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What is the HIPAA Security Rule?

By Nextrio on May 16th, 2015 Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditlinkedinmailby feather

Doctor talking to patient

The Security Rule was instituted in 1996 with the passage of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). This rule set forth a number of regulations regarding the management and security of certain types of personal healthcare information. The Security Rule was developed as a response to the emergence of new computing technology, its use in healthcare management, and associated security issues. Today, all healthcare providers and institutions are required to follow the Security Rule when handling, storing and transferring patient data and records.

The Purpose

The Security Rule was developed to protect patient’s electronic personal health information. All medical documents entered in electronic format and maintained are subject to the Security Rule, which requires those entities covered by the Rule to ensure that information is kept confidential and protected against “reasonably anticipated” threats or disclosures.

Application of the Rule

The Security Rule applies to any healthcare provider, health insurance company, or clearinghouse that deals with patient data in electronic form. This includes the transfer of patient information, medical records, test results, diagnoses, and treatment plans or schedules over any kind of computing network. The entities that fall under the Security Rule are not only required to institute adequate safeguards, but to ensure total employee compliance with the Security Rule as well.

Security Rule Safeguards

There are a wide range of safeguards required by the Security Rule to protect confidential patient information. These safeguards include practices at the administrative level, such as employee training in security protocols and consistent network management to ensure computing security remains complete and up to date. Physical safeguards are also required, which limit access to and log the use of computing equipment to reduce the likelihood of unauthorized access.

If you’re a healthcare entity covered by the Security Rule, secure management of patient information is a top priority. At Nextrio, we work closing with healthcare organizations to assess their current security status, determine needs for improvement, and provide specific network security solutions to meet the Security Rule mandates. For more information contact us at (520) 519-6301 or visit our website.