Technology today plays a critical role in managing every business, including dental practices. Applications, platforms and cloud solutions all play a role in managing dental businesses today.
With so many digital options available, it’s imperative that your dental practice has the right IT security solutions in place to keep data secure and protected, ensure regulatory compliance and improve the patient experience.
Understanding some of the most crucial technical issues facing practices today can inform the types of security you choose for your business.
Consider the vast amounts of data you oversee in your practice. There are medical records and personal health data on hundreds if not thousands of patients. There is billing, transactional and financial information stored in your systems.
As you want more control and access to that data, you need to have a solution that ensures that data is protected while it’s at rest and when it’s in transit. You need the peace of mind that comes with having a security solution that monitors and backs up your data regularly.
You also need security due to the very real cost of a data breach. According to the Identity Theft Research Center, of the 1,500 reported data breaches in 2017, 27 percent targeted businesses in the healthcare industry.
Recently, several breaches were in the spotlight. In late 2018, Florida’s Key Dental Group notified its patients because of the refusal of its electronic medical records provider to return a patient database when their contract expired. While there was no evidence of a breach, since the practice no longer had access to the records, it felt it was obligated to notify patients.
In February 2019, the Dental Center of Northeast Ohio notified patients of a breach that occurred in September 2018 when a ransomware attack targeted its systems. The potentially stolen information included Social Security numbers, dates of birth, driver’s license numbers and medical records.
These incidents illustrate the vulnerability practices face.
Dental and other healthcare entities have been slow to adopt cloud and other digital technologies. Many dentists have delayed moving to digital because keeping paper files on local servers and on paper under lock and key feels more comfortable. However, that local server has often not been upgraded or had the firmware updated to protect against emerging threats. That’s why hackers are so eager to target practices with little to no II security in place.
Practices are putting their HIPAA compliance at grave risk by using outdated and poorly maintained security protocols. Cloud storage with a managed services provider that provides comprehensive security measures is the most prudent way to remain compliant. These solutions provide next-generation firewalls that monitor your networks and website to detect, contain and eliminate unwanted activity. They also include automated updating of software and hardware, including advanced anti-virus, anti-malware and anti-spam programs.
Cloud solutions are well suited to provide your staff with access via smartphones, tablets and laptops. The convenience of accessing medical records, test results and patient information from a remote location is one of the major benefits of cloud technology.
Accessibility provides you and your team with much-needed information. With active security measures in place such as multi-factor authentication, remote device locking and wiping capabilities and regularly updated mobile versions of software applications, you can be assured that access is protected and data is safe and secure.
NOVA Computer Solutions provides answers to your dental practice’s IT questions. We specialize in managed IT services, consulting, cloud storage and compliance solutions that are customized for your needs and business goals. We focus on dental IT services and understand the need to have reliable IT systems, fewer day-to-day issues, little downtime and more efficiency.
To learn more about NOVA Computer Solutions, schedule a free initial consultation about your dental practice IT and security needs.
As a consultant to dental practices, I help my clients maximize what can be done with their technology to maximize production and profit.