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Compliance with HIPAA security standards in U.S. Hospitals

Compliance with HIPAA security standards in U.S. Hospitals

Journal of Healthcare Information Management 20(2): 108-115

With the widespread use of computer networks, the amount of information stored electronically has grown exponentially, resulting in increased concern for privacy and security of information. The healthcare industry has been put to the test with the federally mandated Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) of 1996. To assess the compliance status of HIPAA security standards, a random sample of 1,000 U.S. hospitals was surveyed in January 2004, yielding a return rate of 29 percent. One year later, a follow-up survey was sent to all previous respondents, with 50 percent replying. HIPAA officers'perceptions of security compliance in 2004 and 2005 are compared in this article. The security standards achieving the highest level of compliance in both 2004 and 2005 were obtaining required business associate agreements and physical safeguards to limit access to electronic information systems. Respondents indicated least compliance both years in performing periodic evaluation of security practices governed by the Security Rule. Roadblocks, threats, problems and solutions regarding HIPAA compliance are discussed. This information may be applied to current and future strategies toward maintaining security of information systems throughout the healthcare industry.

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Accession: 048613053

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PMID: 16669594

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