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HIPAA and New Technologies - How To Use Social Media and Texting Without Breaking the Rules

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This 90-minute webinar will discuss the requirements, the risks, and the issues in using mobile devices and social networking for patient communications. We will review policies and procedures, documentation, major compliance areas and training to ensure they are updated to meet these new challenges.

Speaker
Instructor: Jim Sheldon-Dean
Product ID: 702335

Why Should You Attend:

Most HIPAA covered entities now face difficult choices as mobile devices such as smart phones and tablets proliferate and become the standard for personal communications both by providers and their patients, and social networking sites become a preferred means of communication for many. Have you updated your information security risk analysis or policies and procedures to address the increasing use of mobile devices and social networking for patient communications? If not, you run the risk of breaches, rule violations, and fines in the event of mishandling of PHI using these new technologies.

With the new HIPAA random audit program now getting under way, and increases in enforcement actions following breaches, now is the time to ensure your organization is in compliance with the regulations and meeting the communication needs and desires of its providers and patients. You need the proper privacy protections for health information, and the necessary documented policies and procedures, as well as documentation of any actions taken pursuant to your policies and procedures. Your policies and procedures will probably need major revisions to maintain compliance in areas such as individual access of records, accounting of disclosures, and breach notification. And, of course, you will need to train your staff in all the new policies and procedures.

The session will discuss the requirements, the risks, and the issues of the increasing use of mobile devices and social networking for patient communications and provide a road map for how to use them safely and effectively, to increase the quality of health care and patient satisfaction.

Areas Covered in the Webinar:

Who Will Benefit:

Instructor Profile:

Jim Sheldon-Dean, is the founder and director of compliance services at Lewis Creek Systems, LLC, a Vermont-based consulting firm founded in 1982, providing information privacy and security regulatory compliance services to a variety of health care providers, businesses, universities, small and large hospitals, urban and rural mental health and social service agencies, health insurance plans, and health care business associates. He serves on the HIMSS Information Systems Security Workgroup, has co-chaired the Workgroup for Electronic Data Interchange Privacy and Security Workgroup, currently serves on the WEDI Breach Notification sub-workgroup, and is a recipient of the 2011 WEDI Award of Merit. He is a frequent speaker regarding HIPAA and information privacy and security compliance issues at seminars and conferences, including speaking engagements at AHIMA national and regional conventions and WEDI national conferences, and before regional HFMA chapter meetings and state hospital associations. Sheldon-Dean has nearly 30 years of experience in policy analysis and implementation, business process analysis, information systems and software development. His experience includes leading the development of health care related Web sites; award-winning, best-selling commercial utility software; and mission-critical, fault-tolerant communications satellite control systems. In addition, he has eight years of experience doing hands-on medical work as a Vermont certified volunteer emergency medical technician. Sheldon-Dean received his B.S. degree, summa cum laude, from the University of Vermont and his master’s degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Topic Background:

It seems everyone is moving to a new smart phone and wants to use it in all the incredible ways it can be used, including for health care purposes. New health care apps are being released all the time, and even good old e-mail is being used more and more to communicate, by providers and patients alike. And social network sites offer individuals new ways to relate to each other and share experiences.

Smart phones and the Internet have changed the way people communicate and introduced new risks into the process of providing health care services. Now patients want to be able to communicate with their health care providers, and providers want to communicate with each other using portable devices and social networking sites, and to be able to access, send, and receive health information. But communications using mobile devices and social networking sites has some inherent privacy and security risks that may put providers out of compliance.

New technologies present new challenges to health care providers, as there are simultaneously new requirements to share information with patients, and a new enforcement effort to ensure the privacy and security of Protected Health Information (PHI). Meeting both challenges requires careful consideration of all the regulations and technologies, as well as patient preferences and work flow.

In order to integrate the use of mobile technology and social networking into patient communications, it is essential to perform the proper steps in an information security compliance process to evaluate and address the risks of using the technology. This session will describe the information security compliance process, how it works, and how it can help you decide how to integrate new technologies into your organization in a compliant way. The process, including the use of information security risk analysis, will be explained, and the policies needed to support the process will be described.
The process must include consideration of various patient access requirements in the HIPAA Privacy Rule. There are new requirements to provide patients electronic access of electronically held PHI which raise new questions of how that access will be provided and how the information will be protected during and after access. And there has long been a HIPAA requirement for covered entities to do their best to meet the requests of their patients for particular modes of communication, and using a mobile device or social networking is no exception.

The stakes are high – any improper exposure of PHI may result in an official breach that must be reported to the individual and to the US Department of Health and Human Services, at great cost and with the potential to bring fines and other enforcement actions if a violation of rules is involved. Likewise, complaints by a patient if they are not afforded the access they desire can bring about HHS inquiries and enforcement actions, so it is essential to find the right balance of access and control.

HHS compliance audit activity and enforcement penalties are both increased, especially in instances of willful neglect of compliance, if, for instance, your organization hasn't adopted the complete suite of policies and procedures needed for compliance, or hasn’t adequately considered the impact of mobile devices and social networking on your compliance. Given that mobile devices are a leading source of breaches of PHI, it is essential to consider these devices and how their use affects the privacy and security of PHI; not doing so is inviting enforcement action by HHS.

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