If your agency hasn’t already been in contact with its electronic medical records (EMR) vendor to discuss preparedness for the Patient-Driven Groupings Model (PDGM), your agency should do so right away.
For agencies using Windows 7, now is the time to consider purchasing new computers or buying new operating systems to protect your patient information.
Have clinicians sign an agreement that they will comply with tablet policies as a condition of employment. This will keep protected health information (PHI) safe and help your agency avoid unnecessary risk.
As agencies invest more in technology such as video call apps and/or text/picture messaging, they must ensure they have a sound business associate agreement in place. This will help them avoid costly legal risks with privacy and security rules under the HIPAA and HITECH regulations.
Perform unannounced, ongoing audits involving the use of electronic signatures used by physicians, nurses or other providers at your agency. This should be done as part of your agency’s performance improvement program and include checking both the signers and those evaluating documents and signatures.
Agencies should consider buying mobile hotspot devices as a way to connect clinicians to the Internet at patients’ homes and improve the security of information clinicians transmit from those homes via cell phone, tablet and/or laptop.
The recent discovery of new hacking threats to medical devices and systems is a reminder that you should go beyond the four walls of your agency when you perform your security risk analysis under HIPAA.
There is an upward trend in the number of home health agencies switching electronic health records (EHR) systems. New regulations — including ICD-10 and value-based purchasing — could be part of the reason for the increase.
Watch your business neighbors for a heads up on when you should be looking at your cybersecurity measures — including whether you have been breached already and didn’t even know it.
Agencies should investigate whether hiring a secure text messaging company makes sense for them.


User Name: