EHR is NOT the Complete Solution for HIPAA Compliance – Consider the Human Element

There are hundreds of excellent electronic health record (EHR) systems on the market and many are A+, for what they do. They centralize patient information, reduce paperwork and help with scheduling, billing and coding. The problem is that EHR systems are not delivering a total HIPAA compliance program because HIPAA compliance is about much more than electronic records. Unfortunately, many health care providers confuse EHR HIPAA compliance with total HIPAA compliance and risk running afoul of HIPAA law or jeopardizing patient privacy. EHR is one piece of a larger picture – the complicated tangle of HIPAA laws.

Patients expect privacy and place trust in their health care professionals to provide it. But patient privacy starts and ends with the human element, not a computer or a server. A total HIPAA compliance program is the best way to maintain patient trust and comply with the law.

A total HIPAA compliance program guides everyone in the organization, from the front desk to the health care professional in how to:

  • Communicate with patients, both in the office and electronically
  • Communicate with family members and friends
  • Manage and protect workstations where computer terminals hold private information
  • Conduct an annual Risk Analysis as part of a larger Risk Management program
  • Provide regular workforce training in all the HIPAA basics
  • Assess whether a breach has occurred, and what to do if it has
  • Prevent, prepare and respond to ransomware attacks
  • Prepare for an audit from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

A total HIPAA compliance program contains policies and procedures that track current HIPAA law, is easy to use and gives staff the confidence to act independently. It should save time and become part of the culture of care every day. The HIPAA E-Tool® has everything a health care provider needs – all Policies, Procedures and Forms needed for compliance are written and included. All is presented with clear instructions, ready for use. Trustworthy, affordable, comprehensive and clear.   

The HIPAA E-Tool® makes compliance fast and easy. Get your free HIPAA Quick Start Kit, complete with a webcam privacy guard, HIPAA Hot Zone labels and a HIPAA checklist delivered directly to your office.

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Maggie Hales

Maggie Hales is a lawyer specializing in health information privacy and security. As CEO of ET&C Group LLC she advises health care providers and business associates in 36 states, Canada, Egypt, India and the EU, using The HIPAA E-Tool® to deliver up to date policies, forms and training on everything related to HIPAA compliance.

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