Do you work in healthcare or related medical field? Do you work in the administrative side of a medical office?
If so, then you know the importance of HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability) in your workplace.
But how up-to-date are you, really? Are you aware of all the laws? What about the rest of your employees or colleagues?
In our world of evolving technology, HIPAA training serves a critical role in the workplace.
Unsecured protected health information has affected millions of individuals over the past decade. Furthermore, these violations cost companies millions in lost revenue (due to fines or lawsuits) per year.
This creates serious breaches of trust with regards to patient care and confidentiality.
These can all be preventable- this is why adequate information and resources are so important.
Below we’ve listed 7 important reasons why this training is crucial to your workplace.
Let’s get to it!
Why Your Workplace Needs HIPAA Training
1. Laws and Requirements Are Constantly Changing
As technology evolves and changes, so do the laws surrounding them.
As a medical professional, you are responsible for being aware of the HIPAA changes that occur.
What may have been acceptable or unenforced a year ago could be completely illegal today.
This is why routine HIPAA training with the most updated information available is critical. A singular training or stocking a few manuals on hand do not suffice for adequate training.
2. It Ensures Individual Employee and Company Safety
As a health care professional, patient safety and confidentiality are some of the most important concerns.
It would be neglectful to consider otherwise.
Consider this: if an individual knows his or her protected health information is breached, imagine the emotional implications. He or she may feel humiliated, enraged, or even revengeful. After all, the law and his or her trust have been broken.
With this in mind, now imagine the potential consequences this could have on your employees or company.
Privacy is a societal problem. Ethical values start at the top of an organization and trickle down.
3. It Eases the Hiring Process for New Employees
Many programs do not adequately teach how to deal with HIPAA information. Oftentimes, employees learn the ins and outs while on the job.
This is where employers can help new employees or professionals.
A new job can already be overwhelming and difficult. Creating a safe space for HIPAA training allows new employees to learn important skills or brush up on some they may already know.
4. Prevents Lawsuits or Loss of Company Money
In addition to the moral implications, HIPAA violations come with a heavy price.
Companies can be fined millions if data breaches occur. Individuals can be fined or lose their licenses. Companies can be sued and brought to court. This could be detrimental to the financial well-being of your organization. It can also be extremely damaging to your reputation.
This is a very serious matter. If you value the economic integrity of your company, HIPAA training provides peace of mind that all employees are following appropriate action.
5. Maintains Standards of Care
Health care professionals typically enter this line of work because they want to help others.
They also tend to value human integrity. After all, this is the grassroots of the healthcare field.
Invading a person’s privacy can be the ultimate act of betrayal. It takes away your company’s ethical values and can disrupt your standard of care. More than that, it can seriously harm your patients.
This is why HIPAA training is so important. Even if your employees aim to “do no harm,” they can be causing it unknowingly.
We know that health care professionals want to help as much as possible. Providing the adequate HIPAA training allows them to do their jobs correctly.
6. Decreases or Removes Burden from Supervisors
Individuals are responsible for knowing HIPAA laws. Unfortunately, many individual employees do not fully understand all rules and regulations. As a result, they turn to their supervisors for guidance.
This can be overwhelming and even frustrating for supervisors- especially if they have their own workload. It also can place tremendous pressure and responsibility on the higher-ups to adequately train or teach.
This is why training for all employees is crucial. It’s simply not enough for the supervisors or managers to have the knowledge. Patient care happens at all levels and the legal guidelines must be maintained at all levels.
7. Assures Overall Compliance
As health care professionals, you are valued for providing invaluable service for your patients. Maintaining HIPAA maintains overall compliance.
This is just as critical as following any other rules, such as appropriate procedures or regulations. It’s just as critical as following the right methods for providing a certain treatment or service.
Remember, privacy is one of the most important elements of a person’s life. You are aware of some of the most intimate details of your patients’ lives.
Do not take this for granted. Neglecting a patient’s privacy or care neglects the integrity of your company. It compromises compliance. It also compromises ethics.
Following compliance can be tricky and complicated. HIPAA is not a simple matter, but the right training helps!
We encourage you to refer to our extensive checklist for care requirements. We also encourage you to check out our strategies for helping your employees get on board.
Remember, patient care is everyone’s responsibility. HIPAA training, therefore, should be a mandatory requirement.
For more support, we provide an extensive HIPAA training guide. We also provide manuals and online support for interested patients.
How have you integrated HIPAA training in your workplace? What have you seen be most successful? How has this benefited or improved the service you provide? Comment below!