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Career Definition of a Healthcare Privacy Officer
Healthcare privacy officers are known by several different job titles, including compliance and privacy officers and HIPAA privacy officers. The focus of their work is on the practices that are in place to ensure medical facilities adhere to healthcare privacy laws. Healthcare privacy officers may review existing practices, identify potential weaknesses in those practices and implement appropriate practices to ensure that their facility complies with healthcare privacy laws.
The duties that healthcare privacy officers perform can vary widely. They review complaints of privacy violations, and they may be involved in providing information to individuals investigating a potential violation of healthcare privacy laws. They train new staff on privacy policies and also provide training for existing staff when policies and procedures change.
|Educational Requirements||Bachelor's degree|
|Job Skills||Organized, strong public speaking skills, strong written communication skills, analytical skills, objectivity, computer skills|
|Median Salary (2017)*||$52,800 (HIPAA privacy officers)|
|Job Outlook (2014-2024)**||4% (compliance managers)|
Sources: *PayScale.com; **U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
It's common for employers to expect healthcare privacy officers to have a bachelor's degree. Some employers look for applicants who have technical or legal training. In some cases, employers prefer applicants with a law degree. Certification is not a standard requirement for employment in this field but it might also be preferred. Credentials such as the Certified International Privacy Professional, Registered Health Information Administrator or Registered Health Information Technician could be an asset for applicants pursuing this career option.
Healthcare privacy officers may be involved in assessing complaints against staff for healthcare privacy law violations, so they need to be objective in their work. They are responsible for staying informed of changes to healthcare privacy laws and must be capable of assessing their practices to determine how to update them effectively in order to comply with changes to the laws. Since they are responsible for training new and existing staff members about healthcare privacy law practices, they must be good public speakers and have strong communication skills. They also need to be well organized and have computer skills.
Career and Salary Outlook
Healthcare privacy officers are not listed separately on the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) website. However, the BLS does report that ''managers, all other,'' a group that includes compliance managers, were expected to see a 3% job growth from 2014 to 2024. Payscale.com reports that HIPAA privacy officers earned a median annual salary of $52,800 in 2017.
If being a healthcare privacy officer sounds appealing, you may also be interested in other administrative healthcare roles, such as a registered health information administrator or a healthcare manager. You can learn more about these careers as well as what's involved in being a health information technician through the articles linked to here.