Due diligence within healthcare transactions is a common compliance issue. HIPAA violations can bring criminal or civil cases, which result in monetary fines and penalties, as well as damaged reputations.
How does the increase in technology affect due diligence in medical facilities?
Technology and privacy
People trust medical professionals to keep patient health information confidential and private. However, keeping this information private can pose difficulties with the increasing technology in healthcare. Virtual appointments, electronic sign-ins, text reminders and e-charts have improved the convenience and accessibility of medical care, but they have also increased the risks for privacy violations.
Social media is another potential cause of HIPAA violations. Do not post any pictures or messages with identifiable information. This includes obvious things like patient charts or patients themselves, but it also includes any hard-to-notice background objects like sign-in sheets or appointment schedules.
Breaches and hackers
It is possible that a medical office may take all the necessary steps to protect patient privacy and still experience a breach of information. If there has been an incident of hacking or leaked data, notify authorities immediately. HIPAA also requires notification of affected parties.
Taking the appropriate steps to rectify the situation as soon as possible shows patients and business partners that you value their trust. Staying compliant with these regulations can also prevent fines and penalties.
Increasing accessibility to quality healthcare is a positive thing and technology allows medical facilities to do that. Taking precautions to protect sensitive data just comes with the territory.