fits your practice and employees to help them learn the best they can.
Benefits for the Practice
In any healthcare setting, it’s in everyone’s individual best interest to keep HIPAA training at the forefront of the business’ procedures. But it’s especially true for the practice as a whole.
Many businesses struggle to continue after they’ve had a HIPAA violation and had to deal with the penalties. Whether that be from the financial burden or the hit to their reputation. A HIPAA violation can be the end of a practice.
If you take the time to train your employees upfront and then continue their education, you decrease that risk significantly.
Good training also leads to higher retention and employee satisfaction. When people know what’s expected of them, they feel more confident in their abilities to complete their job.
Using a great HIPAA training program has so many benefits for a healthcare practice, but the most important is the way it produces good employees.
Get Started With a HIPAA Training Program
A HIPAA violation and the consequences that follow can cause long-lasting problems (even closure) for any healthcare practice. It’s in everyone’s best interest to be as educated on the subject as possible.
A good training program will not only set your team up for success but continually give them the tools they need to keep up with the changing regulations.
If you’re interested in learning more about our HIPAA training program and how to get started, contact us today!