The HIPAA security rules are not final yet. When the final rules are done, they will probably have a deadline of December, 2004. However, UW Health will follow certain security measures ahead of time, so we can better protect patient information. You may hear about these security rules in the near future.
- Making Systems Secure: UW Health must use "firewalls" and other measures to make sure patient information on computers is protected.
- Preparing for Disasters: We must make sure equipment and electronic data wouldn't be damaged if a disaster happened, like a fire or flood.
- Checking Workers' Access: We must make sure only the right workers are given keys and passwords to get into computer rooms, and log onto computers.
- Making Audits: UW Health will make checks (or "audits") of its software. We will make sure that only the right workers have logged on and viewed patient information.
- Termination Procedures: UW Health will collect electronic keys and swipe cards from workers who are terminated or reassigned; their computer access will be shut off.
- Training: Workers will be trained to keep track of passwords, protect computers against viruses, and to do other simple security tasks.
You may learn more about the security rules in the future. Right now, the most important rules for you to learn are the privacy rules.
Across the U.S., health organizations send electronic information to each other all the time. The government wants these exchanges to be faster and cheaper, so it created HIPAA's electronic transactions rules. These rules will make UW Health Providers and other health organizations use the same codes, forms, and procedures. These rules should save money for UW Health and other health organizations across the U.S. The only workers affected by these rules are staff in HIS, IS, and billing.