The Importance of Data Privacy Awareness Training

Investing in data privacy awareness training is essential for any healthcare organization. It can help you reduce the risk of a data breach, increase employee satisfaction, and minimize legal liability.

HIPAA compliance requires that all employees be trained on patient data privacy rules. Additionally, there are many other countries around the world that require privacy awareness training to be compliant with their healthcare data privacy standards. This can include training on patients’ rights and ePHI use and disclosure.

1. Reduce the Risk of Data Breach

The healthcare industry generates and captures much data quickly, and that’s no wonder. But when mismanaged, it can have devastating consequences.

One of the most common breaches is a careless employee who accesses patient information without authorization. This can result in regulatory fines, unwanted media attention, and damage to your reputation.

But you can do a few things to mitigate this risk to your healthcare company. First, you must create and implement a policy on how employees can use company-issued devices outside work, such as smartphones and tablets.

Second, make sure all employees well understand your policies and procedures. Third, train and re-train those employees who may have access to personal information or sensitive systems so they’re not making careless mistakes.

Finally, don’t forget to report any breaches as soon as you discover them – Being upfront and transparent will not only help you resolve the problem much faster but could also help your company avoid significant penalties and fees.

2. Increase Employee Satisfaction

The key to a successful data privacy training program is educating workers on the importance of protecting patient information and how to do so safely. This is especially important in healthcare, where a lot of sensitive data is involved.

Employees should understand that their actions are a risk to themselves and the organization. They should also be made aware that they are likelier to be targeted by hackers if they have privileged access to personal data.

In the long run, training employees on the need to be aware of the risks will increase their understanding of how to protect data and make them more satisfied with their work.

HIPAA provides rules for protecting personal data held by entities within the health care system. However, these protections do not extend to information collected and used by commercial companies outside the health care system. Instead, HIPAA relies on “data use agreements” to bind recipients to contractual data use and disclosure commitments.

3. Reduce Legal Liability

Data privacy awareness training is a crucial component of data privacy compliance. It helps ensure that every employee understands what PHI is, why it is important to be protected, and how to protect it.

While it is not a legal requirement for every member of your workforce to receive training, it is recommended that everyone should take it. This includes students, contractors, and volunteers.

It is also essential for senior management to get involved in the training. This shows them that everyone in the organization is taking it seriously.

This will help reduce the likelihood of non-compliance shortcuts and practices developing into a cultural norm within the organization. When this happens, it isn’t easy to reverse.

4. Increase Efficiency

It is crucial to ensure that all members of your workforce understand their roles concerning data privacy. This includes the HIPAA Privacy and Security Rule and other policies and procedures covering patient data that may be relevant to their job function.

Keeping up with new policies and guidelines from HHS and state legislatures is also vital to maintaining compliance. Regular risk assessments and a training program that addresses changes affecting employees’ compliance are excellent ways to ensure this.

The HIPAA Privacy Rule does not specify what training should be provided, but the law requires it to be as “necessary and appropriate” for each employee’s role. This means that CEs and BAs should be able to determine what training is necessary for each individual.