The internal audit checklist for HIPAA is one of the primary elements of HIPAA implementation. The passage of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) by the U.S. Congress in 1996 was aimed at regulating the way and process by which healthcare institutions across the country reveal the medical information of their patients.
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is tasked with monitoring the compliance aspect of the law, i.e., it monitors how medical organizations comply with the provisions of HIPAA. In order to ensure that medical organization stay compliant with the provisions of HIPAA; auditors measure these compliance aspects with a checklist when testing companies’ medical data recording processes.
The internal audit checklist for HIPAA, like any other checklist, is a list of do’s and don’ts that a healthcare organization has to look to see if it is complying with its processes relating to medical data sharing and recording. These are the core areas against which auditors prepare and monitor the internal audit checklist for HIPAA:
Analysis and assessment of risk
One of the foremost aspects of the internal audit checklist for HIPAA is the organization’s analysis and assessment of the risk involved in disclosing medical information. Medical organizations of the designated types have to carry these out at regular, periodic intervals in ensuring that they don’t give opportunities for causing data breaches. Since healthcare organizations are involved in collecting, keeping and transferring of medical information; it is necessary for them to keep analyzing and assessing the risk involved in data breaches.
In this category of internal audit checklist for HIPAA; auditors compare regulatory guidelines to security systems in the corporate sector. The idea is to help the medical organization outline its security requirements vis-a-vis its security infrastructure
In this internal audit checklist for HIPAA; the healthcare organization relies on a number of technologies and steps to prevent any breach of data, and to also offset the damage done when a breach happens. The primary tools used in this internal audit checklist for HIPAA include software used for tracking defects, for process reengineering, CRM and a few ERP applications.
Planning for contingencies
An internal audit checklist for HIPAA also includes a set of plans that the healthcare organization has to have to be able to plan for contingencies. A healthcare organization can expect emergencies or disasters from any source, and these can be of any kind. An internal audit checklist for HIPAA should include plans for anticipating and dealing with these.
The policy a healthcare organization puts in place for its personnel is an important point in the internal audit checklist for HIPAA. It has to decide what kinds of trainings its staff members receive for implementing HIPAA compliance.