Devising Your plan for HIPAA Remediation Post-SRA
Posted on: January 3rd, 2024 04:08 pm
Completing your HIPAA SRA is an important step towards maintaining compliance, but you cannot stop there.
Data breaches from exploited credentials require an average of 341 days to be contained and remediated. So you need to start fixing any vulnerabilities discovered in your 2023 SRA now to avoid spending the next year putting out fires (or paying fines!).
The first step to achieving this is devising a thorough HIPAA remediation plan.
What is a HIPAA Remediation Plan?
A remediation plan formalizes the process by which you will contain, correct, document and monitor factors that increase the risk of a HIPAA violation. It lists your current vulnerabilities, explains exactly what they are, and provides a plan to fix them.
These could include:
- Non-compliant processes
- A lack of safeguards
- Weaknesses in your cybersecurity posture
4 Reasons You Need a HIPAA Remediation Plan
You need a HIPAA remediation strategy to ensure that nothing is left to chance and that you are actively protecting your healthcare organization from security breaches. Here are four reasons why you should invest time and resources into a proper HIPAA remediation plan:
1. Avoid costly HIPAA breaches
The average HIPAA breach costs nearly $11 million, not to mention the significant reputational damage associated with a failure to protect patient data. Worse still, the standard financial penalties for HIPAA violations were increased in October of last year, meaning future breaches will be even more expensive.
A remediation plan helps you reduce the risk of such breaches and protects your organization.
2. Protect patients
From keeping protected health information (PHI) confidential to ensuring your digital systems are secure, a thorough remediation plan ultimately helps protect patients. This is more important than ever as patients are increasingly aware of the risks breaches pose to their own safety – and a growing number have opted to take legal action against healthcare providers that fail to protect their information.
3. Ensures the process is efficient and effective
HIPAA remediation is already a big drain on many smaller healthcare entities’ resources. But without a clear, well-informed strategy, the process is even more inefficient. A plan saves time and ensures you don’t need to waste extra resources remediating risk.
4. Provides important documentation
Most healthcare entities must remediate risk every year after their annual HIPAA security risk assessment (SRA). But starting from scratch each time makes the process highly inefficient. A HIPAA remediation plan documents your approach and gives you a foundation to work with for the foreseeable future.
What Should a HIPAA Remediation Plan Include?
Your HIPAA remediation plan should contain a detailed strategy to:
- How will you protect patients and staff?
- What kind of safeguards are needed and how can they be put in place?
- Who will be involved in implementing these new safeguards?
- How will the safeguards be documented?
- How will you ensure these new safeguards lead to real behavior change?
Develop compliant Policies & Procedures (PP)
- What are your existing policies and how can you update them?
- Which procedures create clear vulnerabilities and how can you ensure they are compliant?
- Who will be involved in implementing these updates?
Training your staff
- What training will your staff need to maintain HIPAA compliance?
- Which areas do they need the most help with?
- How will you deliver effective training without disrupting their normal workflows?
- How often will this training take place, and will it be frequent enough to ensure employees stay on top of new cyber-attack methods?
Monitor your system for risks
- How will you ensure ongoing efforts to maintain compliance?
- What protocols will you put in place?
- At what interval will you reassess and remediate HIPAA risks?
Respond to breaches effectively
- What processes do you have in place to identify, report and proactively resolve future compliance issues?
- Who will be responsible for responding to breaches?
- How will your organization manage the various reputational and financial risks associated with a breach?
3 Steps to Start Remediating HIPAA Risks
1. Review your SRA
Every remediation plan starts with a clear overview of your existing HIPAA risks – which is exactly what your SRA provides. This is one of the key benefits of Intraprise Health’s HIPAA One software: not only does the tool streamline and simplify your SRA process, but it also saves your answers and makes the information easy to access whenever you need it.
2. Assign a remediation team
Once you know what needs to be done, you can start assigning specific tasks and responsibilities. Individuals need to be accountable for specific actions to ensure progress is made and everybody knows what their role is in the remediation process.
3. Set a timeline
HIPAA remediation is an urgent priority, and the best way to ensure action is taken quickly is by setting a clear timeline. While this should factor in employees’ other responsibilities and avoid over-burdening them, you can also consider how HIPAA One’s automation and step-by-step remediation guidance can help accelerate the process and save valuable time.
Put Your HIPAA Remediation Plan into Action with HIPAA One
From clear explanations of confusing technical terminology to guidance across the entire remediation process, HIPAA One creates a plan for you specifically based on the vulnerabilities discovered in your SRA, allowing you to put this strategy to action faster.