11/04/2004 04:19:00 PM   [ link ]

HIPAA compliance training: only marginally preferable to being stabbed in the eyeball.

HIPAA is the organization that makes sure that health care providers do a good job of ensuring the privacy of their patients. Since there are people on my research project who do studies on actual people, and since I might possibly at some point see some of the data from those studies, I have to go through HIPAA Compliance Training.

This involves stepping through an interactive website filled with miniscule details about privacy regulations, and "real-world" examples that have nothing to do with me. Then I have to answer misleadingly worded questions about the material I just read. The entire process takes an agonizing several hours to complete, and I can only imagine what might happen to me if I were to not answer a sufficient number of questions correctly.

On the bright side, not all of the questions are misleading. Some of them are quite easy. For instance:

[ picture of several computers, photoshopped to include ENGULFING FLAMES ]

"One required part of a contingency plan for dealing with computer system emergencies is a _______ ."

a) disaster recovery plan
b) software upgrade plan
c) hardware replacement plan

[ picture of Amy, repeatedly beating head against monitor ]