No matter what changes take place in the healthcare industry, one thing will always stay the same: HIPAA compliance is a major priority. From the largest hospitals to the smallest clinics, healthcare leaders are keeping a close eye on their policies and making sure that those policies align with HIPAA regulations. Paying attention to HIPAA is especially important now, as new technologies emerge to make healthcare administration easier. With each new technology comes a new discussion on how to use this tech while staying compliant with HIPAA. The good news? A lot of new healthcare tech, including document management for healthcare, is specifically designed to make compliance simpler. This technology reduces mistakes, helping healthcare professionals comply more easily and with less stress.
These changes are vital because HIPAA compliance failures — even the accidental ones — can be devastating on multiple levels. Compliance failure can make an organization shut down entirely due to legal and financial ramifications. Even when the organization stays up and running, its reputation will definitely be damaged, and it may lose some patients along the way. And when patients can’t trust their healthcare providers, they become reluctant to share important information, which may lead to inadequate care.
That’s why when it comes to HIPAA compliance, preventing mistakes is always better than damage control, and that’s where document management comes in. How does document management for healthcare help? For one thing, it reduces the risk of loose files getting lost or left in the wrong place, which means that patent information can stay in one place. Of course, there are several other ways that healthcare document management can help organizations keep up with HIPAA compliance. Let’s look closer at some of the compliance benefits of digital healthcare technology.
Digital Document Management for Healthcare has a Low Chance of Error
Since we already brought up loose files and document loss, let’s start there. When it comes to HIPAA compliance, documents and files going to the wrong place is one of the biggest challenges. Without document management for healthcare facilities, file loss is one of the easiest ways to accidentally violate HIPAA guidelines. When a file gets left in the wrong location, the wrong people can see it, and this file very well may contain sensitive patient information.
In the healthcare industry, these mistakes can be very serious. These small missteps can have enormous consequences, both for the patient and for the healthcare organization. Thankfully, digital record management can prevent these small missteps from happening in the first place.
Digital management tools let healthcare organizations store their documents in a safe and secure location. With digital document management, patient files don’t have to change hands physically, so there’s less risk of a file being dropped or misplaced. Instead, relevant parties can access the same document from different access points.
Automation Helps Save Time
What causes HIPAA compliance failure? Often, it’s the result of a careless mistake. That’s unsurprising, considering the high demands placed on healthcare workers every day. Doctors, nurses, and other healthcare workers have a lot of important information to remember, and the human brain can only handle so much.
For that matter, being exhausted and overworked can really take its toll on a person’s ability to handle day-to-day tasks. Healthcare workers experience high levels of burnout, and burnt-out employees are the most likely to make mistakes on the job.
Document management for healthcare can reduce these mistakes, preventing accidental HIPAA violations. That’s because the best digital management tools allow companies and other organizations to automate tasks. This automation saves time. It also keeps employees from having to do the most tedious tasks themselves, so it leaves them free to focus on what’s really important on the job.
Access Control with Digital Document Management for Healthcare
Next, there’s the issue of access control, which can make a big difference in terms of HIPAA compliance. Access control is a huge part of document management, and healthcare companies constantly evaluate who is and who is not allowed to retrieve certain documents. As a result, healthcare companies need to know who has the right to access which files.
When healthcare organizations switch to a digital system, they get more clarity with these questions. They remove the ambiguity. That’s why digital document management for healthcare is so important when it comes to questions about access. Once the organization’s leaders have established their rules of access, there’s no more ambiguity.
So, how does this access control work with healthcare document management? Typically, digital access control gives managers the power to control who can access given information. With encryption and password protection, a digital management system ensures that only the right people see the document, and there’s no confusion about who the right people are.
Furthermore, a digital document management system prevents people from working against leadership wishes and HIPAA compliance laws. With a paper management system, it’s not difficult for people to access files, even when they haven’t been given permission to do so. There’s no way for leaders to track who has seen a document and who hasn’t, so there’s a lot of guesswork and hoping for the best.
It’s different with a digital document management system. These systems stop people from looking where they shouldn’t, and they also reduce the chance for bad actors to steal or leak files.
Plus, digital document management systems can track who has accessed a document and when. All users leave behind a digital footprint, so if any unauthorized users access a document, a manager will notice quickly and can fix the problem.
Digital document management for healthcare is one of the most important technologies we have today. It has already started revolutionizing how we handle patient information. Patients can have more confidence in their healthcare systems, and as a result, they can receive better care.
Healthcare companies know they can turn to Vasion for digital document management. For years, we’ve worked with healthcare organizations to help them keep files secure and follow federal and state regulations. If you have questions, contact someone on our team today to hear how we can help.