Nearly everyday the federal, state and local governments learn something new about COVID-19 and communicate the information to the public. Certain aspects of the information may govern the workplace. A company’s Employee Handbook may be subject to frequent up dates resulting from rapid changes in government regulations, due to COVID-19. To address this concern, it is best to provide an electronic Employee Handbook accessible to both the in-office and telecommuting employees, during shelter-in-place.
There are many file sharing options today to host an electronic Employee Handbook, e.g. Dropbox, Google Drive, Microsoft One Drive, etc. It is recommended that the medical practice choose a file sharing service that requires a signed HIPAA Business Associate Agreement (BAA). The HIPAA Rules require a BAA in place, to ensure all parties involved appropriately safeguard protected health information.
File sharing companies typically charge extra for the enhanced security to support a BAA. However, in addition to hosting a frequently updated electronic Employee Handbook, the medical practice can justify the cost by also using the file sharing platform for practice-wide communication, while knowing that the information being transmitted is HIPAA compliant.