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SymTec Offers Dental IT Support & Dental IT Services In Utah & Idaho

When you or one of your partners fails to comply with HIPAA requirements, the penalties can be immediate — and extensive. The government Office for Civil Rights (OCR) is expanding their enforcement efforts, increasing audits as well as fines for violations. Dental and medical professionals must be on high alert to ensure that their record-keeping, technology platforms and marketing procedures are fully compliant with these stringent regulations. Your technology partner must include the HIPAA IT support dental practices need to remain compliant. This includes everything from the transmission and storage of protected health information (PHI) to employee data access procedures.

HIPAA-Compliant IT Services

Maintaining HIPAA compliance requires tight coordination between your office associates, clinical team and technology professionals. Even the most efficient teams can quickly become overwhelmed, making it critical for your managed services provider to offer the HIPAA consulting dental practices need. Government requirements change on a regular basis, but it can be difficult for your internal teams to stay on top of the latest changes and ensure that they are implemented correctly and in a timely manner. That’s where working with a partner who is familiar with HIPAA IT services becomes even more important.

Is Your IT Support Company Familiar With the Needs of Dental Professionals?

Maintaining compliance requires ongoing effort and energy, and only a professional IT firm that is familiar with the needs of dental professionals will be able to consider all of the various nuances of your business and keep you covered. The details of what is considered electronic protected health information (ePHI) have changed in recent years, which could potentially require you to rework your current HIPAA compliance procedures.

When you work with an organization that is familiar with the needs of dental offices, you have the peace of mind knowing that there is someone looking out for your best interests. A proactive partner will audit your current practices to be sure they are adequate and make recommendations for any areas that may need remediation. Unfortunately, a lack of knowledge of HIPAA procedures is not enough to protect your dental office in the event of a data breach or audit issue. With staggering fines exceeding $50,000 per breach of patient records, it would not take long to overwhelm a mid-size or large dental practice.

What’s the Likelihood My Dental Practice Will Have a Data Breach?

Organizations of every size, shape and type have been subject to breaches. It is best to consider not if your business will experience a breach, but rather when it will happen and how you can best be prepared. A data breach is defined as any incident where confidential data is accessed in an unauthorized manner. When you realize how broad that definition is, it is not surprising that breaches happen on a regular basis. The rich lode of personal health and financial information that is stored in a dental or medical facility makes these locations prime targets for cybercriminals. According to HIPAAJournal.com, healthcare data breaches were reported more than once per day, and that number continues to rise each year.

How HIPAA IT Services Protect Your Practice

There are areas of your practice that are more vulnerable to a breach than others, such as anytime your data is being transferred from location to location (called data in transit) or when it is being accessed remotely. There are a variety of ways that HIPAA-compliant IT services partners can help protect your practice, including:

  • Creating a process for securing user accounts such as password requirements
  • Data and patient record protection, including the physical security of server rooms
  • Active monitoring of your on-premise or cloud-based services
  • Proactive remediation of any known issues
  • Comprehensive dashboards that incorporate meaningful metrics
  • Reporting that includes key system performance indicators

Each of these solutions works together to build a security posture for your dental practice that will help support your needs both now and in the future.

While there are a number of problems that you can encounter as a result of non-compliance with HIPAA requirements, perhaps the most invasive and dangerous is the loss of patient trust. If your patients do not believe that you are able to keep their personal health and financial information safe, they are likely to find another dental practice with a higher perceived trust factor. Finding a proactive dental IT support company who maintains HIPAA compliance is a big step towards the long-term security and viability of your practice.

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