Laptops must be physically anchored!
April 2014, the Office of Civil Rights announced stolen laptops resulted in $1.9 million in settlements.
Laptops stolen from inside facilities and automobiles, resulted in $1.9 million of collected HIPAA fines over the last few months.
It is not enough to have the PHI on your laptop computer protected, you must have the laptop physically secured while inside a building or locked in the trunk of an automobile! There are special laptop ‘clamps’ the anchor laptops to a stationary surface.
One physical therapy center had identified the threat in their risk analysis and had failed to correct it over an extended period of time resulting in substantial additional fines.
These actions also resulted in requirements for covered entities (emphasis on health care practices) to perform NEW risk analysis and submit NEW risk management plans, thus underlining the importance of performing and documenting a HIPAA compliant risk analysis in all clinics.
It is highly advised that all clinics immediately perform a risk analysis, that meets the HIPAA standards, to avoid several new and old threats that exist due to compliance law.
About: For more information on this topic or other HIPAA compliance questions, please contact Dr. Ty Talcott, CHPSE, at HIPAA Compliance Services – a company dedicated to protecting healthcare professionals by producing simplified “how to” step-by-step training materials and procedures to enable clinic support personnel to implement and manage a HIPAA compliance program.