During the pandemic, healthcare providers have seen countless headlines announcing both HIPAA guidance related to COVID-19, and HIPAA breaches. For example:
- Health care providers can contact former COVID-19 patients about blood and plasma donation opportunities
- Cyber-scams skyrocket during the pandemic
- Football player Ezekiel Elliott's COVID-19 test results leaked to the media
- OCR issues guidance on when healthcare providers can provide media access during COVID-19
- Nurse investigated for sharing video about fellow nurse who died of COVID-19
- Privacy issues with no-contact temperature taking
If your HIPAA training hasn't changed in response to this guidance and headlines, that could be a problem. HIPAA risks have increased because of the pandemic. Phishing scams have gone through the roof, especially in the locations hit hardest by the virus. Employees are under a lot of stress, and some turn to social media to discuss the availability of PPE - sometimes in violation of policy or HIPAA. Plus, the stakes for patients are higher: COVID-19 status is sensitive PHI. Greater risk necessitates more training.
The way providers offer HIPAA training is also changing. Some providers are choosing not to do in-service training because they want to avoid spreading the virus across employees. Some providers are taking advantage of the plethora of online learning tools available. This is especially true for providers who need to train personnel working from home.
MPA can keep your HIPAA training fresh and top-of-mind with virtual HIPAA training. We offer interactive, customized Zoom training sessions with pre- and post-testing - and you keep the recording. We won't tell your staff that HIPAA was enacted in 1996, because that won't help them protect patient privacy. We will use lots of real-world examples from the headlines that apply to their jobs.