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Tips to Meet HIPAA Compliance by Managing Electronic Device

 

In the current scenario, we are dependent on electronic devices for our everyday tasks. This makes it important for us to manage these devices with utmost care. Let’s run through the tips on how to manage your electronic device to meet your HIPAA requirements.

Let’s start with discussing the ways you can employ to manage those devices:

Are you having a list of your devices ? This list should include mobile devices, desktop computers and portable media. Who are the people responsible for updating these software? Is it an outside contractor or internal IT person? All these questions should be addressed as they form an important part in the Security Policies and Procedures.

There are major fines  when you don’t update the software properly. We recommend you to make a policy and stick to it.  

 

MANAGING LOST DEVICES

 

Here are few ways people manage lost devices:

  1. MaC OS and iPhones

When you are on MaC OS, there is a tracking built in the operating systems. This program is called Find My Mac. This device will remotely lock the device using Password and Apple ID. This will save you many sleepless night.

 

  1. Windows Computers

There is no built-in way in windows computers for stolen PC. The good news is that you can install third party application. There are few programs that will do this. Prey’s Basic Option is a free option for this. This software allows to lock and track your PC when it is lost.

 

  1. Android Phones

The Android Device Manager is a free program in Android Phones. Your phone has  to be registered with your Google Account to track, erase and lock lost mobiles and tablets. In case of external SD card, make sure to encrypt it, so that the information is not readable.

 

  1. Windows Phone

A free program known as Find My Phone is available for Windows Phones. Make sure that your phone is sync with Windows ID. This program helps you in verifying your SD cards, but it’s an excellent policy to encryption on this cards.

 

  1. Configuring Copying Machines and Faxes

Always configure devices to avoid saving copies. Many fax machines and copiers have this default setting. Not erasing them properly before selling them to leasing company can cause you serious troubles.

 

THINGS TO DO WITH YOUR BROKEN DEVICES

You are sadly mistaken, if you think that information is not accessible when your computer doesn’t boot or device has cracked screen. Make sure to properly recycle or dispose your electronic devices.

For disposing your old hard drive, you have the following options:

  • Cases where you have few drives for overwriting, pop the hard drive into another machine to overwrite. We recommend you to make sure that the overwrite is secure. There are many programs like Active KillDisk and DP Wipe for this purpose.
  • A sledgehammer can also be used but make sure to use eye protection.
  • To destroy drives of large quantities, you can engage with a hard drive shredding company.

 

OLD SMARTPHONE DISPOSAL

Android-  A Factory Data Reset will do the work for you. In order to make sure that the data is erased completely, you can fill your phone with bunch of songs and movies and perform another Factory Data Reset. Always remember that your SD cards is separately erased from the phone.

iPhone- You can erase the data in in three quick steps: Settings> General>Reset, finally erasing all the content. Make sure not to wipe the data manually as it can even delete photos, contacts stored in iCloud.

Windows Phone- Before starting the process, you need to encrypt and backup the information. Just like Android, try to check it through loading with bunch of movies.

Managing Portable Media- There are many companies which have moved away from portable media with coming Cloud computing. This is one of the best idea as with HIPAA Compliant file, one can audit control logs.

Make sure that you have control over all these items when using portable media. All these devices should be scanned through your virus software before attaching to the systems. Portable media is prone to all these kind of malware, scanning them can make sure that you don’t have to compromise with your systems. This way you can save yourself from becoming the victim of HIPAA compliance. The most important point to keep in mind is that your medical coding and billing partner should reliable enough as any mistake from their end can cost you immensely.

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