This is Part II of the article “Nurses’ HIPAA Phobia Does Exist: How to Address Its Hindrance to EHR Success.” Part I can be found here.
Continuing on the topic of HIPAA phobia, I will now discuss the ways that it can be reduced.
Top 6 things to do to help reduce HIPAA phobia among nurses:
Whatever the reasons behind the HIPAA phobia among nurses, it’s a problem that needs to be addressed. Only after this is done can an EHR system be successfully implemented. Besides, nurses play a central role in the healthcare industry, more so in EHR adoption. Here’s what can be done to help reduce their HIPAA phobia:
1. Identify where the phobia is coming from.
The best way to create a tailor-fit solution is to conduct a survey on the knowledge, attitudes, and practices among nurses. Managers should not make the mistake of implementing an organization-wide solution if the root cause of the problem has not been identified, whether it is resistance to new technologies imposed by HIPAA or simply lack of awareness.
2. The best medicine for fears? Information.
Many of the causes behind HIPAA phobia have to do with the lack of information. Nurses should be given relevant information about HIPAA’s provisions and regulations. Once they realize that HIPAA isn’t as complex as it sounds, they’re bound to be more receptive to EHR implementation. Providing information to the nurses is mandated by HIPAA, a matter of legal compliance that must not be ignored.
3. Information on HIPAA-compliant practices must be simplified, and a rewards-based approach must be adopted.
Nurses must not be bombarded with too much information on HIPAA and EHR implementation. For instance, some compliance tips are to never leave medical records in public areas or to follow security systems for remote accessing of PHI. They can be in the form of flash cards, leaflets, or bulleted tips. It would also help if managers assess the retention of information by the nurses through a post-assessment evaluation and a rewarding of the top scorers.
4. The importance of ethical practices must be emphasized.
The HIPAA regulations were drafted with ethical considerations in mind. By instilling the importance of ethical practices in nurses, there’s little chance that they will violate the rules. At the core of HIPAA is protection of the privacy and safety of patient information, and nurses should always keep this in mind. For instance, it’s an ethical rule in healthcare practice not to disclose patient information ever – with or without HIPAA.
5. The nurses must undergo integrated EHR and HIPAA training.
Alleviating HIPAA phobia is closely tied to EHR implementation, and it’s difficult to imagine the latter succeeding while leaving the former behind. That’s why it’s an excellent idea to integrate a HIPAA awareness seminar with EHR implementation.
6. Nurses must be given a more active role in drafting HIPAA-compliant rules and regulations for the company.
Another great way for nurses to learn more about HIPAA is by giving them a more active role in crafting the rules and regulations of your company, with HIPAA compliance in mind. The nurses who participate in the decision-making process can be expected to cascade the information down to their colleagues, leading to a deeper understanding of what HIPAA is really all about. HIPAA, more than anything, is about effecting a culture change among nurses and making them more mindful of privacy regulations, like finding a private place to discuss patients or not using social media to discuss patient information. If they take an active part in drafting the rules, they will have a more active and working knowledge of HIPAA.
HIPAA phobia among your nurses does exist. The sooner this reality is confronted, the sooner strategies can be created to effectively solve the problem once and for all. And with these six tips, there’s a guarantee of the reduction – if not total eradication – of HIPAA phobia.
The best next step toward ensuring the effective implementation of these tips is to partner with EHR vendors who know what it takes to make such systems a success. This is not just a matter of choosing vendors offering cost-effective EHR solutions; it should mainly be about their experience and expertise in EHR systems that are HIPAA-compliant. Aside from that, the fact that expert EHR providers make use of state-of-the-art software and cloud-based management systems is something healthcare organizations should consider. Also, with EHR experts backing up decisions, healthcare providers will be more confident in making good use of their EHR systems.
Each effort toward full EHR implementation should be made in partnership with experienced, accessible, and highly-assistive vendors. Every practice should choose a vendor that can provide comprehensive pre-implementation training and integration assistance.
The MPAA Group can be that partner. MPAA is an EHR solutions provider whose primary goal is to help healthcare providers adopt cost-effective, highly secure, and efficient clinical data-management systems. For more information, visit http://www.mpaagroup.com.