11 Ways You and Your Staff Could Be Violating HIPAA

Snooping on healthcare records of family, friends, neighbors, co-workers, and celebrities is one of the most common HIPAA violations committed by employees.

Snooping on healthcare records of family, friends, neighbors, co-workers, and celebrities is one of the most common HIPAA violations committed by employees. But it's far from the only employee HIPAA violation that occurs in dental practices. The following HIPAA violations that may also lead to disciplinary action against dental employees:

  1. Accessing information they do not need to know to do their job
  2. Sharing computer usernames/passwords
  3. Leaving a computer unattended allowing someone else to access or view sensitive information
  4. Sharing sensitive information with unauthorized individuals
  5. Copying sensitive information without permission
  6. Discussing sensitive information in an area where others might overhear the conversation
  7. Discussing sensitive information with unauthorized individuals
  8. Improper disposal of medical records
  9. Unauthorized release of information to family members or third parties
  10. Falling to encrypt portable devices allowing access to patient information
  11. Failure to issue notifications of breaches without unnecessary delay and no later than 60 days

What to Do If HIPAA Violations Occur

  • First violation: Verbal/written reprimand, retrain on your privacy/security policies
  • Second violation: Written reprimand, possible suspension, retrain on privacy/security policies
  • Third Violation: Termination, civil or criminal penalties as provided under HIPAA or other applicable Federal/State Law

Depending on the severity of the violation any single act may result in disciplinary action up to and including termination.

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