Remaining HIPAA Compliant with Third Party Printers
Are you truly HIPAA compliant? Maybe you’ve set up certain measures of data security and protected your processes internally, but what about your third-party vendors? As a HIPAA compliant and HITRUST certified printer, Preferred Direct invests in quality equipment and proven processes to ensure printing projects for healthcare, insurance, finance and other data sensitive industries comply with HIPAA requirements. From securing sensitive digital files to choosing the right third-party vendors, we put together a quick list of ways to ensure your organization remains in compliance.
The 3 HIPPA Rules
Before getting started with HIPAA compliance, we first need to understand the three HIPAA rules which all compliance best practices build upon:
HIPAA Privacy Rule
The HIPAA Privacy Rule establishes a federal standard for safeguarding the privacy of individuals’ personal medical records and other identifiable health information.
HIPAA Security Rule
The HIPAA Security Rule establishes a federal standard for safeguarding electronically stored personal medical information of individuals to ensure the privacy, confidentiality, and security of these records are maintained.
HIPAA Breach Notification Rule
A HIPAA data breach is defined as an individuals’ protected health information (PHI) being disclosed or used without permission that compromises the security and privacy of the information in any way.
Once the breach is discovered, the organization has 60 days to notify the individuals whose information was exposed and submit a report to the Department of Health & Human Services. If the breach exposes over 500 individuals’ PHI, the organization must also notify a notable local media outlet.
With technology becoming more advanced, it’s important your organization takes the necessary precautions to prevent data leaks or PHI breaches. Digital ways to secure access to sensitive data is encryption, creating secure access portals, and managing user roles/admin levels. Physical ways to protect this information include computers automatically log out when not in use and personal logins for all employees. For facilities with portable devices, conducting device inventory checks frequently could prevent these devices from leaving the premises without permission.
Ensure your outsourced print & mail vendor also maintains secure access, provides secure file transfer options, and encrypts all data transferred. As a HIPAA compliant and HITRUST certified print and mail vendor, Preferred Direct offers healthcare customers individual client logins for secure FTP file transfers and encrypts all print and mail data.
You can’t protect devices with secure data access or PHI records, without having a secure facility around it. Ways to prohibit unauthorized access to protected health records is having alarmed security systems throughout the building, storing records and files in authorized personnel only areas, and tracking devices with ePHI access. Knowing who is coming in and out of your facility at all times makes it easy to identify a potential breach point if a data leak does occur.
An often overlooked practice of securing PHIs is training staff and faculty. Having quarterly or annual HIPAA compliance training keeps experienced staff up to date and gives new hires HIPAA compliance best practices. Holding training sessions on staff security, ethics, integrity, data breaches, and more will empower employees to speak up if they see malpractice occurring and remind them of the proper protocols when handling sensitive data.
Audits & Compliance
It’s important to complete the proper audits annually. Completing risk assessments, policy reviews, contingency plans, and vendor audits will ensure your organization remains HIPAA compliant. Allowing protocols or policies to “slip through the cracks” is where HIPAA compliance is more likely to be compromised.
Also, be sure to audit your third party print vendors and other outsourced organizations. Requesting information on their security protocols, testing for vulnerabilities, and having policy conversations with your vendors will help prevent a third-party data breach.
HIPAA compliance also applies to your outsourced commercial printer. When it comes to choosing your third-party vendors, it’s important they also take the necessary precautions when printing and distributing sensitive data. One way to remain compliant when printing protected medical records is by using HIPAA compliant print vendors with secure data transfer portals, HITRUST certified common security framework, and secure digital and inkjet VDP technology – choose Preferred Direct.
As a HIPAA compliant and HITRUST certified printer, Preferred Direct has invested in top print and fulfillment technology and follows the strictest data security standards to ensure the safety of your data. If you’re looking to get one step closer to ultimate HIPAA compliance, contact Preferred Direct for third-party medical bill printing and mailing services. See for yourself why Preferred Direct is the trusted health industry print partner – contact us to get started on your next print project today!
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