Protecting patient health information is one of the most critical missions that your dental practice needs to have. Aside from HIPAA requiring it, protecting PHI as part of your cybersecurity planning also ensures that your patients are granted the privacy that they deserve. What are some simple tips that can make protecting PHI as part of your cybersecurity planning easier?
Tips to Protect PHI at Your Dental Practice
- Conduct HIPAA and compliance assessments on a regular basis to look for weak points or inconsistencies in how you are handling private information.
- Make sure that all devices that can access PHI are password protected. Additionally, use a program that forces employees and others with access to change their passwords regularly (like every 90 days). Beyond password protection, you should also be using two-factor authentication whenever possible to keep things as secure as possible.
- Don’t forget physical security amidst your cybersecurity planning. While many of the threats to PHI are virtual, your office needs multiple ways to physically secure PHI. Can anyone access the server room? What security features, like alarms and cameras, do you use to protect areas where patient information is stored? Some small offices are so used to a lack of threats that they are unprepared for the possibility of a problem.
- Set up a breach notification plan that allows you to react quickly in the event of a breach or problem. HIPAA requires dental practices to notify any affected patients within 60 days if there was a data breach, and you should make sure that you have detailed policies and procedures to follow as part of your cybersecurity planning.
- Regularly audit who has access to different documents and applications. Many times, practices give someone access to complete a task and forget to revoke it once the task is finished. Even if you trust your employees, unnecessary access is an unnecessary risk.
Work with a Knowledgeable Partner
It’s not easy to protect PHI and conduct cybersecurity planning on your own, which is why one of the best ways to do so is by working with a professional. OfficeSafe provides dental practices just like yours with a free HIPAA Risk Assessment that you can sign up for by clicking here.
APEX Reimbursement Specialists Is Here to Help With Your Cybersecurity Planning
Whether you’re preparing for the recredentialing process or looking to better prepare for the cybersecurity threats facing your dental practice, APEX Reimbursement Specialists is here to help. Contact our team today by calling (410) 710-6005. We look forward to working with you to make your practice a more profitable place.