The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) is a US legalization that requires healthcare professionals and institutions to secure health information from deletions and data breaches. This law has become relevant in today’s dental practice due to increased data breaches caused by ransomware and cyber attacks.
The law’s requirements on HIPAA can be demanding and challenging to understand, but we’ve made it easy for you below. There are three areas you need to be compliant with HIPAA.
• PHYSICAL – these are measures that prevent loss of devices and physical theft on medical information e.g. keeping workstations away from the public eye and limiting physical access to computers.
• ADMINISTRATIVE – measures that make sure patient data is accessible to authorized personnel and is correct. For example, identifying which employees have access to medical information.
• TECHNICAL – these are measures that protect your devices and networks from unauthorized access and data breaches e.g. encrypting files that you upload to a cloud or send via email.
The components above represent every aspect of your dental practice from your record-keeping and policies to your building safety and technology. HIPAA also requires all your staff members to work together to protect patient data and be on the same page.
The administrative, physical, and technical requirements for HIPAA security may be a lot of information for you to take in. Additionally, it can be overwhelming for you to handle its compliance in your dental practice solely.
To make it easier, HIPAA compliance is an organization-wide issue. This means all your employees will have to understand and know their role in securing dental information. Alternatively, you can outsource your HIPAA compliance to consultants, web services, and IT contractors.
This ensures your dental practice meets the required standards and makes your life easier. However, outsourcing your HIPAA responsibilities doesn’t mean you ignore your legal obligations. Your company should always stay on top of any HIPAA changes in recommendations and adopt advanced practices to improve medical information security.
Ultimately, ensure your dental practice upgrades all its old technology for better and efficient systems that contribute to medical information security.
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