HIPAA compliance in some industries and settings has impacted office organization, company policies, and the office equipment used

HIPAA privacy regulations require protecting the privacy of confidential patient medical and billing information.  In April 2001, the final regulations protecting the privacy of confidential health information under HIPAA (the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996) went into effect. This law includes provisions designed to provide patients with access to their medical records, save money for health care organizations and businesses by encouraging electronic transactions, and other facets. For patients, however, another important aspect is that it requires new safeguards be implemented by medical, insurance, healthcare, and some other businesses and practitioners to protect the security and confidentiality of that information.

As a result of the passage of this regulation, healthcare, medical, and insurance offices began instituting new procedures and training safeguards including changes to procedures in office filing and storage, computer use, and more. The HIPAA regulations required affected organizations to:

  •  "...develop and implement policies and procedures that restrict access and uses of protected health information..."
  • Certain safeguards were also to be implemented, including examples, such as, "...shredding documents..., securing medical records with lock and key or pass code, and limiting access to keys or pass codes."

Full HIPAA compliance has been required by federal law since April 14, 2003. The rule is enforced by the HHS Office for Civil Rights (OCR), and OCRs was named responsible for providing assistance to health care providers, hospitals, insurance agencies, doctor offices and health clearinghouses in meeting the regulation's requirements.


 

 Hipaa Compliance Hipaa Compliance cabinets

 

 

HIPAA privacy regulations provided guideline regulations, so offices could take care of procedural details.

Certain practices followed as a result of the regulations simply made good business sense. One example is locking office filing cabinets where patient records could be stored when not in use; that obviously has additional security benefits for many different types of businesses. Not only paper Filing but also media storage of data required protection from unauthorized access.

Office storage systems and cabinet kits (to the right) that offer smooth gliding, locking doors and HIPAA compliant security for all office files.

Locking storage carousel for space saving binder storage on the left.

 

 File Chart Holders Medical File Charts

New designs in such simple office products as wall mounting medical file charts help meet HIPAA privacy compliance. These items are sized larger than the file; thus, when patient records are placed inside, not even the patient's name on the tab is visible to casual observers.


Regulated office filing, business procedures, record keeping and computing practices have benefits for many businesses.  Contact us if you have any questions about products that can help you organize your office and secure your company files and records. For additional information about HIPAA Rule regarding privacy in pdf format, scroll to the bottom of this page.



OCR Summary of HIPAA Privacy Rule

To read a more detailed OCR Summary of HIPAA Privacy Rule in PDF format, click here.

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