May 18, 2022

What Are the Significant Data Protection Checklists to Follow While Offering Telemedicine Services in the US

  • By MICHAEL,
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Data Protection Checklists For Telemedicine Services

Telemedicine has evolved as a very powerful substitute for traditional in-clinic appointment-based health screenings. Even though telemedicine existed for years, it gained traction after the COVID-19 pandemic. Telemedicine improves the delivery of healthcare services. Telehealth became a more effective means of providing healthcare during the COVID-19 pandemic by eliminating in-person contact for routine checkups. As a result, during the COVID-19 outbreak, telemedicine should be a powerful tool in providing care while keeping patients and health providers safe.

Telemedicine is a feasible alternative for combating the COVID-19 outbreak. Hospitals have become habitats for deadly diseases; it’s pretty dangerous to visit them unless it is absolutely necessary. Telemedicine services assist in providing essential care to patients while reducing the risk of SARS-CoV-2 transmission. By promoting social distancing, telehealth services can support public health mitigation strategies during this pandemic. Telemedicine has the potential to make health care more efficient, coordinated, and accessible.

The prominent businesses have already recognized the opportunities and potential, and the startups have also started to proliferate in the sector. At the same time, we must understand that medical data is of utmost personal, and privacy must be the prime consideration for startups entering the industry.

As a result, governments across the world keep a close eye on the effectiveness of privacy regulations. Since telemedicine is a completely online sector, it allows organizations and startups from one country to operate in another country. The HIPAA regulation was mandated to safeguard the privacy and security of sensitive health data.

Below listed is a checklist of HIPAA 1996 to comply with to run a successful business in the U.S.

Six Annual Audits

  • Security Risk Assessment
  • Security Standards Audit
  • Privacy Standards Audit (Not necessary for BAs)
  • Asset and Device Audit
  • HITECH Subtitle D Privacy Audit
  • Physical Site Audit

Devising Remediation Plans

It is essential to devise remediation plans to fix the flaws detected in all six (6) audits.

  • The remediation plans should be thoroughly established and documented in writing.
  • The remediation plans should be reviewed and evaluated annually.
  • Annually documented remediation plans should be preserved for six (6) years in your records.

HIPAA Training

  • All personnel must be educated with HIPAA training on a regular basis.
  • There should be documentation of the HIPAA training.
  • A HIPAA Compliance, Privacy, and/or Security Officer should be allocated to the organization.

Establishing Policies and Procedures

  • Policies and procedures pertaining to the annual HIPAA Privacy, Security, and Breach Notification Rules should be in effect in your organization.
  • All employees should be encouraged to read and legally attest the policies and procedures.
  • You should have documentation of their legal attestation readily accessible.
  • The annual review documentation of your policies and procedures must be maintained in your organization.

Identification of All Vendors and Business Associates

  • Business Associate Agreements of your organization should be in effect with all Business Associates.
  • You should conduct risk assessments on your Business Associates to evaluate their compliance with HIPAA regulation.
  • You must keep track of and review your Business Associate Agreements on an annual basis.
  • Your organization must maintain confidentiality agreements with non-Business Associate vendors.

Cybersecurity Policies

  • Your organization should have the capability for keeping track of and handle all investigations related to incidents.
  • You should be capable of offering required reporting of minor or major breaches or catastrophes.
  • Personnel on your team should be able to investigate and report on an incident anonymously.

If you meet all of the aforementioned factors, you have accomplished the goal of starting a telemedicine business. Now you are all prepared to start a telemedicine organization in the United States.

 

 

 

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