Risk Assessment

Covered entities must know their risk ratings to ensure the effectiveness of electronic health information safeguards under the HIPAA Security Rule. HIPAA Help Center’s Risk Assessment module provides users with an up-to-the-minute risk rating, allowing health care professionals to remain aware of their compliance at all times.

Key features of the Risk Assessment module

The Office of Civil Rights considers risk analysis to be a foundational step in HIPAA compliance, and it is a required implementation specification. HIPAA Help Center allows covered entities to fulfill this obligation because the Risk Assessment module meets the OCR’s standard. Specifically, the OCR states the assessment must provide a thorough analysis of integrity, availability and confidentiality of ePHI. As a result, the module takes the guesswork out of HIPAA compliance; covered entities can always be confident in the accuracy of their risk ratings.

The Risk Assessment module provides users with a risk rating for both the Privacy and Security rules and explains the significance of that score. For example, HIPAA Help Center considers a risk rating of 91-100 as optimized. To determine this score, HIPAA Help Center guides the Site Administrator or Security or Privacy Officers through a series of questions based on HIPAA compliance. The user’s responses together with the completion progress determine the risk rating.

The module also offers implementation directions for each assessment question, providing covered entities with clear information on how to follow through with HIPAA requirements. Additionally, easy-to-use search features give health care providers the opportunity to quickly understand which risks they have not addressed.

Frequently asked questions about risk assessments:

Why are risk assessments important?

Risk assessments are a required implementation specification, so completion is necessary for compliance. Additionally, HIPAA Help Center’s Risk Assessment module prepares health care professionals for future success. For example, it helps users identify security weaknesses so vulnerabilities can be addressed and violations and fees avoided.

How often should covered entities perform risk assessments?

The OCR specifies that risk analysis should be an ongoing process, as this method is necessary for updating policies and procedures on an as-needed basis. HIPAA Help Center displays the risk rating on the dashboard, allowing users to quickly gain access to this information. The score always reflects an updated rating.

What if a covered entity has a low risk score?

Covered entities should consistently work toward attaining a risk rating that falls in the optimized level. The Risk Assessment module tells users how to implement all assessment questions, providing health care providers with an opportunity to safeguard ePHI to the fullest extent.

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