HIPAA privacy compliance is a serious matter for behavioral health agencies, and failure to comply can result in crippling financial penalties or even criminal charges.
This handy HIPAA EHR compliance checklist will help you make sure your system meets or exceeds the compliance safeguards.
HIPAA EHR Compliance Checklist
- Know what constitutes protected health information (PHI), and pinpoint all instances of PHI in your organization.
- Identify someone in your agency who will serve as a patient privacy champion. Make him or her your formal “privacy official.” This person will create and implement policies and processes designed to ensure full compliance with HIPAA privacy standards. Other staff should feel comfortable coming to your privacy official with concerns, questions, and requests.
- Develop a Notice of Privacy Practices that “provides a clear, user-friendly explanation of individuals’ rights with respect to their personal health information” and your agency’s privacy practices. Distribute your notice to all clients and staff.
- Record all uses and disclosures of PHI in your organization. The right EMR compliance solution automates this step.
- Allow patients an appropriate level of control over their own PHI, like an access portal to their information. Make sure it is consistent with the HIPAA Privacy Rule.
- When necessary, get explicit, written consent to disclose PHI.
- Stick to the “minimum necessary” method for disclosing PHI. Only use, give or ask for the least amount of PHI to carry out the intended purpose.
- Create a list of your business associates (e.g., any external company that may be exposed to your clients’ PHI). Make sure you have signed Business Associate Agreements with each.
- Implement adequate physical, technical, and administrative safeguards per HIPAA’s Security Rule to prevent illegal PHI disclosure—whether disclosure is intentional or unintentional.
- Make sure your staff has continuous training on HIPAA policies and procedures. Your privacy officer should keep a record of the policies and document associated training.
If you follow the above checklist, your behavioral health agency will be in a good position on HIPAA EHR compliance and privacy rules. Since HIPAA compliance is a serious matter, action steps like the ones mentioned here will get you closer to compliance.
The Remarkable Health difference
Remarkable Health’s CT|One is a fully integrated behavioral health EHR solution designed to improve client care and achieve efficiencies. You also get help automating administrative and technical privacy safeguards to achieve HIPAA compliance.
Contact us today to request a demo of CT|One today to discover the power of an EHR solution designed specifically for behavioral health providers.