|Is the Industry Complying with HIPAA?
Yes, according to a survey conducted by the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA). It reports that health care organizations are achieving compliance with the HIPAA privacy rule.
Melanie Brodnik, PhD, RHIA, and president of AHIMA, says, Before the rule took effect last year, it created concern, along with confusion, frustration, and some misinformation within the health care industry.
Despite the anxiety over this issue, she reports, it appears as though health care organizations are integrating HIPAA privacy into their culture and seeing positive results.
One clear outcome of the implementation of the HIPAA privacy requirements was that it allowed facilities to address internal process issues that put the privacy of patient information at risk. Of those surveyed, 70% agreed that HIPAA uncovered privacy problem areas within their facility.
The most common areas identified for improvement include unauthorized release of protected health information (PHI) from areas outside of the health information management department, lack of standardized practices related to the release of information, and public access to PHI information left in plain sight on whiteboards, computer screens, unattended desks, or overheard in conversation.
The privacy rule has helped a majority of organizations identify where policies and procedures need to be improved in order to ensure the privacy of protected health information, says Brodnik.
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