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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