Risk Assessments are needed to attest to meaningful use, but they can serve a much greater cause.
“Rise In Healthcare Data Breaches Cost Industry $6.2 Billion!” HEALTH IT SECURITY.
Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) and the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act have become extremely powerful due to their increased powers of enforcement.
The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) now has the authority to levy fines to both individuals and companies that violate HIPAA guidelines.
As a nurse, physician or other healthcare worker, you should understand that the ONC can and will also levy fines directly on the employees responsible for the data breach!
A Risk Assessment will identify violations before they cause an incident, giving you time to mitigate your liability. Fixing a the problem is much more cost effective than responding to a breach after it has happened.
HealthIT.gov has more information on HIPAA Enforcement, Breach Notification, Privacy, and Security.
National Institute of Standards (NIST) Publications