Every pharmacy is familiar with HIPAA. It's a fact of doing business in the health care sector and is ingrained in your day to day processes and procedures.
But even the most thought out and detailed policies can leave room for HIPAA violations. Bringing with them hefty fines and damage to the relationships you work so hard to build with your customers.
With the importance of HIPAA and a growing emphasis on privacy, it can't hurt to put your pharmacy under the microscope. And, as the article 7 Pharmacy HIPAA Violations That Might Surprise You discusses, your careful attention to HIPAA may still leave you vulnerable.
The article is a great, albeit sobering, reminder that HIPAA violations can come from anywhere. From mishandled paperwork and pill bottles to employee errors.
The lesson learned here is that when it comes to HIPAA, there's no single solution that will remove all of your risk. Instead, you have to cover bases in every facet of your organization, including point-of-sale. And you can cover those bases in more ways than you might think.
When HIPAA was introduced in 1996, paper signatures started their journey to becoming a thing of the past. While RMS is proud to have been the first pharmacy POS system to offer electronic signature capture, all these years later, it's kind of old news. Every pharmacy point-of-sale system can offer you this functionality to ensure that you have HIPAA signatures on file and easily accessible. And you might think the role your POS system plays in HIPAA compliance stops here. But there's actually more.
One key point in the article "Pharmacy design creates privacy problems" cited an instance where the layout of a pharmacy left a lot to be desired from a privacy perspective. The aim of having a more personal interaction with patients is a good one. Improving patient care is one of the most relevant topics for pharmacies today, but the execution clearly wasn't thought through. If your pharmacy space is small, leaving little room for a private interaction, consider a more flexible point-of-sale system. RMS' EvolutionPOSV2 tablet enables you to take the transaction anywhere in your pharmacy. Allowing you to leverage personal one on one interactions, while still securing patient privacy.
Another important point is that it's always a good idea to limit access to functionality and information based on need. Even in a point-of sale system, this helps to limit the potential for exposure of sensitive customer information. Limiting a clerk to simply performing their duties rather than allowing them to access reports and other transaction data is one less potential avenue for a HIPAA violation.
A final takeaway from this article is that you can't predict every action that might cause a HIPAA violation. So put in all the safety nets you can. And then keep your eyes open for vulnerabilities and solutions to help you solve them.