Are You Violating HIPAA Without Knowing It?

Are health care professionals not being as stringent as they need to be to avoid a HIPAA violation? Here are the top five things doctors must know to avoid violating HIPAA.

An article by Ultra Risk Advisors suggests that many health care professionals are not being as stringent as they need to be when it comes to adhering to HIPAA rules. Here are the top five ways they say doctors should use extra care to avoid a HIPAA violation:

  1. Texting patient information. Though texting information such as test results is quicker and may seem harmless, it puts the patients’ health care information in cyberspace, making it accessible to hackers

  2. Breaches in social situations. Especially in small towns where everyone knows each other, responding to an innocent inquiry about one of your patient’s health conditions can be a violation of HIPAA. 
  3. Using home computers to access patient information. It is common for doctors to use computers at home for practice-related items. However, if a family member sees patient information on computer that is accidentally left open, it is likely a HIPAA violation.
  4. Mistakes in handling records. With printed records comes the risk of accidentally leaving patient’s charts out where other patients might see them. EHRs, if not protected, present hackers with the opportunity to steal patient information.
  5. Using social media as it relates to patient care. Posting photos is especially problematic as people who know the patient may connect the dots with the information shared and recognize the patient.  

See the full article from Ultra Risk Advisors for the complete pointers and their suggestions for avoiding these risks.

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