HIPAA is the acronym for the health insurance portability and accountability act, which was enforced in 1996 by the Congress in the United States. This act was created so that many problems, which are being faced in the field of medical insurance coverage and regarding the privacy of the medical information of each person, can be taken care of. The security rules, which come under HIPAA, came into force in the year 2003, and the compliance data was implemented in the year 2005. The security rules and the privacy rules are similar in the fact that they help in ensuring that the privacy of the medical information of the patient is not violated. But the point of difference lies in the fact that the privacy rule is mainly concerned with the electronic information. There are three main areas, which come under the security rules, and they are the administrative, physical and technical areas.
Administrative area – According to these rules, all medical facilities and health care centers will follow standard rules and procedures when it comes to protecting the privacy of the patient. There should be a privacy officer who has been stationed to ensure that all the privacy policies are being enacted in the right manner. All employees who will be provided with access to electronic information should be properly identified and they should also be provided with the required authorization, which will not be made available to other employees. Only those employees who need to access this information in order to carry out their daily duties in the right manner should be provided with the authorization to access the personal medical information of all the patients. When any employees who have been outsourced are being provided entry into the health care facility, they should also follow all the rules and regulations, which come under HIPAA. Backup copies of all the medical details of the patient should also be preserved and proper measures should be taken to ensure that all these copies have been properly protected.
There are also security rules with regard to the physical safety of the hardware and the software, which have been used in the processing as well as the storage of all the medical information of the patients. No person can be given access to the medical information of the patients unless he has the required authorization. Maintenance records, security registers, sign-in forms of visitors should be checked in the proper manner. All monitors and screens, which are being used in order to display any kind of sensitive information, should be kept out of reach of the any people who do not have the required authorization.
The technical aspect of all the security rules is concerned with the safety and protection of all computers as well as the network systems and also protecting them from any kind of external invasion. All the transfer as well as the transmission of the data should be performed in a safe as well as secure manner and steps should be taken to ensure that no unauthorized person is able to intercept the information during the process of transmission.