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emPower eLearning: May 2010

emPower eLearning

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Empowered OCR: Ensuring Better HIPAA Compliance From Covered Entity and Business Associate

The HHS office for Civil Rights also known as OCR, in its attempt to tighten HIPAA privacy regulations has detailed out six new ways to deal with reports related to the breaches in patient health information.

The OCR aims to obtain HIPAA compliance from Covered Entity and Business Associate by implementing new rules. This is a part of its strategy to infuse customer confidence to provide their health information to the electronic patient health information system. This will allow the health administration to easily create and manage effeciently an online national health care system, which will provide better health-care services of, clinical and non-clinical type, to the patients.

OCR now has to its disposal, computer system which makes it easy for complainant to lodge online complains against breach in privacy of their health information. OCR is empowered to deal the breach in following ways.
  • Post information online and in Public media of any breaches involving at least 500 individuals
  • Directly report to Congress about the number and type of reported breaches, and the action taken.
  • Disclose data with purpose to provide technical assistance, training and guidance needed to ensure HIPAA compliance.
  • Share information with other federal agencies and contractors so that they can effectively respond and investigate the breaches.
  • Disclose information to third parties in order to assist them in their investigation of the reported breaches and conduct compliance reviews.
  • Publicly report the results of investigations and compliance reviews and thus provide complete transparency to process.
The OCR is bound to disclose the minimum health data, which is necessary to investigate the breach and should protect the privacy of the  individual or groups in the course of investigation.The office has authority,  to impose heavy civil  fines up to $1.5 million per violation. This should be an eye opener for the health service providers, especially Business Associates, who have not yet achieved HIPAA compliance.

OCR protects patient health information by reporting breaches and punishing violators.

Jason Gaya

Read more on HIPAA compliance at, www.empowerbpo.com

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Monday, May 24, 2010

HIPAA Compliance: Business Associates Shouldering More Responsibilities

Business associate is an individual, group or an organization which participates or performs some activities on behalf of the Covered Entity in a capacity as a business partner and is not member of the workforce of the Covered Entity.  The Privacy Rule lists some of the functions or activities, as well as the particular services, which makes a person or entity  Business Associate, if the activity or service involves the use or disclosure of protected health information. The types of functions or activities that may make a person or entity a business associate includes payment or health care operations activities, as well as other functions or activities regulated by the Administrative Simplification Rules.

The new amendment to HIPAA Privacy and Security rule recently passed by Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act (HITECH Act) and which came into effect from February 17, 2010 makes it mandatory for all the Covered entities to revise their Business Associate Contract. This has increased the scope of the law as more entities are obliged to follow the HIPAA compliance norms. At same time the amendment adds more responsibilities on the existing Business Associates.

The Covered Entities and their existing Business Associates now have to re-negotiate their existing contracts to achieve HIPAA compliance. The Business Associates now on, have to take adopt additional procedures to completely fulfill the physical, administrative, technical and documentation requirements of the rule. The amendment makes it mandatory for the Business Associate to report loss of unsecured data to the individual patients and/or the public media,depending upon scale of the violation.

The new regulatory requirements make it necessary for the Business Associate to thoroughly carry out the risk analysis for their systems and infrastructure to know the existent loopholes in the security. The next step is to develop appropriate policy which effectively removes the security loopholes by incorporating technical security measures like email encryption, user account management, auditing and a proper disaster backup plan.
Henceforth the Business Associate will also play a more responsible and active role in secure management of the patient health information, which earlier, before this amendment, was sole responsibility of the Covered Entity.

Business Associate plays important role in preserving the privacy of the patient health information.

Jason Gaya

Read more on HIPAA compliance at, www.empowerbpo.com

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Saturday, May 22, 2010

HIPAA Compliance through Business Associate Agreement

The new amendment to HIPAA Privacy and Security rule recently passed by Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act (HITECH Act) and which came into effect from February 17, 2010 makes it mandatory for all the Covered entities to revise their Business Associate Contract. The covered entity should enter into a written contract with its’ business associate to ensure complete HIPAA compliance. The Covered Entity should:
  •            Ensure that Business Associates complies directly with Security rule by implementing administrative, technical and physical safeguards in transaction of electronic Patient health information. This will prevent any unauthorized access   during storage, exchange and processing of patient data.
  •            Make it mandatory for Business Associates to follow the terms and conditions as specified in the agreement or as required by law. This includes providing access, maintaining proper record of disclosures, making disclosures as per agreement, provide timely access of opening books, records and transactions to HHS for regulatory scrutiny, and returning or destroying PHI, if feasible, upon contract termination. 
  •          Deem a Business Associate to violate HIPAA, if there is deviation from mutually accepted practices. The contract can be terminated and HHS notified about the willful violation. In case of unintentional lapse, the Covered Entity should bring it to notice of Business Associate and ensure that mistake is rectified. 
  •            Notify Business Associates regarding new requirements.
The Business Associates are now liable and accountable for any violation of HIPAA Privacy and Security rule and hence it is mandatory to revise and implement procedures to ensure complete HIPAA compliance in their business transaction with the Covered Entity. The Business Associate should:
  •  Adopt and implement reasonable and appropriate HIPAA Security written policies and procedures.This includes implementation of physical and technical safeguards.
  • Adopt and implement policies and procedures for complying with the Business Associate provisions of the HIPAA Privacy  and security rule
  • Hire a HIPAA Security Officer who reviews and asses the HIPAA compliance of the organization on a routine basis. This ensures removal of any existent loopholes and enables satisfactory compliance of the Business Associate agreement with Covered entity .
  • Develop and implement a complaint system so that the clients are served properly.
  • Develop a sanctions policy.
  • Develop and establish a vigilant and reliable system, which identifies protected health information breach and notifies the covered entities
  • Mitigate any harm from the inappropriate use or disclosure of PHI.
  • Educate and train employees and staff on the new HIPAA policies and procedures to prevent fine and conviction due to non compliance, arising out of lack of knowledge or awareness in the employees
The purpose of the written Business Associate agreement is to ensure flow of confidential patient health information in a secure manner. A safe PHI transaction ensures that business relations flourish between both the health provider entities, without compromising the privacy and security of patient health data.
A written agreement between Covered Entity and Business Associate ensures safe exchange and  processing of patient health information. 
Jason Gaya
Read more on HIPAA compliance at, www.empowerbpo.com

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Tuesday, May 18, 2010

emPower - Providing E- Learning Advantage

emPower e-learning solutions is one of the fastest growing healthcare e-learning solutions provider in United States, based in Kentucky. Our mission is to assist hospitals and healthcare institutions to provide superior quality of care to patients, meet corporate & government regulations and contribute to the overall quality of their institution while reducing costs.

Our LMS ensures timely and consistent delivery of standardized courses offerings such as OSHA, HIPAA, Joint Commission and Red Flags rule. The LMS, through its tracking mechanism, ensures that the results of those who have taken required courses can be viewed in real-time. Organizations can easily identity areas of non-conformance and take corrective actions to reduce the risk of non-conformance with requirements. Web-based learning including video clips, animated diagrams, medical images and graphic presentations provide very effective and engaging way of learning process.

emPower offers following advantages to the online learners.

* The e-learning tool meets compliance requirements that seamlessly blend with the organization’s workflow processes
* emPower e-learning training program is an interactive mode of learning that guides students to progress at their own pace.
* Ease of tracking and monitoring of all the courses taken by all the employees in the healthcare facility
* Comprehensive quiz and mid-test to ensure comprehension
* Interactive courses with voice over internet protocol(VOIP) so that the employee can listen and understand the course as well, rather than going through the manuals/data
* Automatic email reminders to make ensure that everyone is in compliance with norms.
* Customer Support in terms of email, direct call and chat.
* All the courses can be accessed 24/7/365 via the internet.

Organizations can track and analyze learning results overtime and are able to administer learning evaluations online. LMS also ensures that organizations are capable of rapid deployment of updates and additions and have access to learning compliance data for regulatory and legal purposes.

emPower provides competitive edge and risk coverage to organisations through its e-learning courses.

Read more about health compliance courses at, http://ping.fm/gMRZ2

Saturday, May 15, 2010

emPower - Providing E- Learning Advantage

emPower e-learning solutions is one of the fastest growing healthcare e-learning solutions provider in United States, based in Kentucky. Our mission is to assist hospitals and healthcare institutions to provide superior quality of care to patients, meet corporate & government regulations and contribute to the overall quality of their institution while reducing costs.

Our LMS ensures timely and consistent delivery of standardized courses offerings such as OSHA, HIPAA, Joint Commission and Red Flags rule. The LMS, through its tracking mechanism, ensures that the results of those who have taken required courses can be viewed in real-time. Organizations can easily identity areas of non-conformance and take corrective actions to reduce the risk of non-conformance with requirements. Web-based learning including video clips, animated diagrams, medical images and graphic presentations provide very effective and engaging way of learning process.

emPower offers following  advantages to the online learners.
  • The e-learning tool meets compliance requirements that seamlessly blend with the organization’s workflow processes
  • emPower e-learning training program is an interactive mode of learning that guides students to progress at their own pace.
  • Ease of tracking and monitoring of all the courses taken by all the employees in the healthcare facility
  • Comprehensive quiz and mid-test to ensure comprehension
  • Interactive courses with voice over internet protocol(VOIP) so that the employee can listen and understand the course as well, rather than going through the manuals/data
  • Automatic email reminders to make ensure that everyone is in compliance with norms.
  • Customer Support in terms of email, direct call and chat.
  • All the courses can be accessed 24/7/365 via the internet.
Organizations can track and analyze learning results overtime and are able to administer learning evaluations online. LMS also ensures that organizations are capable of rapid deployment of updates and additions and have access to learning compliance data for regulatory and legal purposes.

emPower provides competitive edge and risk coverage to organisations through its e-learning courses.

Read more about health compliance courses at, http://www.empowerbpo.com

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Friday, May 14, 2010

emPower e-Learning Solutions developing new Learning Management System

Louisville, Kentucky (May 2010) - emPower e-Learning Solutions provides array of compliance courses, which enable the practices to ensure that all its employees are up-to-date on Government mandated compliance and HR policies. Presently we partner with Cosaint for our LMS. The LMS is SCORM and LM- Light compliant.

In our efforts to make e-learning an enjoyable experience we are developing in-house Learning Management System which will host range of customized interactive features. Our LMS development In-charge, Mr. Harshal Shah says, “A well integrated e-portal (LMS) plays crucial role in success of the online courses. The LMS should allow maximum interaction between instructors and learners by providing real time environment, on-line.”

Keeping this in mind our team is working zealously to equip our LMS with features like:
  • Social networking
  • Graphically Representation of Reports
  • E- portfolio
  • SCORM,AICC, LM-light, 508 compliant
  • Library feature for better content management
  • Whiteboard feature- enables a two way online live interaction between instructor and learner.
  • Online chatting and conferencing.
This all features will provide a real-time classroom effect to our LMS users and allow a very smooth bidirectional flow of information, necessary for success of any e-learning course. The in built SCORM compliance features ensure interoperability and allow the users to share different online courses on our LMS.

About emPower

emPower is a leading provider of comprehensive Healthcare Compliance Solutions through Learning management system (LMS). Our mission is to provide innovative security solutions to enable compliance with applicable laws and regulations and maximize business performance. We provide range of courses to manage compliance required by regulatory bodies such as OSHA, HIPAA, Joint commission and Red Flag Rule etc. Apart from this emPower also offers custom demos and tutorials for your website, business process management and software implementation.

Our Learning Management system (LMS) allows students to retrieve all the courses 24/7/365 by accessing our portal. emPower e-learning training program is an interactive mode of learning that guides students to progress at their own pace.


For additional information, please visit http://www.empowerbpo.com/


Media Contact

Jason Gaya

jasongaya@empowerbpo.com



emPower

12806 Townepark Way

Louisville, KY 40243-2311

Ph: 502-400-9374

http://www.empowerbpo.com

Copyright © 2009. emPower.

emPower is a registered trademark. All Rights Reserved.

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Thursday, May 13, 2010

emPower e-Learning Solutions provides online Certified Nursing Assistant Courses

Louisville, Kentucky (May 2010) - As a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) you will play a frontal role is providing high quality care to patients in the hospital and nursing homes. Your expertise and human touch will provide great comfort to people who cannot take care of themselves.

You work as an aide to nurse, orderly, patient care technician or caregiver. The job is to assist sick people in their daily lives done under the supervision of a nurse. Bathing, feeding, and assisting nurses in setting up medical instruments, monitoring and grooming patients fall in the scope of the job.

As a fresher if you are looking to make nursing as you career, CNA is best entry point. There is steady increase in demand for CNAs due to increasing aging population. In coming years CNAs will enjoy a higher salary, especially in hospitals and nursing homes as their demand is going to shoot up. With a good work experience under your belt you can become a professional nurse.

emPower provides CNA distance learning course so that you can prepare yourself for State certification examination. We have Learning Management System (e-portal), which provides online interactive platform for you to complete the course electronically. The online lessons will teach you how to assist patients in their personal tasks like bathing, dressing and eating, lying down, sitting and mobility. You will learn how to control an infection and maintain complete health records of patients. Our online course will train you how to respond to common chronic and acute health conditions. Beside this we train you on the common health care practices and workflows of hospitals, nursing homes and homecare settings.

About emPower

emPower is a leading provider of comprehensive Healthcare Compliance Solutions through Learning management system (LMS). Our mission is to provide innovative security solutions to enable compliance with applicable laws and regulations and maximize business performance. We provide range of courses to manage compliance required by regulatory bodies such as OSHA, HIPAA, Joint commission and Red Flag Rule etc. Apart from this emPower also offers custom demos and tutorials for your website, business process management and software implementation.

Our Learning Management system (LMS) allows students to retrieve all the courses 24/7/365 by accessing our portal. emPower e-learning training program is an interactive mode of learning that guides students to progress at their own pace.

For additional information, please visit http://www.empowerbpo.com/


Media Contact

Jason Gaya

jasongaya@empowerbpo.com



emPower

12806 Townepark Way

Louisville, KY 40243-2311

Ph: 502-400-9374

http://www.empowerbpo.com

Copyright © 2009. emPower.

emPower is a registered trademark. All Rights Reserved.

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Friday, May 7, 2010

E-Learning – Developing the Right Content

The growing popularity of Internet has made it quite easy for the instructors to teach and train people online. The Learning Management System or LMS provides the right platform to launch and conduct e-learning. Content is the most important part of any e-learning course. The course providers should ensure that content addresses the educational needs of the audience and enhances there knowledge base so that they can hone their professional skills.

Prior to creating any e-learning course, it is necessary to identify the content needs of the audience, understand their learning problems and devise a learning solution so that they can enhance their personal skills. The analysis phase of content development should consist of following:
  • Identify the audience.
  • Know their learning skills and characteristics.
  • Understand their limitations.
  • Identify the content needs of prospective learners.
After identifying the needs of the learners it is necessary to design the content. This consists of developing exercises, building content, analyzing, planning and selecting the subject matter, and initiating strategies so that the content goals of the project are met. The design phase should also accommodate visual presentations in the content in form of graphic, charts, pictures and videos so that online learners can easily grasp the finer points of the content.
The content creator should customize the content so that learners remain complaint with industry standards. The content should be able to accommodate the changes or amendments made over time. This helps the learners to hone their workplace skills and increase the productivity.

A well thought out content is crucial for developing any good e-learning course.

Jason Gaya

Read more on e-learning at, www.empowerbpo.com


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Thursday, May 6, 2010

E-Learning – Enjoying the LMS Advantage

Learning Management or LMS as it popularly known, is basically a software application for the administration, documentation, tracking, and reporting of training programs, classroom and online events, e-learning programs, and training content. It is even known as a web-based technology used to plan, implement and assess a specific learning process. The system not only manages the training or educational records but also distributes them.

The benefits of LMS range from, managing training and maintaining educational records, to distributing courses over the Internet with features for online collaboration. It is widely used in Corporate world to automate record-keeping and employee registration.
The Learning Management Systems benefits e-learning programs by providing a platform that facilitates smooth bi-directional flow of information or data between trainers and learners. Following are the e-learning applications where LMS plays a crucial role:
  • Managing Student self-service like, self-registration on instructor-led training.
  • Managing training workflow like, user notification, manager approval and wait-list management.
  • Provision of on-line learning like, computer-based training, read and understand.
  • Facilitate on-line assessment, management of continuous professional education (CPE), collaborative learning (e.g., application sharing, discussion threads),
  • Training resource management (e.g., instructors, facilities, equipment),
Some Learning Management systems are Web-based to facilitate access to learning content and administration. LMS is used by regulated industries like financial services and health-care industry for compliance training. It is also used by educational institutions to enhance and support classroom teaching and offering courses to a larger population of learners across the globe.
Some LMS providers include performance management systems, which encompass employee appraisals, competency management, skills-gap analysis, succession planning, and multi-rater assessments (i.e., 360 degree reviews).For the commercial market, some Learning and Performance Management Systems include   recruitment and reward functionality.
Thus LMS offer great flexibility to the e-learning programs through it features which help in management and sharing of the online content between individuals and groups of users in a customized manner.

LMS  provides a good platform to manage efficiently on-line education.

Jason Gaya

Read more on LMS at, www.empowerbpo.com

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Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Red Flags Rule: Protecting Patient Identity

Health-care identity theft causes untrue entries into existing medical records at doctor’s offices, pharmacies, hospitals, and insurance companies. These erroneous entries made to victims’ medical files may not be corrected for years or even not discovered. Medical identity theft victims may not get proper medical treatment or may find their health insurance destroyed. Health-care providers who do false billing of victims of identity theft may be required to disregard all its health-care expenses. Medical identity thieves may steal physician’s name, license number or any other account information, forge a signature or prescriptions. Health-care providers and plans may lose its prestige which in turns results in irreversible business consequences.

To prevent and detect identity theft, the “Red Flags” Rule is enforced by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) requires all financial institutions and creditors including physician offices, to develop and implement written identity theft prevention program  for detection, prevention and mitigation of identity theft in connection with the covered account. As per FTC’s rules, physicians who regularly bill their patients for services rendered are considered creditors and required to comply with the Red Flags rules. Red Flags Rule covers:

  • Insurance Claim Information
  • Credit Card Details
  • Tax Identification Numbers
  • Background checks for employees and service providers
Formerly, health-care industry was tagged as technology laggard as no electronic system maintained for health records. The ultimate objective of Health Care entities is to become highly efficient providers of quality patient care, equip system to maintain electronic health records and information and securely control critical aspects of patient safety care. Complete compliance to Red Flags Rule by health-care sector is necessary to protect the patient identity and protects the organization from penalties and criminal convictions arising due to any lapse.

Red Flags rule ensures privacy of patient health information.

Jason Gaya

Read more on, Red Flags rule at, www.empowerbpo.com

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E-Learning: A Blessing For Healthcare Industry

E-learning is one of the major internet tools that allow us to share and manage knowledge. The experts or instructors can easily connect online with an individual or group of learners to share their expertise. E-learning mode of education saves transport costs and time. The customized courses enable students to educate themselves at their own pace. E-learning affects each and every industry and plays a major role in the success of the health-care industry. The rapid changes in the health-care industry necessitate continuous competency-based online education requirements.

The new health compliance laws and policies make it mandatory for health service providers to adopt them, by modernizing and improving their organizational work flow. It becomes necessary to for the health service providers to train their employees. E-learning technology can support these changes by delivering high quality learning solutions. Health-care sector needs to evaluate available e-learning platforms, learning management system and other approaches to receive the right content.
The developments in internet and multimedia technologies have enhanced the physical pedagogical processes of learning, by giving rise to the new revolution in the education and learning industry. E-learning refers to the use of Internet technologies to deliver a broad array of solutions that enhance knowledge and performance. It has gained remarkable popularity in different verticals of education industry, especially health-care industry.
The health insurance industry and the hospitals are covered by HIPAA and Joint Commission regulations, respectively. The law makes it mandatory for both, clinical or non-clinical workers work to according to laid down codes. E –learning provides a great opportunity for health care workers to continue their work and at same time pursue the online compliance training. This benefits the organizations by providing them a cheaper option and at same time ensures that all the trainees enrolled, are in complete compliance with the industry laws. As a result the organization is protected from lawsuits or civil action due to non compliance on the part of its’ employees, due to lack of knowledge, information or training.

E-learning is boon for healthcare industry.

Jason Gaya

Read more on E-learning at, www.empowerbpo.com

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