Nowadays, it seems like every type of business, organization, and agency is on social media. Healthcare providers also use social media, yet there are more traps to be aware of for such organizations. Those who violate HIPAA rules run the risk of a stiff penalty and/or time in jail. IT services experts in Atlanta can help you avoid these costly mistakes.
HIPAA is short for Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. The law was passed in the spring of 2003, with the aim of guarding the privacy of patient records, health plans, doctors, and hospitals. This law's regulations empowered patients to access their records and enjoy enhanced control over disclosure and use of their personal health data.
Social Media in the Context of Healthcare
Though social media clearly poses some risk in that those who use these popular digital platforms might violate HIPAA rules, social media is necessary for business success. These platforms help healthcare providers connect with patients, keep current patients engaged, promote new services and communicate important information. Problems can arise if those in charge of social media accounts present information in a manner that violates HIPAA rules.
Social Media Actions that Violate HIPAA
HIPAA regulations state breaches or violations are unauthorized uses that expose the security or privacy of protected health information. An example of a HIPAA violation is the sharing of personal health information without the patient's written permission. Even posting gossip or other patient-related information constitutes a HIPAA violation. The violation holds water, even if the patient was not specifically referenced.
HIPAA Violation Penalties
HIPAA violations are costly. An employee who violates a HIPAA rule typically faces a fine in the range of $100 to a couple thousand dollars, yet fines of $1,000,000 or more are possible. The violation severity determines the cost of the fine and the length of the jail sentence. It is possible for violators to face 10-year jail stints, termination from employment, revocation of medical license and liability in lawsuits.
How to Prevent Violations
One of the best ways to prevent costly HIPAA violations is to have your team undergo HIPAA security training and cyber security education. For that, you need to reach out to IT services experts in Atlanta to help your team better understand digital and cyber security. Employees who are properly trained and educated about HIPAA and digital security are that much more likely to abide by the letter of the law.
Does your business need tech assistance? If so, IT services experts in Atlanta can help. At MIS Solutions, we provide network assessments, network design, cloud computing assistance, IT consulting, managed services, and plenty more. Contact us now for more information.