Your Questions About OSHA and HIPAA Training Requirements, Answered

people sitting in a row listening to training

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) are two important federal regulatory bodies that healthcare organizations must comply with, to ensure the safety of employees and patients, including HIPAA Training Requirements.

Here’s a closer look at both, including how to achieve and maintain compliance with the critical standards they represent (and enforce).

OSHA’s Mission

OSHA guarantees safe, healthy working conditions by enforcing standards and providing education, training, and assistance to employers and workers.

In the healthcare industry, OSHA standards are critical because employees risk exposure to potentially infectious materials, hazardous chemicals, and physical hazards, such as slips, trips, and falls. OSHA training helps employees understand how to identify and prevent these hazards and how to respond to emergencies.

HIPAA’s Legal Statutes

HIPAA is a federal law that establishes national standards to protect the privacy and security of individuals’ health information. It sets rules for how healthcare providers and insurers must protect and handle personal health information.

HIPAA training is crucial for healthcare employees to understand how to properly handle sensitive patient information. This includes how to protect patient privacy, access and transmit electronic health records securely, and respond to patient information breaches.

The Importance of Compliance Training in Healthcare

Proper understanding of and compliance with OSHA and HIPAA regulations are essential for several reasons, including:

  • To ensure the safety and well-being of patients and employees
  • To prevent costly fines and legal action
  • To protect the organization’s reputation and build trust with patients

Investing in employee training can ensure that your organization fully complies with OSHA and HIPAA regulations — and, ultimately, provide patients with the highest level of care.

When seeking compliance training, it’s important to ensure that your training program covers the key elements of both OSHA and HIPAA regulations. Courses should include identifying hazards, proper safety procedures, and training on protecting patient privacy and handling sensitive health information.

OSHA & HIPAA Compliance Training FAQ

If you’re a healthcare professional seeking to understand OSHA and HIPAA training requirements, it’s common to have questions regarding necessary training. Here’s a look at some of the answers to these common questions and how a learning management system like MedTrainer can help demystify compliance training.

1. How often does OSHA/HIPAA training need to be repeated?

OSHA requires annual training for all employees, and new-hire employees must complete training within ten days of hire. HIPAA requires training for all employees and new workforce members, and periodic refresher training. MedTrainer’s onboarding paths can make it easy to assign training for new employees and track ongoing training.

2. Who is required to complete the training?

OSHA training is mandatory for all employees, including doctors, nurses, receptionists, and part-time employees. HIPAA training is compulsory for anyone who comes into contact with protected health information (PHI), including doctors, dentists, nurses, receptionists, and even part-time employees/interns.

3. How long does training take to complete?

HIPAA doesn’t specify a particular length of training, but no employee can receive proper training for OSHA and HIPAA in just a few minutes. MedTrainer offers full-length courses as well as microlearning for mid-year refreshers.

4. What courses do my employees need to complete?

Employers should refer to OSHA and HIPAA websites for specific training requirements. MedTrainer offers many courses, including:

  • OSHA and HIPAA Requirements
  • Annual OSHA Employee Training
  • Global Harmonization System (GHS) Proof of Training
  • HIPAA Omnibus Rule Employee Training & Implement Protocols

New employees must receive training on the following topics or when a change in job procedures introduces a new hazard:

  • General Office Safety (including injury and illness prevention program (IIPP), fire safety and emergency responses, eyewash stations, and washrooms
  • Hazard Communication
  • Ionizing Radiation
  • Bloodborne Pathogens – including medical waste management information

Our most popular courses for compliance are:

  • Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)
  • General Safety Orientation
  • Hand Hygiene
  • Active Shooter Training
  • Bloodborne Pathogens (BBP)
  • Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
  • Disaster Preparedness
  • Hazardous Communication and Chemical Safety (HAZCOM) GHS Standard
  • Fire Safety and Fire Extinguisher Types
  • HIPAA Social Media and Texting Compliance

5. Are we required to keep proof of training? If so, what documentation is needed?

Yes, HIPAA and OSHA require documentation. Training records should include dates, content, names and qualifications of trainers, and names and job titles of attendees. MedTrainer’s LMS automatically tracks courses with dashboards and reports, which saves time and effort.

6. Is there a penalty for not maintaining compliance?

Yes, OSHA and HIPAA can issue penalties for non-compliance. OSHA penalties can range from $0-$70,000, while HIPAA penalties can go up to $1.5 million depending on the provision of the HIPAA violation.

7. What are some examples of HIPAA and OSHA violations?

Common OSHA Violations

  • Failure to implement and maintain an exposure control plan
  • Failure to provide proper training
  • Failure to engineer out hazards or ensure hand washing
  • Poor housekeeping practices
  • Failure to maintain a written hazard communication program
  • Failure to make the Hepatitis B vaccination available
  • Failure to prepare exposure determinations
  • Failure to use personal protective equipment
  • Failure to train employees under the hazard communication standard

Common HIPAA Violations

  • Failure to promptly release information to patients
  • Improper disposal of patient records
  • Missing patient signatures on HIPAA forms
  • Releasing the wrong patient information
  • Discussing patient information with friends or relatives
  • Discussing private health information in public areas or over the phone
  • Failing to log off a computer system containing confidential health information
  • Including personal health information in emails sent over the internet
  • Releasing information about minors without parental consent

Keeping Up With Compliance

Compliance is critical to ensure safe working conditions, protect patient information, and avoid fines or legal action. A learning management system like MedTrainer can help ensure compliance with OSHA and HIPAA training requirements. MedTrainer allows employees to take training anywhere, and supports assigning courses together, automatically tracking courses, and creating role-specific training bundles. It all adds up to saved time, energy, and effort for administrators.

Schedule a demo or contact MedTrainer for more information about healthcare compliance programs, including specialized training courses like Corporate Compliance, Hazardous Communication, and Bloodborne Pathogens.