Upgrade your HIPAA Risk Assessment in Chicago

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If you are a health care organization, a vendor to a health care organization or even a sub-contractor of a contractor to a health care organization, ensuring the security of Protected Health Information (PHI) is a legislative requirement of your business using "reasonable and appropriate" measures.





This protection starts by implementing a proper risk assessment that will lead your company through the process of risk management. A risk assessment and ongoing risk management is required of a number of industries and laws including the HIPAA and PCI DSS regulations.

Developing a Risk Assessment Plan

One of the best ways to ensure your company is risk averse and meets the regulations as outlined by your governing body is to complete a risk assessment. Risk assessments are the starting point of data security much like a business plan is the visionary document and goal setter for businesses.

A complete risk assessment should always include a third-party vendor, usually an IT consultant firm or IT services company in the Chicago area. These companies provide a risk assessment service that although focuses on the digital aspect of your company, often includes your entire business including physical controls, administration controls and equipment controls.

Risk Assessment Outline

Dependent on your industry, there may be differences in what needs to be implemented which an assessment will help identify. It should highlight the business assets and information most at risk both to clients and to the operation of the business based on their impact on the business. Eventually through risk management from the assessment process, you should be able to identify and prioritize in a clear and repeatable manner the issues that pose the greatest risks to your company.

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Risk Assessments for HIPAA

The meaningful use rule and HIPAA compliance for PHI is an important and necessary component of your data security assessment. When considering how to better meet these necessary regulations a risk assessment specific to the health care industry will be necessary.

Part of the nature of the HIPAA legislation is that all who come in contact and have access to PHI need to be covered under an organizations privacy protection protocols. In this way a health organization that contracts out any of its services may need these contractors to follow HIPAA legislation as well. With the new Omnibus Rule, these contractors are responsible for their keeping of privacy as well but should be included in any disclosure agreements that you may have. These agreements are often referred to as Business Associate Agreements and are part of your risk assessment process.

Protected Health Information (PHI) as outlined in HIPAA is the largest risk in data breach scenarios as penalties are quite severe. A competent risk assessment will identify all the potential sources where information may be at risk and need safety protocols in place to protect your business.

HIPAA requires businesses to implement reasonable and appropriate security controls. These controls must be based on a risk assessment and must be put into place using effective risk management. By following these procedures for risk assessment and risk management you can generally show a reasonable and appropriate response to protecting PHI in your organization.

During the risk assessment process, risks are identified and prioritized by the potential impact it will have on the organization and its customers. This blueprint for action can provide proof that you are following your legislated responsibility for securing PHI in the event of a data breach.

Hiring a professional third-party organization to conduct your risk assessments is essential in securing your PHI against future threats.


Would you like to learn more about HIPAA Compliance? Let's Talk.

Equilibrium IT Solutions, Inc.

HIPAA Compliance in Chicago

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