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10 Top HIPAA Policies and Procedures Templates to Manage Compliance

hipaa-policies-and-procedures-templates

There’s no way of getting around HIPAA rules.

If you are a healthcare provider that comes into contact with Protected Health Information (PHI), HIPAA compliance is not voluntary. You simply have no option but to comply with HIPAA policies and procedures.

This can feel daunting, especially if you consider the continuous rise in data breaches experienced by the healthcare industry, particularly in the US.

“Figures from the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office for Civil Rights breach portal show a major increase in healthcare data breaches in 2019. Last year, 510 healthcare data breaches of 500 or more records were reported, which represents a 196% increase from 2018.” – Steve Alder, 2019 Healthcare Data Breach Report

It gets worse.

If your organization violates HIPAA regulations, you can face a jaw-dropping fine. Take, for example, the 2014 case in which the New York Presbyterian Hospital accidentally disclosed the records of 6,800 patients, making them available online and fully Google-able.

“The enactment of the Final Omnibus Rule in 2013 doubled the maximum fine for a single violation of HIPAA from $25,000 to $50,000 per compromised patient record. This meant that when the New York-Presbyterian Hospital inadvertently disclosed the unsecured records of 6,800 patients on the Internet, the potential fine for the violation of HIPAA could have been as much as $340 million. Fortunately (for the New York-Presbyterian Hospital) the breach of PHI was settled for $3.3 million.” – Marc LadinThe Importance of HIPAA Compliance: 7 Things You Should Know

Here are some other examples of HIPAA violations:

  • The University of California Los Angeles Health System was fined $865,000 for failing to restrict access to medical records.
  • North Memorial Health Care of Minnesota had to pay $1.55 million in a settlement, for failing to enter into a Business Associate Agreement with a major contractor.
  • The Memorial Healthcare System received a $5,500,000 penalty for insufficient ePHI access controls.
  • The Memorial Hermann Health System had to pay $2.4 million in a settlement for disclosing a patient’s PHI in a press release.

If you think these are one-off cases, you are sorely mistaken.

A report by the Ponemon Institute found that 90% of surveyed healthcare institutions had at least one data breach within the past two years. What’s even more concerning is the continuous rise in the costs incurred by healthcare organizations facing a breach.

The researchers found for the ninth consecutive year, the healthcare sector is still the hardest hit financially by data breaches.

“Over the past five years, the average cost of a data breach has increased by 12%. The global average cost of a data breach has increased to $3.92 million. The average breach size is 25,575 records and the cost per breached record is now $150; up from $148 last year. Data breach costs are the highest in the United States, where the average cost of a data breach is $8.19 million – or $242 per record. The average cost of a healthcare data breach in the United States is $15 million.” Steve Alder2019 Cost of A Data Breach Study Reveals Increase in U.S. Healthcare Data Breach Costs

All things considered, I think it’s clear why HIPAA compliance is so essential for not only protecting sensitive patient information, but also for minimizing the risk of a data breach that could result in a huge fine, not to mention lasting damage to the organization’s reputation.

Process Street’s HIPAA policies and procedures templates

Not to worry though. With the correct processes in place, you can maintain compliance without having to deal with any unwelcome surprises. It’s also not expensive to set up an effective solution.

The costs involved in implementing a secure messaging solution, conducting risk assessments and training employees to use the solution are much less than commonly believed. – Marc LadinThe Importance of HIPAA Compliance: 7 Things You Should Know

This Process Street template pack provides ten checklists that have been designed for the sole purpose of helping your institution maintain compliance with HIPAA policies and procedures.

By integrating these checklists into your HIPAA management efforts, you will increase accountability, transparency, and provide your team with the tools they need to execute important workflows.

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SOAP Note: How to Write Spotless Healthcare Notes (Free Template!)

SOAP note

Healthcare providers are the backbone of humanity.

It’s through their hard work, diligence, and courageousness that we’re able to recover from injuries and illnesses alike. However, even before the novel coronavirus struck, those working in the healthcare sector were run off their feet – especially considering there are only 2.6 doctors per 1,000 patients in the United States.

Healthcare providers, then, need to strike the fine balance of providing each patient with adequate care but within an appropriate timeframe.

To help make this near-impossible task a reality, many healthcare providers turn to what’s known as a SOAP note.

Not sure what a SOAP note is?

I’ve got you covered. (Spoiler: It’s not related to the cleaning product.)

In this short yet informative post, I’ll explain what a SOAP note is, its interesting history, why it’s useful, and provide a visual example of what a SOAP note looks like. To boot, I’ll also show you how Process Street makes writing and implementing SOAP notes extremely easy.

Read through the below sections to get clued-up:

So what’s up, Doc? Ready to get reading? 👀
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Lab Procedures: How to Make Your Lab Safe and Effective

Lab Procedures

I’m not religious, but God bless high school lab technicians.

I can’t count the number of times that Dave (our high school’s technician), exasperated and exhausted, despaired at the lack of common sense some of our teachers had.

Heck, our physics teacher once almost exposed a classroom of Year 7s (11 years old!) to chlorine gas.

He forgot to turn on the extractor fans, leaving poor old Dave to rush in, turn them on, and then promptly evacuate everyone from the room.

Corroding the lungs of your students is, after all, not best practice.

This is why it’s important to have set lab procedures in place. Following these documented processes is the best way to prevent disaster.

When 25-38% of lab personnel have been in an accident that wasn’t even reported (as demonstrated by Dana Ménard and John Trant), you can see the dangers that are easily taken for granted in a lab environment.

That’s why we here at Process Street have created a Lab SOP process that you can use for free, and will go over the common points that a lab procedure needs to cover in this post.

If you just want to get the checklist for yourself, you can check it out below.

You can also click the links below to be taken to a specific section of the article:

Let’s get started!
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16 COVID-19 Procedures for Hospitals (According to Clinical Experience from FAHZU)

🚨If you’re on the front lines fighting COVID-19 and want to use these processes to help your facility, please contact us and we will set you up with a free account*🚨
covid-19 procedures headerIn the wake of challenges at the scale of the novel coronavirus COVID-19 it is vital that we share as much knowledge as possible to help each other prepare for the problems we face and fight them effectively when they arrive.

This article will compile the procedures outlined in the Handbook of COVID-19 Prevention and Treatment (2020) produced by The First Affiliated Hospital, Zhejiang University School of Medicine (FAHZU).

FAHZU had significant success in tackling the spread of coronavirus within its hospital while seeing successful outcomes and has – in association with the Jack Ma Foundation, AliHealth, Alibaba Cloud, and other partners – released the above handbook to guide hospitals and medical centers around the world, and inform them of effective best practices to fight the coming challenge.

The handbook contains many materials including policies, charts, and imaging examples. In this Process Street article, however, we’ll focus on the process-aligned elements of the guide.

Some of the items we have extracted from the handbook function as linear procedures to guide action, others as processes to guide the setup or auditing of systems.

Each process template will be embedded below with a description. The article will be structured as follows:

Process Street COVID-19 procedure templates quicklinks

The quicklinks to each template are here:

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