HIPAA Compliance in Medical Transcription Services Why is it Important?
Posted Dec 10 2012 6:57am
The HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) was passed by the U.S congress in 1996 with a view to protect patient identities and their health information reports. The HIPAA act has been formulated with strong norms to prevent unauthorized access and retrieval of patient health information without the permission of the concerned patient for any purpose including healthcare treatment requirements, or public benefits and national interests. Therefore, ensuring HIPAA compliance in medical transcription services is important.
Importance of HIPAA Compliance in Medical Transcription: an Overview
All healthcare service providers such as small to large hospitals, multi-specialty clinics, medical insurance companies, medical transcription companies and many other healthcare entities are covered by the HIPAA act. Therefore, it is mandatory for them to ensure stringent safety measures throughout, right from data processing procedures, to transcribing of medical dictations, as well as storage and transfer of confidential patient information. Any sort of violation of HIPAA rules can lead to malpractice litigation and severe penalties.
Protects medical information outflow: Healthcare reports come with important information about the patients, including their health problems, reports of various tests and scans, treatment procedures and medications provided. When these medical records are provided for transcription in insecure settings, possibilities of information outflow are higher. However, if the transcription tasks are outsourced to reliable HIPAA compliant medical transcription companies, healthcare experts can concentrate on their core activities, without being concerned about the security and privacy of patient records entrusted for documentation. With stringent data and document security options, these companies ensure that any information concerning the patients and their medical conditions are not accessed by unauthorized persons.
Safeguard from reputation issues: Following strict HIPAA regulations would definitely enhance the reputation of healthcare practices and also safeguard them from complex issues such as loss of faith in the particular medical practice, and considerable reduction in cash flow and profits.
Reduce data manipulation: The HIPAA act has set specific standards for maintaining healthcare information records, which has reduced the odds of illegal manipulation and use of crucial medical data and other such related issues.
Ensures Strict Policies for Complete Compliance
Experienced medical transcription outsourcing companies are aware of the importance of maintaining the privacy of patient related records and therefore take all possible effort to ensure that the medical documentation procedures are performed strictly following the security and compliance guidelines specified in the HIPAA Act. Along with ensuring complete compliance with existing guidelines, they always keep up to date with every change in the norms. To protect patient health records from unauthorized access, retrieval, modifications and deletions, reliable healthcare transcription companies implement a series of precautionary measures such as:
Passwords to use the computers and to start windows
Regular updates of firewalls and antivirus software on all computers
Password protection for all lockers used for storage
Strictly follows a minimum of 128-bit encryption for all transferred files
Ensures that no information leaves the transcription department
Regular backups are made and stored in a secured location
No home-based transcriptionists
Utilizes skilled workforce trained and monitored on HIPAA security, confidentiality, and privacy
Look for Reliable Transcription Services
When planning to outsource your transcription tasks, select an established medical transcription company. Such a firm can deliver 100% HIPAA compliant medical transcription services that can enhance the overall efficiency and popularity of your medical practice, at affordable service charges with 30- 40% cost savings. Consistent services of these firms also help you benefit from customized turnaround time, no obligation free trial facility, round-the-clock customer support and much more.