Are You Violating HIPAA Without Knowing It?

Here are five areas in which doctors must use extra care to avoid a HIPAA violation.

Risk Management

Are You Violating HIPAA Without Knowing It?

A recent article says that many healthcare professionals are not being as stringent as they need to be to avoid a HIPAA violation. Here are the top five things doctors must use extra care to avoid violating HIPAA.


The recent article by Ultra Risk Advisors says that many healthcare professionals are not being as stringent as they need to be. 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’ healthcare 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.


The information in the NCMIC Learning Center is offered solely for general information and educational purposes. It is not offered as, nor does it represent, legal or professional advice. Neither does this information constitute a guideline, practice parameter or standard of care. You should not act or rely upon this information without seeking the advice of an attorney familiar with the specific legal requirements of the state(s) in which you practice. If there is a discrepancy between the site and an insurance policy you have with NCMIC, the policy will prevail.