Nurses must go beyond basic training on privacy compliance, HIPAA Journal says

Basic HIPAA training and adhering to their hospital's own privacy compliance guidelines may not be enough to ensure nurses are consistently compliant, suggests a Dec. 27 HIPAA Journal report.

Ongoing training is advised, though there is little doubt that taking a HIPAA refresher course is not at the top of any nurse's to-do list amid the current barrage of patients with respiratory illnesses being admitted to hospitals. 

"It is necessary to do more than provide basic training to help nurses work compliantly," because it is not always possible for "organizations to train nurses on everything they need to know to work in compliance with HIPAA," the report says.

Basic training for nurses on privacy policies and compliance issues includes completing a security training and awareness program, according to the administrative requirements of the HIPAA Privacy Rule. Hospitals are also required, as appropriate, to remind all healthcare employees of HIPAA regulations periodically.

The problem according to the report, however, is that hospital nurses are only required to complete a HIPAA training session when they first join the workforce or when there is a major policy or procedural change. 

To stay up to date on HIPAA compliance, nurses can take online privacy refresher training. The online training sessions currently available are broken down into short modules, making it faster to complete and easier to digest the information. 

The report also suggests hospital compliance departments make continued HIPAA training a priority for nurses.

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