HIPAA Regulatory Alert: Entertaining game enhances staff training

New way to present privacy and security info

Tedious" and "boring" are often the kindest adjectives used by healthcare employees to describe privacy and security training required in every organization. However, a new, free training program offered by the Department of Health and Human Services' Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology can make some of the training more enjoyable.

"Cybersecure: Your Medical Practice" simulates a game environment to provide insights into privacy and security issues by having the employee play a game in which they face scenarios they might encounter in their physician practice, a small clinic, or even departments within a hospital. As the game is played, the employee learns about proper procedures as questions are asked and feedback given. Scenarios include game characters asking if they can take their laptop home to work on billing; if records can be loaded onto a personal USB drive; and how to send patient information to a physician at a conference, without sharing passwords.

While the game is not intended to replace comprehensive privacy and security training, it does provide a no-cost solution for periodic refresher courses. To access the training module, go to www.healthit.gov. Select "Providers and Professionals." Under "Privacy and Security," select "Privacy and Security Training Games."