Medical Practice Security Risk Assessments
Today, patient health information (PHI) is generally stored electronically, so the risk of a breach of PHI is very real. The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) therefore requires organizations that have access to PHI to implement the safeguards necessary to protect PHI.
More specifically, HIPAA requires organizations that handle PHI to regularly review the administrative, physical and technical safeguards they have in place to protect the security of the information. By conducting risk assessments, health care organizations can uncover vulnerabilities in their security policies, processes and systems. Risk assessments also help providers address weaknesses, potentially preventing health data breaches and other adverse security events.
In addition, conducting a security risk analysis to meet the standards of HIPAA’s Security Rule is included in the meaningful use requirements of the Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs. Eligible professionals must conduct or review a security risk analysis in Stage 1 and Stage 2 of meaningful use to ensure the privacy and security of PHI. Any security updates and deficiencies that are identified in the review should be included in the health care organization’s risk management process and implemented or corrected accordingly.
Most risk assessment processes have key steps in common, including the following:
- Review the existing security infrastructure of the medical practice against legal requirements and industry best practices;
- Identify potential threats to patient privacy and security; and
- Prioritize risks based on the severity of their potential impact on the medical practice.
At Precision, our Information Technology and Electronic Health Record Departments work together to conduct robust and comprehensive security risk assessments for medical practices. By partnering with our clients, we fully document the assessment steps and findings, review the risks and quickly address them. Please contact Precision to learn more about the security risk assessment process and how it would benefit your organization.