For HIPAA entities it can be tricky to determine how regularly HIPAA training should be conducted as the Privacy Rule states that it need only be a one-off sessions related to policies and procedures for those who handle PHI while the Security Rule states that security and awareness training should be provided regularly for all staff members.
Due to this it is advisable that Covered Entities and Business Associates carry out assessments to spot vulnerabilities and possible HIPAA breaches. This will allow them to review the outcomes of the risk assessments to gauge where potential HIPAA breaches can be avoided with training that goes further than the obligations under the Privacy and Security Rules. The risk analyses should be of assistance when it comes to deciding the frequency at which HIPAA training should be conducted in order to optimize retention of the training by staff members.
Establishing the frequency of HIPAA training via a risk analysis is the most viable way to determine how often is HIPAA training required; for although many compliance experts advocate annual HIPAA training, it may be the case that some groups of the workforce require more frequent refresher training, while other groups may not need reminding of the HIPAA Rules so often. Indeed, it may also be the case that some individuals require more frequent HIPAA training.
The common consensus is that HIPAA training for nurses should be conducted at least once per calendar year, or following amendments to HIPAA legislation, in order to ensure that healthcare worker obligations in relation to HIPAA compliance remain fresh in the minds of those legally obligated to adhere to them.
Another way of calculating how often you will need to conduct HIPAA fresher training is by carrying out a risk assessment in order to identify potential vulnerabilities in your practices, or a material change to policies and processes in relation to PHI.
The method for providing HIPAA refresher training is also important, the easier the sessions are for those taking them the better as healthcare workers are busy and might find it difficult to fit the session into their busy sessions. For this reason conducting online, modular refresher HIPAA training for nurses will also give you the option of providing Covered Entities the chance to select which modules are conducted in order to address specific problem areas that have been revealed by HIPAA audits and risk assessments, or potentially identified by OCR corrective action plans.
Along with conducting role-specific HIPAA training, online modular HIPAA training can also be implemented to conduct HIPAA refresher training for staff members or groups of individuals that only covers the subjects a risk analysis has stated that they have not been given sufficient training in. Providing this training via the Internet means that it can be completed when staff members have time available to do so.