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How to Provide HIPAA Training to your Employees

Parker Byrd

Health Insurance Probability and Accountability Act 1996 (HIPAA) is a law that requires the protection of sensitive patient data. HIPAA training provides awareness and knowledge about the requirements of HIPAA compliance. HIPAA training for employees is intended to make them compliant with the law and protecting sensitive patient health information (PHI). Being a regulatory requirement each employee of a covered entity or their business associates is required to provide HIPAA training. 

Training Medium

There are several ways and levels of HIPAA training. HIPAA training can be provided in person in an organization. Individual training can also be provided according to the specified role of employees in the organization. the organization can also provide training as a group if all the employees of the covered entity need a basic awareness. Some online training resources are also available you can also avail them if you have any issues related to in-person training. 

Objectives of HIPAA training

  1. To provide awareness and understanding in employees about HIPAA
  2. Introduction to HIPAA and its rules including a brief overview, main aspects, and objectives. 
  3. Introduction to technical terms included in HIPAA such as covered entities, business associates, protected health information (PHI), etc.
  4. The responsibilities of covered entities and their business associates to protect PHI
  5. Patients right under HIPAA
  6. PHI uses and disclosure
  7. The reasons for protecting PHI
  8. Security awareness and the possible threats to privacy
  9. Consequences and penalties for non-compliance

When should we provide HIPAA training?

The HIPAA training should be provided to the employees immediately after hiring. The employee should be trained according to their work and exposure to PHI. After the first training refresher training sessions should be arranged for employees periodically. These sessions will help them to revise the concepts and update them about the new laws and requirements. A training policy should be designed about how frequently these refresher training should be provided. The law has not provided any duration for refresher training. Ideally, the refresher HIPAA training should be provided on annual basis. 

Risk Analysis

Whenever there is a change in policies, processes, or electronic devices, the analysis should be performed. It will show the impact of the new policy, process, or system on the HIPAA compliance of the organization. If the impact is assessed then additional training should be provided to the employees.

Dos and don’ts of Training

  • Training should be comprehensive and short so that employees can retain the knowledge.
  • Short training sessions after a short period are better than a long training session. It will help employees to learn about different aspects of law and compliance.
  • Regular refresher training sessions should be arranged. Employees should be kept updated about the rules.
  • Employees should be informed about the consequences of a breach. It will help understand the importance and need for HIPAA compliance.
  • Refresher training should be provided to all levels of employees. Everyone should be reminded and updated about HIPAA compliance.
  • Training content must be concise and engaging. Employee’s involvement and questions must be appreciated. 

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