I saw that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services released a tool that is supposedly meant to help small-...
and medium-sized physician offices conduct security risk assessments, a requirement under the HIPAA Security Rule. What exactly does the risk assessment tool do, and do you think it will help with producing reports for a HIPAA audit? Are there easier ways to accomplish the same task?
HHS recently released the Security Risk Assessment tool, designed to help covered entities comply with the requirement to conduct a risk assessment and assess their HIPAA compliance status. This tool, available for free from HealthIT.gov, is a great resource to help assess your compliance status and document the results of the assessment for use in a future HIPAA audit.
The tool, available for Windows 7 and iPad, walks you through the HIPAA Security Rule using a survey-style approach. It includes a series of 156 questions and asks you to identify the controls the organization has in place, and then describe those controls in detail. At the end, it produces a report that identifies areas requiring improvement and offers summary information about the organization's compliance status, such as these charts:
Larger organizations are already using a Governance, Risk and Compliance (GRC) product that provides these capabilities, along with more robust functionality. Small- and medium-sized covered entities who lack a GRC tool may find this is a valuable way to assess the current compliance posture of an enterprise and create an artifact useful for their next audit.
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