Security Cameras and HIPAA

Many businesses today have to consider HIPAA regulations as they do business and operate. HIPAA stands for the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996. It’s a sweeping piece of legislation that has many implications for patient privacy.

Medical practices have been adjusting their best practices in the 20+ years since HIPAA became law. But HIPAA regulations are relevant for many businesses, not just doctor’s offices and hospitals. Any business that deals with patient data in some form will need to pay attention to HIPAA regulations.

Here at Experience Audio Video, we’ve gotten questions about whether security cameras can create any HIPAA violations. We’re here today with some quick answers. Here’s what you need to know about security cameras and HIPAA.

Understand PHI

First, make sure you understand the nature of protected health information, or PHI. This protected information includes medical records, obviously, but it also include biometric data, including fingerprints, voice prints, and full quality images of a patient’s face, according to HIPAA Guard.

If archived footage contains PHI, then you could be liable in the event of a data breach.

Secure Your System and Encrypt Your Data

It’s nearly impossible to avoid all PHI on security camera footage. If the wrong person gains access to your archived footage, you’re in great danger of a HIPAA violation. So our best advice is to secure your system. Perform regular audits to ensure only the necessary people have access and that no one has breached the system. Also, be sure to always encrypt your data.

Train Your Staff

Your staff must be regularly and fully trained on HIPAA regulations and PHI. Additionally, anyone who is supposed to have access to your security system (or who may have incidental access or the ability to view live feeds) must be trained in the importance of keeping that system secure.