Technology has not always been the great simplifier in the workplace. Because the HIPAA makes some very stringent requirements when it comes to protecting patient information, doctor offices have been trying to ensure that their systems give their patients confidence that they will not give out information, even by accident. This has means that doctor offices have had to worry about computer security, especially as courts have judged that offices without sufficient security were not compliant with the act. This has had the effect of offices increasing their computer security.
This had made life a little more difficult for the office manager, as almost every file in a medical office is covered by the HIPAA, as the business is basically founded on patient information. This means that the office manager has to implement any number of security measures, ranging from password rules to maintaining security software. This has also meant that the bar for standards have been raised when it comes to hiring an office manager, as the office manager has to be more computer savvy than in years past.
Of these measures, password rules have been the hardest to implement. The problem is that a password has to foil most hacker attempts to find out what the password is, while keeping it simple enough that anyone in the office can use it; offices have found it easier to have as few accounts in the same office as possible, and so everyone tends to use the same passwords. If it is too difficult then it becomes a drag as the same people have to stop work and type in the password, but if it is too simple then it becomes easy to hack and the office can possibly fined for allowing access to confidential patient files. As a number of offices have rules against writing down passwords, this means that the password is usually a compromise between the two extremes.
Ultimately, as it is tacitly acknowledged that there is no way to make an office computer completely safe from hacking, it is only important that an earnest attempt be made and followed up on. This means that the office has to have rules for computer security in place and that those in the office need to follow those rules. These rules are meant to protect not only the patients, but to help protect the doctor as well; by implementing them the office not only complies with the HIPAA, but also protects the office as well.
There is now a way to allow providers and patients to communicate through hipaa compliant messaging
and exchange private health information using their computers and mobile devices. All thanks to Medtunnel, a free service that provides secure communication for healthcare.