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Help Employees Support Your HIPAA Security Efforts

Studies show that the weakest link in HIPAA security is employee compliance and it’s no wonder, their day is already filled with numerous deadlines and requests, not to mention the tasks you originally hired them to do. How can you ask them to add one more thing to their list without compromising your bottom line or their sanity?

The solution is simpler than you might think. Make it fun and easy to guard the Protected Health Information on their computers! Here are three ideas to support a successful HIPAA Security Program that your staff will actually enjoy and follow:

  1. The Password Game – Rather than expecting your staff to remember obscure passwords or run the risk of writing passwords down, help them create one they won’t forget. Ask your employees to think of their favorite inspirational quote (it can be from a song, a book, a saying, etc.) and memorize it. Then ask them to create a password using the letters and numbers from the first or last eight words of the quote. Not only will they manage their passwords safely, you’ll also find them smiling as they think of their quote while logging on.
  2. Redecorate Their Work Area – Most employees spend more time at their desk than they do in their own living room. Encourage them to freshen things up by repositioning their monitor so that others especially visitors cannot see the screen. Have them choose a fun or inspiring screen saver and make sure it is activated in a reasonable amount of time so they can enjoy it often while also taking the workstation offline.
  3. Remind, Reward and Recognize Them – Just because following HIPAA security guidelines is a required task, it doesn’t mean it’s at the forefront of your employees minds and it doesn’t mean their efforts should go unnoticed. Help remind them not to download unapproved programs from the internet, open files or use USB drives from unknown sources with an occasional security pop quiz and reward them with a chocolate bar or small gift card for completing it correctly. When you do see your employees following guidelines in their daily routine, recognize it with a handwritten note or even a quick email thanking them for protecting your company.

HIPAA security is a very serious subject. However, you’ll find your employees more willing to comply by lightening the mood around the most important issues.

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