Safeguards

Case Study:

Catholic Healthcare hired Ron to review the security policies and procedures related to employee selection and termination. Ron has been instructed to meet with the HIM director and determine where the HIM department may have additional requirements for its remote coding staff.

  1. For which of the administrative safeguards should Ron expect to see policies or procedures relating to the HIM department?
  2. Which of the physical safeguards apply to the remote coders?
  3. Which of the technical safeguards may apply to the remote coders?
  4. What other risks should the HIM director address?

Research

Using the internet, search for real world security breaches. Identify the policy implications in each situation. What steps should be taken to prevent similar breaches in the future?

Expert Solution Preview

Introduction:
In this case study, Ron has been tasked with reviewing the security policies and procedures related to employee selection and termination for Catholic Healthcare. As part of his role, he will need to assess the HIM department’s requirements for its remote coding staff and consider various safeguards. Additionally, we will discuss the steps that can be taken to prevent security breaches in real-world situations.

1. For which of the administrative safeguards should Ron expect to see policies or procedures relating to the HIM department?
Ron should expect to see policies or procedures relating to workforce security and information access management in the HIM department. Workforce security includes background checks, access controls, and termination procedures. Information access management policies should ensure that employees only have access to the information necessary to perform their duties.

2. Which of the physical safeguards apply to the remote coders?
The physical safeguards that apply to remote coders include device and media controls. This involves setting standards for the types of devices and media that are used to access and store patient information. Remote coders should use secure devices and follow proper protocols to ensure that data cannot be easily accessed or leaked.

3. Which of the technical safeguards may apply to the remote coders?
Remote coders should follow technical safeguards such as access controls, audit controls, and integrity controls. Access controls ensure that only authorized individuals can access patient information, while audit controls track who is accessing the data. Integrity controls ensure that patient data is not altered in any way.

4. What other risks should the HIM director address?
The HIM director should also address risks related to data transmission and disposal. Remote coders should use secure networks and encryption to transmit patient data. Additionally, proper protocols should be in place for securely disposing of physical and electronic records.

Research:
Various real-world security breaches have occurred in recent years, exposing sensitive patient information. For example, in the Anthem breach of 2015, hackers accessed the personal information of nearly 80 million individuals. To prevent similar breaches in the future, companies can take steps such as using multi-factor authentication, regularly updating software and patches, and implementing regular security trainings for employees. Additionally, companies can conduct regular security audits and risk assessments to identify potential vulnerabilities and address any issues.

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