HIPAA Risk Due to Inhouse Dental Practice Management System

Kiltesh Patel
January 29, 2021 | 3 min read

HIPAA Compliance - Cloud Dental SoftwareTransitioning into digital age is exciting but the challenges of protecting data is even more difficult. From crypto-ransomware, which had recently put few dentist in trouble by extorting money in-exchange for the hacked patient records, to theft of computers, laptops, flash drives, dentist must ensure the safety of patient data.

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) requires compliance while managing patient health information. Any breach in compliance can result in the maximum amount of fines and penalties. Dentist are covered entities under HIPAA, which mandates the compliance and any breach of data might result in fines, penalties and loss of professional reputation.

Most often we hear experts of HIPAA compliance suggesting:

a) Encrypt data at rest.
Data encryption provides a safe harbor from the notification provisions of state and federal data protection laws. Ask your vendor if an in-house practice management system is capable of encryption.

b) Strengthen the physical security of the server and hard drives if encrypting the data is not an option. 
Secure the server where it is difficult to move like a lock and key cage welded to unmovable object.

c) Encrypt portable devices, such as laptop computers and flash drives. 
Use the cloud to back-up data.

d) Purchase a data compromise policy. 
Purchase the insurance policy protecting patient data.


Most legacy dental software are integrated with many software vendors for variety of business functions which will create the security hole. For example patient communication, new patient acquisition, online portal, etc., might not connect to database securely and can leave the patient data un-encrypted on the hard drive in the process - in our experience most of the practices using such solutions will be vulnerable.

Further, these systems require Internet connection on the Server machine, where the database is hosted, putting the system at the mercy of rightly configured firewalls, anti-virus and system updates - not to mention that dentists are not adequately trained for such technical tasks.  

Hence, it is utmost important for dentists to make sure that these patched dental software solutions with legacy dental practice management system are properly secured and must verify with vendors and IT Support.

Healthcare Cloud Dental SoftwareOn the other hand, tab32 cloud dental software provides out-of-box solution addressing the business needs of patient communication, engagement and retention; and eliminates such risky solutions. It not only reduces the risk of compromising the patient data but also eliminates dentists' headache of technical know hows of complex compliance needs from the backup and restore of data to the storage of data at rest. Book a demo today to learn more!

Learn more now!

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