If you really want to protect the privacy of those you serve, it is important to establish a culture of vigilance within your organization.
Now, if that sounds like blah-blah, think again. The culture of your organization is a real thing. It is a silent, yet potent communicator of the values reflected in your leadership. High ethical behavior at the top sets the expectations for all.
During our January webinar series, we discussed the importance of a Code of Conduct as a starting point for a HIPAA compliance program. Why? Because it’s a great vehicle for describing ethical standards that employees are expected to meet. If expectations aren’t in writing, how are they to know?
Basic elements of a Code of Conduct set forth principles of:
- Leadership values
- Respectful behavior
- Protection of privacy
Importantly, the commitment should go both ways — with leadership pledging a commitment to a healthy work environment and employees pledging good conduct. (In writing, please!)
Once the basic standards are set, then there is context for the details of HIPAA compliance relating to safety and security.
Note to MyHIPAA Guide subscribers, email Brenna Hughey at firstname.lastname@example.org for your Code of Conduct template if you don’t have it already.