Compliance and Safety

HIPAA Infographic: Protecting Patient Privacy, How Important is it? October 13, 2012

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Protecting Patient Privacy

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The U.S. Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) is the federal law protecting the privacy and security of patients’ health information and was enacted in 1996. HIPAA laws also protect electronically communicated information. Understanding the significance and importance of HIPAA laws is vital to all medical and health organizations. Companies are required to follow HIPAA laws and protect patient privacy.

The privacy rule is an important aspect of HIPAA and makes it illegal for patient’s private health information to be shared by health professionals unless the patient consents. This encompasses patient information which is written, verbal or electronically communicated. Many health care and medical organizations use healthcare training videos in order to educate their workforce on the importance of patient privacy laws.

As the infographic illustrates, patient privacy is very important and the cost in breach of privacy can be costly.

• With 60% of hospitals having a minimum of 2 breaches in privacy the cost per hospital is estimated at $2 billion dollars.
• The average number of records which are lost or stolen in each violation of privacy is 1,769.
• The main causes of electronic patient information breaches is due to employees, portable electronic devices and third-party errors.
• 7 out of 10 hospitals don’t view patient privacy as a priority though it costs them money if breached.

With 38% of hospitals choosing not to inform anyone of patient privacy breaches while over 40% of breaches are only reported by the patients themselves, HIPAA violations can result in being very costly to medical and healthcare organizations, not just hospitals. HIPAA training videos are a solution to help the workforce understand the importance of patient privacy laws.

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