HIPAA Audit for Security Compliance

The Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) Office of e-Health Standards and Services released a list of Sample – Interview and Document Requests for HIPAA Security Onsite Investigations and Compliance Audit Reviews.

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HIPAA Audit Checklist released by DHHS’ Office of e-Health Standards and Services Sample – Interview and Document Request for HIPAA Security Onsite Investigations and Compliance Audit Reviews
1. Personnel that may be interviewed

  • President, CEO, or Director
  • HIPAA Compliance Officer
  • Lead Systems Manager or Director
  • Systems Security Officer

Lead Network Engineer and/or individuals responsible for:

  • Administration of systems that store, transmit, or access Electronic Protected Health Information (EPHI)
  • Administration systems networks (wired and wireless)
  • Monitoring of systems that store, transmit, or access EPHI
  • Monitoring systems networks (if different from above)
  • Computer Hardware Specialist
  • Disaster Recovery Specialist or person in charge of data backup
  • Facility Access Control Coordinator (physical security)
  • Human Resources Representative
  • Director of Training
  • Incident Response Team Leader
  • Others as identified.

2. Documents and other information that may be requested for investigations/reviews

a. Policies and Procedures and other Evidence that Address the Following:

  • Prevention, detection, containment, and correction of security violations
  • Employee background checks and confidentiality agreements
  • Establishing user access for new and existing employees
  • List of authentication methods used to identify users authorized to access EPHI
  • List of individuals and contractors with access to EPHI to include copies of pertinent business associate agreements
  • List of software used to manage and control access to the Internet
  • Detecting, reporting, and responding to security incidents (if not in the security plan)
  • Physical security
  • Encryption and decryption of EPHI
  • Mechanisms to ensure the integrity of data during transmission – including portable media transmission (i.e. laptops, cell phones, blackberries, thumb drives)
  • Monitoring systems use – authorized and unauthorized
  • Use of wireless networks
  • Granting, approving, and monitoring systems access (for example, by level, role, and job function)
  • Sanctions for workforce members in violation of policies and procedures governing EPHI access or use
  • Termination of systems access
  • Session termination policies and procedures for inactive computer systems
  • Policies and procedures for emergency access to electronic information systems
  • Password management policies and procedures
  • Secure workstation use (documentation of specific guidelines for each class of workstation (i.e., on-site, laptop, and home system usage)
  • Disposal of media and devices containing EPHI

b. Other Documents:

  • Entity-wide Security Plan
  • Risk Analysis (most recent)
  • Risk Management Plan (addressing risks identified in the Risk Analysis)
  • Security violation monitoring reports
  • Vulnerability scanning plans Results from the most recent vulnerability scan
  • Network penetration testing policy and procedure o Results from most recent network penetration test
  • List of all user accounts with access to systems which store, transmit, or access EPHI (for active and terminated employees)
  • Configuration standards to include patch management for systems that store, transmit, or access EPHI (including workstations)
  • Encryption or equivalent measures implemented on systems that store, transmit, or access EPHI
  • Organization chart to include staff members responsible for general HIPAA compliance to include the protection of EPHI
  • Examples of training courses or communications delivered to staff members to ensure awareness and understanding of EPHI policies and procedures (security awareness training)
  • Policies and procedures governing the use of virus protection software
  • Data backup procedures
  • Disaster recovery plan
  • Disaster recovery test plans and results
  • Analysis of information systems, applications, and data groups according to their criticality and sensitivity
  • Inventory of all information systems to include network diagrams listing hardware and software used to store, transmit or maintain EPHI
  • List of all Primary Domain Controllers (PDC) and servers
  • Inventory log recording the owner and movement media and devices that contain EPHI

Objective of HIPAA Audit and Evaluation for Compliance

The objective of HIPAA Audit includes the following activities:

  1. Assess if all vulnerabilities have been addressed.
  2. Verify that all compliance requirements have been met.
HIPAA Citation
HIPAA Security Rule Standard Implementation Specification


164.308(a)(1)(i) Security Management Process


164.308(a)(1)(ii)(B) Risk Management


164.308(a)(8) Evaluation


164.312(b) Audit Controls


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Risk Management

The objective of risk management is to implement security measures sufficient to reduce risks and vulnerabilities to a reasonable and appropriate level.

Audit Controls

The objective of the Audit Control standard is to implement hardware, software, and/or procedural mechanisms that record and examine activity in information systems that contain or use electronically protected health information.


The objective of the Evaluation standard is to perform a periodic technical and non-technical evaluation, based initially upon the standards implemented under this rule and subsequently, in response to environmental or operational changes affecting the security of electronic protected health information, which establishes the extent to which an entity’s security policies and procedures meet the requirements of this subpart.

Let us help you in completing your HIPAA compliance with a HIPAA Security audit. Use our HIPAA Compliance Software (link anchor words to a page) or ask for a no-obligation HIPAA audit consulting proposal.

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