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    Protecting patient data is crucial to maintaining trust, and the World Economic Forum recently pointed out an alarming statistic: Only 3.9% of companies adequately safeguard their sensitive documents against hackers.

    In a post-pandemic world, the medical sector has seen a catastrophic upheaval from the workforce. Filling gaps in staff has become urgent, and many are finding that the best ones for the job are often located worldwide.

    Of course, there is no doubt that in-person admin staff is a benefit. However, virtual employees can complete the same vital tasks remotely while integrating into your practice’s ecosystem effortlessly. The result? Hundreds of practices are turning to flexible, cost-effective virtual employees to meet their staffing needs. That does leave a common question open:

    Does opening up your doors to global staff leave your patient’s sensitive information exposed?

    Here are four crucial steps any practice, entirely in-person or hybrid, should take to prevent a HIPAA violation or security breach.

    1. Host Regular Security Refreshers for Your Staff: The human element of security remains one of the weakest links in the security chain. Providing regular training sessions for staff members on HIPAA regulations, cybersecurity best practices, and the proper handling of sensitive patient information is paramount. Educating employees about the potential risks and consequences of data breaches empowers them to remain proactive guardians of patient privacy.

    2. Conduct Regular Risk Assessments: Conduct comprehensive risk assessments to identify potential vulnerabilities and security gaps within your practice, which is essential for preemptive action. By proactively identifying and addressing areas of weakness, you can properly maintain your defenses against potential threats.

    3. Have an Incident Response Plan: Continuous monitoring of network activity, system logs, and user access helps detect suspicious behavior and potential security breaches in real-time. Establishing a robust incident response plan enables swift action in the event of a breach, minimizing the impact on patient data and organizational reputation.

    4. Partner with Trusted Service Providers: Entrusting sensitive tasks such as medical transcription, billing, and administrative support to reputable employees with a proven track record of compliance and security instills confidence in the integrity of outsourced operations. Vetted partners who adhere to stringent security standards and are protected by Business Associate Agreements (BAAs) ensure that patient data remains protected throughout the outsourcing process.

    Edge is the healthcare industry’s top choice for employee staffing. We don’t provide virtual assistants — we specialize in providing full-time, pre-qualified remote staff for an easy-to-manage flat monthly fee. This allows your in-person staff to focus more on crucial patient care while your remote Scheduling Coordinators, Medical Scribes, Billing Coordinators, and Medical Assistants take on the more tedious tasks for your practice.

    As a premium remote hiring partner, we offer a complete ecosystem of HR and staffing services that many others don’t.

    ☑️ Recruiting, Hiring, and Onboarding — We’ll match you with rigorously pre-screened, English-fluent, and highly sought-after global talent within 72 hours. Choose your perfect fit and leave the heavy lifting to us — onboarding, tech and headsets, software, and more. Your practice stays protected with the following:                                                          

    • Business Associate Agreements (BAA): Most virtual assistant agencies refuse to mitigate risk and sign a BAA, and those that do make their remote employees sign them, still leaving your business at risk. Edge signs BAAs regularly, which provides greater legal protections than if the BAA is signed by a foreign company or an employee outside the United States.
    • Non-Disclosure Agreements: Also commonly known as a confidentiality agreement (CA) or proprietary information agreement (PIA) NDAs are legal agreements that outline the material, knowledge, or information that should be confidential. An NDA provides legal protection if proprietary information is improperly shared.     

    ☑️ Pre-Requisite Training Our talent goes through thorough industry-specific modules, learns phone etiquette standards, and undergoes HIPAA and security ethics training from the U.S. Defense Information Systems Agency with mandatory refresher courses every six months. 80% of training is pre-requisite, and the other 20% is specific to your practice — so your new hire is ready to go within weeks, not months.

    ☑️ Benefits & Payroll — Manage your new teammate’s payroll, benefits, and time off requests within our easy-to-use portal and receive ongoing customer support.

    ☑️ Advanced Security & Compliance Protocols — Most staffing agencies don’t go beyond providing default baseline security settings, making your employees, patients, and practice susceptible to malware, viruses, data leaks, and hackers. Here’s how our robust round-the-clock security measures safeguard your practice:

    • We adhere to federal security standards, such as NIST 800-53, system hardening, Perimeter 81 VPN, and advanced data protection.      
    • Protective software is installed on all provided electronic devices, including business-specific anti-virus software, malware protection, and 100% encryption.
    • 80% of successful data breaches are due to weak or compromised passwords. We utilize complex password protections, enhanced two-factor authentication, and store all passwords in a state-of-the-art password manager.
    • Continuous security auditing and AI-based active endpoint detection to prevent, detect, and remediate known and unknown threats.
    • Crisis management planning, recovery of business-critical processes, resilient IT infrastructure, and unified network management.
    • 24/7 access to our dedicated IT team.

    The future of work is remote, so tap into the market of untapped global talent and save up to 50% on recruitment costs, salaries, and benefits per hire with Edge. With an educated, qualified talent pool accepted at a rate lower than Harvard’s — we specialize in talent you can trust. Browse our website and book a 15-minute demo with one of our hiring experts to learn more.

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