An effective regulatory compliance program can go a long way toward preserving safety and security while avoiding costly fines. Unfortunately, keeping up with changing regulatory requirements can be challenging—especially as your healthcare organization wrestles with other pressing issues, not the least of which is a continuing pandemic.
Although there are numerous regulations that span a variety of topics, worker safety and data privacy should be top priorities. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) governs worker safety, requiring healthcare facilities to follow a comprehensive set of rules designed to reduce risk. The Department of Health and Human Services regulates protected health information per the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).
In 2022, there are factors to be aware of in both of these regulatory areas. OSHA, for example, has a new requirement that addresses the pandemic, calling for entities to create a COVID-19 plan that covers patient screening, personal protection, physical distancing, cleaning and disinfection, ventilation, vaccination, training, and more.
Regarding information security, compliance deadlines for the 21st Century Cures Act—a bipartisan law that promotes interoperability and gives patients greater access to their own health information—are on the horizon. A key part of this legislation relates to information blocking, which occurs when an entity intentionally or unintentionally interferes with the access, exchange, or use of electronic health information (EHI). Your organization should be reviewing its privacy and security policies, assessing risk, making updates, and offering training to ensure HIPAA compliance while avoiding information blocking. The right partner can provide expertise to support you with this.