What is a HIPAA Privacy Officer?

HIPAA Privacy OfficerWhat Do They Do?

Keeping up with state, federal and industry-specific regulations in the healthcare field is a never-ending task. That’s why most facilities and hospitals name someone as the HIPAA Privacy Officer. It sounds official, but the gig doesn’t actually come with a badge or gun.

HIPAA Privacy Officer: A Designated Contact

HIPAA regulations require that covered entities designate someone, or some office, to administrate certain HIPAA-related requirements. The HIPAA Privacy Officer is a contact person for HIPAA compliance. They are tasked with ensuring an organization has proper privacy notifications, communicate with patients and others in an appropriate manner, and correct compliance issues immediately.

Compliance Monitoring

One job of the HIPAA Privacy Officer in many organizations is involvement with internal auditing or monitoring. Compliance officers review samples of staff work, patient charts, phone calls, and other correspondence to ensure compliance with HIPAA privacy and other federal regulations. Designated employees also work with outside agencies in the event of an audit or certification process.

Works with Documentation Departments

HIPAA Privacy Officers work closely with employees who are in charge of training and documentation. It’s essential for standard operating procedures in a healthcare to comply with all regulatory guidelines. So an officer must be prepared to keep up with federal, state, and industry requirements at all times.

Professional Requirements

Most facilities require a four-year or higher degree, professional certification, and experience in HIPAA-related fields when hiring a HIPAA Privacy Officer. Skills relevant to the position include strong research and writing ability, excellent communication, analytical ability, and training ability. Privacy officers must be able to deal tactfully and ethically with complex, high-level compliance and privacy issues.

Do you have a HIPAA Privacy Officer designated in your medical or dental practice?