OCR Emphasizes Requirement for Safety Consciousness Teaching for Healthcare Workers

The Division of Health and Human Services’ OCR has retold HIPAA-protected units in its July Cybersecurity Bulletin why safety consciousness teaching for healthcare workers is so vital.

PHI safety isn’t only concerning technical solutions. Even though web filters, spam filters, firewalls and incursion discovery systems will certainly improve a company’s safety position, phishing electronic mails frequently make it past those fortifications and enter the inboxes of healthcare workers.

It’s much simpler to get a healthcare employee to install a malevolent program or deliver their login particulars than to try to avoid safety fortifications in other manners. Phishing crusades can be produced in minutes, massive numbers of electronic mails can be transmitted to healthcare employees, and the crusades are extremely effective. Nevertheless, that need not be the situation. Provide safety consciousness teaching for healthcare workers and they can be changed from a safety burden into a strong human firewall.

This isn’t simply a recommendation. Safety consciousness teaching for healthcare workers is a condition of the HIPAA Safety Law. A failure to apply a safety consciousness teaching plan for all members of the staff is a breach of HIPAA Laws and might attract a financial fine.

As OCR clarified, “All staff members can either be protectors of the unit’s PHI or can, unknowingly or knowingly, be the reason for HIPAA infringements or data breaches.”

OCR probes all breaches concerning the theft or exposure of over 500 files. If OCR notices that a business has failed to provide safety consciousness teaching to its staff, a HIPAA breach fine might be imposed.

OCR clarified that safety consciousness teaching for healthcare workers can’t be a onetime occurrence. An annual teaching period is no more enough. Safety consciousness teaching should be a continuing process. Teaching should also change, as the threat condition is continuously altering.

HIPAA doesn’t state how often training must be provided, however, OCR advises that several healthcare companies carry out semiannual teaching sessions mixed with monthly safety. Nevertheless, the frequency of security and training bulletins must be determined by the results of companies’ danger studies. It might be necessary for teaching to be imparted more often.

OCR has created a library of teaching materials which are obtainable through the HHS website. Protected units must also use their own teaching resources or those created by third-party safety consciousness teaching sellers. OCR proposes safety consciousness teaching for healthcare workers must include a blend of posters, email alerts, classroom sessions, CBT teaching, monthly bulletins as well as team discussions.

Protected units must also record all teaching efforts, including getting confirmations from workers that they have received teaching. Those records will need to be delivered to OCR during investigations and audits of data breaches.