What is the OCR?
According to the Essential Guide of IT Healthcare, the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) is “an organization within the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS). It works closely with both doctors and patients to ensure that every patient knows their rights and privacies concerning personal health information and medical treatment options.”
This office helps to regulate the new HIPAA guidelines and conducts audits of HIPAA. Understanding the office of the OCR is vital to those that work in healthcare. As healthcare workers explore the new HIPAA guidelines that have been implemented, they may want to check with the OCR to see what requirements they are looking for.
What does the OCR look for?
In an audit, the OCR is looking for violations to HIPAA. The OCR explores where there may be holes in safety for patients.
As a government agency, the OCR also investigates health information privacy and patient safety confidentiality complaints to decide if a discriminatory act or a violation of law has occurred and takes action to correct those problems.”
The potential audits will not only have an impact on the technology departments but also on how communication is accepted and released in each role. Patient’s privacy is the number one goal. If HIPAA violations are found, healthcare organizations can potentially receive heavy fines and repercussions for those violations. The OCR looks for those violations and will notify any organization of an impending audit. Staying relevant and current on HIPAA is necessary for those working in the healthcare industry.
If the Office for Civil Rights is of interest to you, you may want to consider pursing a degree in the healthcare administration field.