Compliance management is a major task for all industries, but especially those that deal with sensitive patient data, like healthcare. For healthcare facilities, HIPAA compliance protocols stretch across all areas of your facility. Beyond the traditional doctor-patient confidentiality that we all know, healthcare facilities managers play a critical role in ensuring HIPAA standards are not only met but exceeded on the logistics side. So, how does facilities management software impact HIPAA compliance, and how can you make sure you have the right software in place to streamline the process? Let’s find out.
What is HIPAA Compliance?
HIPAA stands for the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, and this act sets the standard for data protection in healthcare. Any facility dealing with sensitive patient information, such as date of birth, social security number, and more, must have both physical and digital processes in place to protect this data. It’s also important to note that any business providing services, including payment or operations, must also meet HIPAA compliance. Additionally, the Security Rule was established to protect electronic personal health information (PHI) that is handled or maintained by a covered entity.
Access & Information Management in HIPAA
HIPAA focuses on protecting sensitive patient data, so how does facilities management software help with access and information management? First, FM platforms should offer access control options, monitoring who has physical access to certain areas of your facility and digital access on servers. With our platform Intra, our visitor tracking workflow can ensure that anyone entering your hospital or healthcare facility has distinct access areas, along with integrations such as visitor kiosks to track check-in and check-out.
A strong asset management strategy also plays a role in information management for HIPAA compliance. Did you know that around 35% of healthcare data breaches come from unauthorized access or disclosure of PHI? Because so much PHI is stored digitally on servers and computers, it’s important to make sure access is restricted, all assets are accounted for, and your FM team has a plan in place for proper tracking and disposal. This can also be enhanced by task management workflows, allowing managers to assign specific tasks based on security clearance and monitor data of when each task was completed and by whom.
Documentation & Reporting for Compliance
If there is one area we cannot stress enough when it comes to compliance, it is documentation. While this is a time-consuming and sometimes difficult process if you do not have a compliance team in place, finding automation software that focuses on industry-specific documentation makes it much easier. Thankfully, our Document Services Workgroup does just that! Proper record management streamlines your compliance process by harnessing documentation on all HIPAA compliance-related items so that your team is fully prepared in the event of an audit. This can include secure storage of physical PHI, as well as documentation on task completion and maintenance, to prove that all proper steps were taken by your team to meet compliance standards.
Emergency Management in Your Facility
Although unfortunate, emergencies can happen in healthcare facilities. When they do, it is the job of the facilities management team to step in with the proper protocols to keep patients and staff safe, while protecting the facility to the best of their abilities. As it relates to compliance, FM teams impact emergency management in the following ways:
- Conducting risk assessments for weak physical points in the building, as well as any potential technology malfunctions
- Environmental controls for physical documents and PHI to make sure that the integrity of documents remains in the event of an emergency
- Emergency power solutions to ensure that areas storing PHI have backup electricity, generators, or other power sources
- Evacuation and lockdown protocols to protect areas containing PHI during an emergency
Master Healthcare Compliance with SCLogic
The compliance process can be overwhelming, but with the right tools, it doesn’t have to be! At SCLogic, we have a specific focus on the healthcare industry, providing configurable solutions for your unique pain points. We understand the complexities of the healthcare industry, which is why our platform, Intra, is built to be your one-stop solution for facilities management. Easily integrated, user-friendly, and built securely, learn more about our healthcare-specific workgroups by scheduling a demo or email [email protected] with any questions!