CNA Training – Preventing a HIPAA Violation with Your Smart Phone

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Along with all the good technology brings, it also sparks quite a few problems. One of recent and ever growing concern to the health care industry and CNA training graduates is preventing HIPAA violations through text messages and other uses of your iPhone or smart phone device.

The government’s HIPAA Audit Program which continued through the end of 2012 made us more aware than ever of the violations occurring on a daily basis through the use of cell phones. Here are a few areas your should be sure to evaluate in order to reduce your risk of a HIPAA violation.

CNA Training and Mobile Device Security

A recent study on data breaches reported that 81 percent of healthcare facilities currently use smart phones to collect, store and transmit patient data, often through text messages, and sometimes through apps.

Yet 49 percent take zero security precautions to ensure these devices and patient data are protected. Less than 24 percent of the transmissions were encrypted.

Technology is on the rise, so this problem is thought to only worsen. Currently, four out of five physicians use smartphones, iPads and other mobile devices and apps in daily practice in order to collect patient data from patient exams and easily enter it into their digital EHR/EMR (electronic health or medical records) systems.

So, what is the answer? As a new CNA training graduate, you may have little control over the types of devices the facility you are employed with uses to collect, store, transmit and report critical and private medical information, but there are a few things you can do to protect yourself from problems with HIPAA. We’ve listed them below:

How a CNA Training Graduates Protect Themselves Against HIPAA Violations

When it comes down to protecting your CNA training, license, and career, remember: It’s not what you do with other’s devices (such as the medical facilities or the physicians). The only thing you are responsible for involve the devices registered to you. What does this mean? If you happen to work for a physician or small medical facility that wants you to transmit information through your own smart phone or tablet, regardless of how trivial the information may seem, you need to always opt out. A real life example of this may be a co-worker or physician who texts you a question: “Do you have the chart on Cooper? I need her blood type and date of birth.” If you transmit this information over your cell device, you’ve just broken the law. Why? First of all, text messages are not secure, the patient was named and medical information was given. Even if it’s as trivial as a blood type, it is still technically private and can only be shared over encrypted devices.

Now, on the other hand, if a physician, RN or other health care professional asks you to submit patient information over a program or device the facility itself has purchased and allowed you to use, it’s no longer your responsibility and your CNA training credentials will not be placed on the line. Only when you use devices registered to you, under your name, or are privately owned by you will you be personally held responsible.

Your CNA training credentials are important for the continuance of your medical career. Don’t take a chance and don’t allow anyone to force you to provide sensitive or private information of any kind over your own devices.

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