Improving Compliance – Solutions for Optimizing Healthcare Privacy
Whether you are storing patient data or releasing medical records, compliance is the most critical factor when protecting your patients.
Not only is it critical to maintain data security and privacy, but every healthcare organization is required to comply with specific HIPAA regulations.
It’s essential to understand if you are meeting compliance and the steps you can follow to improve compliance issues in the future. Here are a few critical steps to follow during your Release of Information (ROI) process that will ensure you are compliant.
Review Each Release and Authorization
When ROI requests are submitted, each request must be checked for proper authorization. This review process is necessary to evaluate the request’s legitimacy before releasing a patient’s confidential information to a requester.
Identify Inaccurate Information
It is not uncommon for requests to contain inaccurate or outdated information. How should you handle these errors? Having a reliable system for quality assurance to catch potential discrepancies and ommissions helps minimize such oversights and mistakes.
One reasonable practice is to have a request ‘quarantined’ during the ROI process where errors are identified. Organizations are communicated with and have a method to correct the mistake.
Maintain Turnaround Times
While it’s vital to work through each review, it’s equally important to quickly review and release the request. Do you know how long it’s taking you (or your vendor) to receive, check, and release records to requesters?
An efficient ROI workflow should enable you to move requests along at an ideal (i.e. fast) pace – meeting your patients’ needs and reducing administrative time for your staff.
Insulate Data from Breaches
Certain safeguards must be in place to minimize the risk of an unauthorized breach. Essential protections need to be implemented, including both physical and digital defenses.
Updated hardware and software are your first line of defense from an electronic standpoint. However, physical threats, such as employee theft, viewing of a patient’s records (employee records are left open on a monitor), and the exposure of paper records are but a few instances where breaches can occur.
Updated Fees and Legal Decisions
Your organization must be using the latest (and ever-changing) state current rates when billing for ROI. Furthermore, legislation or new legal precedence may alter fees and the laws within each state, affecting how ROI fees can be billed or collected. For many healthcare organizations keeping up with these changes can be challenging since their staff members are already busy with other responsibilities.
All of the compliance improvements listed above are easy to manage when using RecordQuest’s service. We maintain the highest compliance and data management standards, giving you streamlined workflows without overburdening your team. For more information, schedule a demonstration or let us know how we can help.