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Ransomware: A HIPAA Concern for Doctors and Dentists

Ransomware: A HIPAA Concern for Doctors and Dentists

According to a recent U.S Government report, ransomware attacks have been rapidly increasing since early 2016. The reality is staggering. An estimated 4,000 ransomware attacks take place every day. So what is ransomware? It's a type of computer virus or malware that attempts to deny access to a user’s information by encrypting their data.   Healthcare and dental facilities are often targeted because of their perceived ability to pay a ransom and the reliance on maintaining the confidentiality and availability of patient electronic protected health information (ePHI) under HIPAA. So in essence, HIPAA makes you a potential target, but it also serves to protect you since it requires the implementation of technical, administrative and physical safeguards.  First off,...

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GHS container labeling and OSHA in Sterilization, Labs and Nurse Stations

GHS

GHS container labeling and OSHA in Sterilization, Labs and Nurse Stations

Now that that we've had some time to digest the Hazard Communication Standard's alignment with GHS we've realized just how much has changed especially when it comes to secondary container labeling. The new standard requires quite a bit of additional information and it can be tough to fit it on a standard label. Although write on labels are a quick and easy way to comply with the standard, it can be time consuming when you have multiple containers or locations. We've slowly built a collection of GHS labels that we created for our use in the field. These are products that usually need...

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Choosing the Right PPE for the Task - Healthcare and Dentistry

Choosing the Right PPE for the Task - Healthcare and Dentistry

There's an old saying "If the shoe fits, then wear it." It's got a ring to it, but it certainly wouldn't be good advice if we were talking about PPE use. The fact is when it comes to personal protective equipment (PPE), it's important to enforce minimum requirements to keep employees safe. In many cases this will be as simple as following manufacturers' recommendations, but in some cases it's up to the employer to set and enforce these minimum requirements. The procedures you perform that require PPE to eliminate or reduce likely exposure to blood or OPIM are listed in your Exposure...

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2017 HIPAA fines and settlements already piling up

2017 HIPAA fines and settlements already piling up

 We're not even into March yet and we've already seen a busy start to 2017. The Office of Civil Rights (OCR) announced the 4th settlement of the year with Memorial Health Systems of Hollywood, Florida. They paid $5.5 million to settle claims it violated HIPAA requirements under the Privacy and Security Rules.. The other settlements in 2017 were Children's Medical Center in Dallas to a tune of $3.2 million, MAPFRE, a life insurance company out of Puerto Rico for $2.2 million and Presence Health from the Chicago area.  Presence Health is interesting in the fact it was the first violation stemming from the Breach...

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