The four standards of Health insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) were developed to ensure confidentiality of healthcare information. These four standards are national identifiers, transaction and code set, privacy and security. The regulation should cover all employees in an agency.
One aspect of confidentiality that is evident in HIPAA is privacy. This set of standard is meant to control and protect the all the health information. The standard stipulates that each and every patient has a sole right to access information. They are also allowed to make correction and limit the number of individual that get access of this information. The patents can also launch complaints with the department of health and human services. However, there are some exceptions to the rules.
Another issue is that of security. This is meant to cover provides information safety for health care providers and plan. The fundamental areas of security are technological, administration and physical. The standard specifies what should be done by the agency. It is the obligation of the agency to carry out a risk analysis to review threats that face one’s responsibility. The standard also dictates that all employees in an organization should be subjected to continuous training on security standards.
There are also identifiers. This covers critical information that is not supposed to the given out for research purposes. Basically, it covers personal identification information such as names, address, phone number and date. Any other unique information that can be used to locate the physical location of an individual is also prohibited.
Transaction and code entail the exchange of information between different parties. The HIPAA controls and regulates the transfer of transactions such as payments eligibility referral and authorization electronically. All the agencies should adhere to specified standards for the format and content of information transferred. The specific codes for all types of paperwork are specified.
Ways in which confidentiality can be compromised
There are several ways in which data confidentiality can be compromised. One of the ways is by infringing the privacy rights of patient information. This means that other people other than the patients can access patient information in data stores or in computer applications.
Another way is by breaking into a computer system and accessing patient data or patient information systems. This is when information security of a healthcare agency is compromised. This will mean that all the information systems and data will be accessed and infringed. All the information will be stolen.
The third way in which data confidentiality can be compromised is by breaking into identifiers of hospital information and confidential information that are not required to be used for research purposes are given out. This means that the data that were supposed to be confidential has been used for research purposes.
There are various ways in which these can be prevented. For the privacy problem, there should be the use of access rights so that personal information remains personal. All people who do not have authority to access to this information will not have access.
The second challenge where the security of the information systems are compromised, there will be the use of network security features. One of these is having the use of a firewall so that all information that is access will be done from behind a firewall. The firewall will serve as a security mechanism. Another method is by having security checks to the system.
The third solution for the third problem is by having information which should not be used or lent out for research purposes being accessed by one person. This way, the information will be secured. The person keeping custody of the information will be responsible for any data access without authorized permission.
Asfaw, E. (2008). Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA): Confidentiality and Privacy from the Perspectives of the Consumer and the Physician. New York: ProQuest.
Krager, C. (2008). HIPAA for health care professionals. New York: 2008.