How Do You Check for Compliance in Outsourced Healthcare Services?

December 16 ,2021
How Do You Check for Compliance in Outsourced Healthcare Services?

In our healthcare outsourcing services blog series, we’ve covered its significant benefits to the healthcare and medical industry, the top outsourced job roles, how outsourcing can respond to healthcare trends, and the importance of compliance. Now let’s discuss how to determine if organisations that provide outsourcing medical services follow compliance standards.

Australian healthcare providers and medical institutions, including their outsourcing partners, are covered by the Privacy Act 1988. As most outsourced work in healthcare involves the management of a patient’s sensitive and personal information, we will focus on compliance for data privacy and protection. We will reference and highlight the top relevant points in data security compliance from the self-assessment guide provided by the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC).

Is there someone responsible for overall privacy management?

There should be a senior staff member responsible for the overall accountability of data privacy management. They should ensure that the organisation must fulfil their commitment to manage private information openly and transparently.

Are privacy risks and issues recorded and reported?

A systematic process should be enforced on all levels when reporting any privacy risk to the management. An effective procedure to follow is the application of a privacy impact assessment for all operational systems and processes that fall under the Data Retention Scheme.

Are data privacy trainings conducted for the staff with clear rules on how to handle personal information at work?

Onshore and offshore staff must be informed of the company’s privacy regulations in trainings and induction programs. Such training resources should mention the significance of protecting personal data, the risks involved from data breaches, and how to manage and protect it in their day-to-day work.

How Do You Check for Compliance in Outsourced Healthcare Services?

Is the privacy policy clearly expressed and updated?

Organisations that procure the services of an offshore staff – particularly those that handle the personal data of their clients — should also cascade to them the company’s privacy policy. This includes any updates and developments so that all members are made aware of their responsibilities with regard to data privacy protection and the consequences of violating the policy.

How are privacy enquiries, complaints, or requests for access handled?

The company must also provide clear directions to the offshore staff on how to address concerns, complaints, and requests from their clients regarding access to personal information. These specific instructions should be aligned with the organisation’s privacy policy and must be administered by the assigned department to the company’s onshore and offshore teams.

Are there security controls to protect personal information?

Organisations should enforce Information and Communication Technology (ICT) security systems to ensure the protection of personal information. Encryption processes must also be applied as part of the security requirements in protecting personal information.

Are there access controls to protect personal data?

Having access security and monitoring controls ensures that only authorised persons are allowed to access personal information. This will help minimise the risk of illegal access, internally and externally. These controls include limiting access only to personnel who are required to obtain personal information as part of their work. Identification procedures should be used to restrict access to the organisation’s personal information systems and to allow only authorised staff.

Is there a data breach response plan in place?

A data breach response plan is an organisation’s strategy on how to contain, assess, and manage incidents where data security has been compromised. Having a data breach response plan is an integral part of fulfilling the obligations set in the Privacy Act. By immediately employing the plan in these critical situations, the impact of the data breach is resolved and trust is regained.

Expert offshore solutions provider for the Australian business community

In offshore staffing and outsourcing medical services – particularly with regard to patient information management –healthcare providers and their partners must take these guidelines to heart or face the consequences of legal action and the risk of damage to their reputation.

Outsource healthcare solutions through a premium offshore staff provider with ISO compliance certification. ASW Global is an industry leader in building dedicated offshore teams that support Australian businesses. We are among the first Australian companies to obtain ISO 27001 compliance certification, one of the most stringent international standards for data security. We provide training sessions and resources for our staff to ensure their compliance which is integral to our work environment and to our client partnerships. For more details on our offshoring healthcare and information management services, contact us today for a free consultation.