The opportunity for health information to become more accessible, streamlined, and available to provider and client is, to say the least, exciting. Today, more than ever before, providers can more efficiently communicate with clients and patients as a result of improved technology. Individuals can access their patient history and test results through a few clicks of an app. With the benefits of easily accessible health information changing the face of health care, there comes an increased risk of data security.
Risk Analysis and Management
The Administrative Safeguards provisions in the HIPAA Security Rule require covered entities to perform risk analysis as part of their security management processes.
A risk analysis process includes, but is not limited to, the following activities:
Evaluate the likelihood and impact of potential risks to Electronic Personal Health Information (e-PHI)
Implement appropriate security measures to address the risks identified in the risk analysis
Document the chosen security measures and, where required, the rationale for adopting those measures
Maintain continuous, reasonable, and appropriate security protections
As explained in the previous section, a covered entity must identify and analyze potential risks to e-PHI, and it must implement security measures that reduce risks and vulnerabilities to a reasonable and appropriate level.
Access Control A covered entity must implement technical policies and procedures that allow only authorized persons to access electronic protected health information (e-PHI).
Audit Controls A covered entity must implement hardware, software, and/or procedural mechanisms to record and examine access and other activity in information systems that contain or use e-PHI.
Integrity Controls A covered entity must implement policies and procedures to ensure that e-PHI is not improperly altered or destroyed. Electronic measures must be put in place to confirm that e-PHI has not been improperly altered or destroyed.
Transmission Security A covered entity must implement technical security measures that guard against unauthorized access to e-PHI that is being transmitted over an electronic network.
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