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Is Your Dental Practice HIPAA Compliant?

hIPAA compliant
The Health Insurance Portability and Compliance Act protects sensitive patient information and safeguards patient data. While many practitioners think that Protected Health Information (PHI) is only a concern of large healthcare organizations, it is most certainly also a concern of small practices. It’s important that you have the correct infrastructure in place to reduce the risks of data breaches and the ensuing negative consequences.

While HIPAA is rather complex, small practices can focus on a few main areas in order to stay compliant.

  • Make sure your privacy policies and procedures are up to date. You need to be able to outline clearly how risk is assessed in your practice and what steps you would take if a breach occurred.
  • Proper education and training of staff is vital. Employees must know their roles in maintaining patients’ privacy and protecting their data. Training needs to be done on a regular basis on patient confidentiality in the areas of verbal, written and electronic data.
  •  Your practice needs to have a clearly defined policy about how you respond when patients request information. Your staff also need to know how to handle third party requests. Address whether you will charge for fulfilling the requests. Any fees charged must follow HIPAA regulations.
  • Today, cybersecurity threats are on the increase, and you should have steps in place to handle them. Ensure that your practice has excellent security and encryption software.