Image of Dental chair with the words IT Support Company HIPAA Compliance

How Does a Dental IT Support Company Help Maintain HIPAA Compliance?

When it comes to HIPPA compliance, there’s no wiggle room; You’re either compliant or you’re not. If your dental practice is not compliant, it’s putting sensitive customer information at risk and facing potentially crippling fines. These compliance regulations fall into three categories: technical, physical, and administrative. However, the most important thing you need to know if you run a dental office is that all patient health information transferred electronically must be transferred following HIPAA protocol.

Having a managed IT service provider (MSP) ensures patient data is protected and ensure HIPPA compliance is met adequately.

 

Technical Requirements

HIPAA technical requirements focus on what needs to be done to protect patient health information and how that information is handled electronically. This includes the technical setup of firewalls, routers, and other specialized equipment. Having a managed IT service provider (MSP) is crucial. Your MSP will help make sure these practices are put into place and managed. You’ll want to find an MSP that provides support for their hardware and software, is knowledgeable about dental practice management, is HIPAA certified, and is willing to train your staff.

 

Physical Requirements

We are typically focused on the digital side of security; however, it’s important to remember that physical security is important too. The physical HIPPA requirements are designed to help prevent your dental office from experiencing physical theft and to keep peeping eyes off of your screens while in the office. 

These rules include keeping computers away from the public. Instead, it’s best to keep them behind counters and secured to your desks. It probably goes without saying, but don’t let your patients wander around the building or access computers with sensitive patient information. 

These requirements also focus on proper disposal and replacement of hardware equipment. For instance, you’ll want to make sure you securely wipe all data from hard drives when replacing them. If employees handle any information through their devices, you’ll also want to train them on proper protocols to help ensure patient confidentiality.

 

Administrative Requirements

Administrative requirements regarding HIPAA can be broken into two categories - creating best practices and then monitoring employees to ensure best practices are followed.

 

Creating Best Practices

You’ll want to make a HIPAA best practice policy for all employees. Once you have this, it’s best to take the time to train your employees on these policies and make a point of sending them regular reminders regarding these policies.

 

Monitor to Ensure Best Practices are Followed

Once you have your HIPAA best practices approach in place, you’ll want to monitor the dental office to ensure they’re followed. Again, this is where a managed IT service provider can be helpful. And remember, HIPAA best practices don’t just apply to your employees, it also extends to your office’s business associates. So make sure you’re having regular discussions with them regarding HIPAA policies. This includes any marketing agencies you may work with.

 

Takeaway

Complying with HIPAA regulations does take a lot of time, but it’s better than facing the fines if you are in violation and losing your patients' trust. If you’re looking for reliable monitoring IT service, Intuitive Networks can help. We offer IT support from industry leaders who know HIPAA and dental practice. 

No matter the technology challenges you face, our experts can help you smoothly navigate HIPAA requirements and be a valuable support to your dental practice.

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Pairing Great Security With Dental Scheduling Can make your dental practice more profitable

Here at Intuitive Networks (INI), we love a great pairing, like candied pecans with a Kentucky bourbon; great security with dental scheduling is a recipe for success. That's why it's so vital your dental practice has a managed IT service provider (MSP) you can rely on. The right MSP can help your dental practice improve profit margins, alleviate stress points, and increase productivity while maintaining patient security. 

Just think about how many hours a week your employees spend collecting and organizing data. INI can help you maintain A compliance while saving time by streamlining patient intake procedures, increasing appointments by scheduling automatic biannual hygiene services, and reducing friction by implementing an automated billing system.

 

Increase Productivity With Online Scheduling

Not only does online scheduling help increase productivity, but it can also help increase profits and minimize stress

As a practitioner, you know all too well that appointment scheduling can be one of the most time-consuming operations of a dental practice. Manually scheduling appointments and making reminder calls can monopolize hours of your staff's time every week. 

An MSP can integrate a robust scheduling system and help you to create a solid scheduling strategy

This strategy includes allowing patients the convenience of scheduling right from their phone or computer without having to talk to a team member, it also includes automated confirmation and reminder messages to be sure they never miss a scheduled appointment. Not only can a scheduling software help to remind patients of upcoming appointments, but it also automatically prompts them to schedule biannual hygiene appointments. This scheduling strategy will help your practice meet its daily production goals by ensuring patients are re-booking and making it to their scheduled appointments on time. 

Ensuring your scheduling strategy is running smoothly requires a team effort. And you want a managed IT service provider (MSP) who is willing to train your team to use their software. While it’s usually one or two people who may manage the scheduling, having the whole team trained to do it can help if a person is out sick or on vacation. It ensures things keep running smoothly. Which also helps your practice look well-organized, and keeps patients coming back.

 

Streamline Patient Intake

An automated scheduling system can reduce your administrative burden by streamlining day-to-day tasks. For example, the system allows patients to fill out paperwork and upload important documents before they even step foot into the office. This allows your staff ample time to review the patient's history and pull up their insurance preauthorization. Making check-in times faster and more convenient enhances the customer experience and allows for more patients to be seen in a day. 

Automating these procedures can also reduce common office challenges like misplacing a file or not being able to read someone else's handwriting. Using an online management system means the patient's information is displayed clearly, so your team has all of the necessary information at their fingertips. This helps your team communicate clearly with the patient regarding the procedure and the next steps.

 

Keep Patients Data Safe

As we’ve mentioned in previous posts, a data breach could happen at any moment, “Employees may accidentally cause a breach by viewing data they’re not authorized to handle, or by leaving a laptop or other device where it can be lost or stolen.” When a new patient enters your practice for an exam, they’re not only trusting you with their smile, but also their personal information. They have confidence that your practice has the proper measures in place to keep them safe. 

As your practice begins to handle more appointments and clients, you will need stronger security as a growing business is a prime target for cyber attacks. If an attack occurs while your office is unprotected, will likely cancel future appointments, but they’ll look to your practice for compensation for damages they incurred.

 

How INI Can Help

If you're ready for a world-class managed IT service provider that can help make your business easier, our IT support can help. 

Our services are centered around providing the best customer experience. We believe our success is based on your success.

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