Our current age of digital records and electronic data presents new challenges for HR departments across the nation. Companies hold records of their employees’ conditions, special accommodations, and any appointments or treatments they partake in through the company’s healthcare plan. The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) provides a framework to hold companies accountable in how they access and manage their employees’ medical and immunization records. Help your business comply with these measures by following these steps HR can take to protect employee medical records.
Keep Files Confidential and Secure
Like any private company file, your employees’ medical records should receive the utmost protection and security. Store physical records in a locked, fireproof filing cabinet, and ensure that only authorized personnel can access them. Digital files can be a little more complicated, but you can still safeguard them with protected systems and software. Once again, make sure only authorized personnel—such as HR employees—can access these files. You should also train the HR department, as well as anyone else with access, how to properly use and store employee medical information.
Limit the Data You Store
Larger amounts of sensitive information mean a higher risk of a security breach. To lower your chances of losing or exposing employee medical records, make sure you don’t retain records that you no longer need. HIPAA and many state regulations address how to dispose of files safely and securely after the retention period. Make sure you read up on retention requirements so that you can safely destroy unnecessary records.
Protect Employees From Phishing Attempts
Hacking, phishing, and other scams can target any employee at a company. That’s why one of the most crucial steps HR can take to protect employee medical records is to provide security training to your entire staff. Teach employees to recognize scam attempts in their inboxes. Additionally, establish restrictions that prevent employees from giving out sensitive information over email. These measures give everyone the resources they need to protect the company from data breaches.
Use a Tracking System You Can Trust
When it comes to electronically storing medical records, you need a reliable system to help you protect files, manage access, and stay compliant with local and federal regulations. Professional background check companies like PSI Background Screening offer secure and easy-to-use records tracking for you and your HR staff. Keep your employees’ information safe and sound with layered security measures, virtual access, and customized notification plans to fit your company’s needs.