Touchstone Compliance

Protected Health Information

8 Simple Physical Safeguards for Protected Health Information

It’s happened in hundreds of offices. A thirsty staff member brings a beverage to a computer workstation. Sets in down within easy reach. Logs on to the computer and turns her attention to the screen. A few minutes later, she absently reaches for the drink. Accidentally knocks it over. Gasps as the cola from her […]

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9 Safeguards for a HIPAA Compliant Fax

Before there was widespread access to email and the Internet, fax machines in healthcare practices were a common and accepted way to expeditiously share patient information with other providers. Convenient, affordable, easy to use, it’s no wonder fax machines are still whirring in a lot of offices. Maybe even yours. But with all the regulations

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The Pluses of a Virtual Private Network for Exchanging PHI Remotely

Let me set a scene where a Virtual Private Network (VPN) would be “just what the doctor ordered.” You’re out of town at a conference of healthcare professionals in your specialty. Before you left home, a colleague asked you to consult on a paricular case. She said she would email you the patient’s test results

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Healthcare Providers: Why a Computer’s Audit Trail Is Important

I’m going to talk a little bit today about audit trails — sometimes called “audit logs” — and the vital role they can play in your ongoing efforts to keep Protected Health Information (PHI) safe, your workforce honest, and hackers at bay. What is an audit trail? According to Fundamentals of Law for Health Informatics

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Is Texting PHI (Protected Health Information) Allowed by HIPAA?

The answer to that question is more complicated than a simple yes or no. “It depends,” says it best. The reason lies in the law itself. The lawmakers who crafted the HIPAA legislation went to great lengths, it seems to me, to make the mandate non-prescriptive.  HIPAA compliance doesn’t expressly require the use or avoidance

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HIPAA Risk Assessment: Lessons from General Motors

For healthcare providers who’ve been putting off doing a risk assessment and developing a mitigation plan, Mary Barra, the CEO of General Motors, could make a compelling case against that kind of procrastination. If ten years earlier GM had identified the ignition switch in last year’s headlines as a potentially deadly defect and taken steps

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HIPAA Privacy Rule. HIPAA Security Rule. What’s the Difference?

Eavesdrop on a conversation about HIPAA compliance and most likely you’ll hear the words “privacy” and “security” — sometimes separately, often together, and usually in the context of safeguarding patient information. “So, what exactly is the difference between ‘privacy’ and ‘security’ in relation to HIPAA compliance?” you ask. With today’s HIPAA Quick Tip I’ll try

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