While organizations should focus on performing regular risk assessments and analyses, there are also other ways in which they must review their systems for compliance. Often, these other evaluations are overlooked despite their value, says Kevin Beaver, CISSP, an information security consultant in Atlanta. In particular, organizations should be careful not to forget about performing vulnerability assessments and penetration tests, which are components of an overall risk assessment or analysis, says Beaver, who is a BOH editorial advisory board member.
Q: My facility no longer registers patients under aliases, but will allow them to opt out of the patient directory. However, opting out of the registry will not exclude our patients from the operating room (OR) list. At one time, the facility's CEO received the daily OR list with full patient names so he could visit board members, donors, or others whom he knows at our facility. HIM changed this practice so that patients' names would not be on the OR schedule provided to the CEO. The CEO took this matter to the hospital attorney, who said the names could be included because the use of PHI by the CEO to determine whether and when a patient visit is appropriate is permitted by HIPAA as it is part of healthcare operations. Is it a violation of HIPAA for the CEO to use PHI to track patients in this manner?
As the new year kicks off, many opt to make resolutions for the months ahead. BOH asked some privacy and security professionals to share their best tips for a productive 2015. What advice would they offer others in the industry to ensure the year ahead is a success?
At this point, there are no federally recognized HIPAA certification standards for covered entities (CE) and business associates (BA). However, that doesn't mean there are no good assessment tools out there to gauge information security and regulatory compliance. The Health Information Trust Alliance (HITRUST) published its first common security framework (CSF) in March 2009 with the goal of focusing on information security as a core pillar of the broad adoption of health information systems and exchanges.