As stated in the Homeland Security website:
“Across the country, in our communities, we share everyday moments with our neighbors, family, coworkers, and friends. We go to work or school, the grocery store, or the gas station. It’s easy to overlook these routine moments, but as you’re going about your day, if you see something that doesn’t seem quite right, say something. By being alert and reporting suspicious activity to your local law enforcement, you can protect your family, neighbors, and community.”
In the work environment we also have to be aware of our environment and the people we need to contact in case of questions, or if we wish to report suspicious activity. In this case, your immediate supervisor as well as the HIPAA Security Officer or the HIPAA Privacy Officer are all good choices to start the process.
Going back to you; what else can you do to protect your safety? Ideally, we will recommend having a plan that covers the following areas:
- 1.Agreed on a meeting place for you and your loved ones ahead of time.
- 2.Prepare a “go bag” with clothes, cash, medications and copies of key documents.
- 3.Identify multiple exit routes.
- 4.Identify potential “safe houses” or destinations where you may go in case of emergencies.
- 5.Let trusted individuals know how to contact you in case of emergencies.
Just as we think about these potentially dangerous situations and the actions to take, the Government requires that our places of employment consider the same and come up with a plan. For now, as it relates to the work area, simply become familiar with the following terms:
45 C.F.R. § 164.308 (a)(2) requires that all Covered Entities “designate a security official who is responsible for developing and implementing its security policies and procedures.”
45 CFR § 164.304 is defined as the attempted or successful unauthorized access, use, disclosure, modification, or destruction of information or interference with system operations in an information system.
45 C.F.R. § 164.308 (a)(1)(ii)(C) specifically states that Covered Entities must have and apply appropriate sanctions against workforce members who violate its policies and procedures.