How Does HIM Impact Privacy and Security?
With the rise of electronic medical records, health information management (HIM) professionals are experiencing increasing pressure to ensure patient data is stored securely and confidentially. HIM professionals are expected to uphold the highest degree of privacy for patients, not just from a moral standpoint, but for the importance of maintaining trust between patients and their providers. Many healthcare experts would agree that patient confidentiality is one of the most important aspects of modern medicine.
With privacy and security being a top priority for organizations and patients alike, here are some important practices HIM professionals should follow:
HIPAA compliance. For all aspects of HIPAA compliance, HIM professionals must be committed to ensuring that an organization’s privacy and IT functions work closely together for optimal security measures. HIM professionals should be well trained on all aspects of HIPAA so patient information is fully protected and proper security protocols are in place. As HIPAA regulations change, it is the responsibility of HIM pros (and their managers) to stay informed of the latest developments and practices.
Collaboration with IT departments. As referenced above, it should come as no surprise that HIM pros work directly with an organization’s IT department. This means HIM pros should collaborate closely with their organization’s IT teams to oversee electronic record health (EHR) systems and implement the most trusted technology. In general, fluid communication and teamwork between HIM and IT departments is critical for the highest level of security and privacy of patient information.
Proper training and education. Because HIM professionals are uniquely positioned to assume the role of a security official, it’s imperative they receive all essential training and development in this realm. This means they need to establish and recognize best practices in the management and security of both paper and electronic health information (PHI), as well as be an advocate for patient privacy in every decision made within their department. Whether it’s staying updated on the latest EHR software or getting a relevant certification, training and education should always be paramount.
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