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The most recent Office of Civil Rights (OCR) publication stresses the importance of a contingency plan for your organization to return to its daily operations as quickly as possible after an unforeseen event. A HIPAA-compliant contingency plan for your healthcare practice protects resources, minimizes patient inconvenience, and identifies key staff, assigning specific responsibilities in the context of the recovery.
A contingency plan is focused on the steps to respond and recover operations in the event of an emergency or other disruption to normal operations. Its major objectives are to ensure: (1) the containment of damage or injury to, or loss of, property, personnel, and data; and (2) the continuity of the key operations of the organization.
Contingency plans aren’t just a good idea; HIPAA regulations requires that HIPAA-covered entities and business associates establish and implement a contingency plan, according to 45 CFR Section 164.308(a)(7).
The HIPAA compliant contingency plan will include:
The need for contingency plans appears as a result of a thorough and accurate analysis of the risks that your organization faces. The end result of a risk analysis can provide a list of potential threats, risks, and preventative controls. Prioritization of critical systems and information will help identify where to focus planning efforts.
Don’t wait for a disaster to happen before designing and implementing a contingency plan.
Office for Civil Rights (OCR):
National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST):
Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response: