Here at Digital Transcriptions, we have gone to great lengths to
ensure that our entire process is HIPAA compliant; right from receiving
initial dictations, to the return of transcribed documents.
The purpose of HIPAA is to ensure patient confidentiality for all
healthcare related information. HIPAA requirements apply to any
entity storing and/or transmitting patient identifiable information
via electronic media. These requirements are designed to: 1) Improve
the efficiency and effectiveness of the healthcare system by creating
a standardized method of exchange of electronic data, relative to
administrative and financial transactions. 2) Safeguard the security/privacy
of electronic health information. The deadline for compliance was
October 16, 2002.
All healthcare organizations that participate in transaction, coding
or storage of electronic health information must comply; including
health plans, healthcare clearing houses, healthcare providers,
and integrated delivery networks, as well as individual physician
HIPAA and the Medical Transcription Industry
Although medical transcription services are not directly regulated
by HIPAA, there is little doubt that such an important component
of healthcare documentation will be impacted by the privacy and
security standards found in HIPAA.
Security and Confidentiality
Regardless of how the final HIPAA requirements for security and
privacy are finally enacted into law, your organization will need
to prevent unauthorized access, tampering and access to individually
identifiable patient information.
You will also need to ensure that all business agreements with your
business and trading partners, practices, providers, suppliers and
vendors have appropriate security, technology and procedures in
place to protect you from potential HIPAA violations.
A few things our company needs to meet the proposed HIPAA security
and privacy requirements are:
- logon passwords and password policies
- timely user account management
- encrypted storage of patient information
- network and application access procedures and restrictions
- network access monitoring software
- network encryption technologies
- network and email virus protection on our computers
- strong firewall protection
- These measures not only ensure privacy and security for patient
data, but for internal business systems and users as well.