We all know HIPAA very well. We work hard to follow the rules and make sure our facilities follow the rules. HIPAA uses the words “best practices” often, which is something that we all strive for, but in this day of telecommuting, what about our home office environments? We need to think about “best practices” for HIPAA there as well.
Remember that even if you work from an office in a facility, if you bring work home or work even a day a week from home. you still need to think about your home office. What about your employees who work at home? Do you have formal written policies and procedures for them? For example, is your computer in a separate room with a lock on the door? What do you do to protect the integrity of your computer when guests come over? Is your password on a sticky note on your desk? Whether at home or in the office, it’s always a bad idea to keep your password written on anything at or near your desk. Everyone is probably chuckling that I would even suggest that, but you would be surprised how many people break this basic rule.
Do you have your computer password protected, and do you have a screen saver that, if you walk away, will come up to protect your computer with that password? This is an easy fix and one that would be an excellent best practice for our home environments. Do you shut all your work programs off when you walk away or leave them open? Sometimes at home it is easy to go do another task and leave our connections open. This is bad for both security and often the programs, which really need us to shut them down when we are way.
These are just a couple small things you can do in your home environment that won’t cost a lot but will add security.
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