Data theft has been making news quite a bit off late. Dental practices manage sensitive patient data and are also responsible for data security as per HIPAA guidelines. These regulations have added a lot of operational hassles with a lot of effort going towards ensuring compliance and allaying the constant fear of potential legal problems.
It is easier to shift the responsibility of data security to a HIPAA compliant practice management solution provider with good security features. The advantage here is that all this data is now stored on a secure server that is guarded by trained professionals 24 x 7. This gives you complete freedom from ensuring compliance and even allows you to use any device of your choice, from a mobile to tablet to a PC.
This also adds an extra layer of security against data loss, since most cloud based service providers utilize data redundancy systems and store the same information on different sites at the same time to ensure there is no loss. The data is also encrypted using high grade tools.
The features to look for while choosing a practice management system are going to sound mostly like technical jargon. We will look at the important ones and see how these features help you secure your data.
Unique user credentialing:
One of the most important steps in ensuring HIPAA compliance and data security is to restrict access to sensitive information for non-essential personnel. Unique user credentialing can help you add users, edit their permissions or even temporarily suspend their access to ensure confidentiality of information.
One of the points where data is most vulnerable is during transmission. All your data passes through your ISP and further through various public channels. Cloud based platforms employ end to end encryption using strong protocols to ensure the data, even if breached will not make sense to the attacker. Look for SSL encryption to protect your data when it is in transmission against all kinds of threats.
Keeping track of who edited what and when is necessary, through a comprehensive HIPAA compliant audit log. This ensures ability to backtrack any breach to the person responsible and acts as deterrent to such acts.
It is also important to look at the tools you can use for internal communication. Most of the data security related news we see today is linked to internal communication being hacked. Choose a system that enables users across locations and roles to exchange messages, notes and documents in a secure manner.
Automatic log off:
Forgetting to log-off is a human error that is hard to prevent. The best way to safeguard against this is to be able to set customizable timers to automatically log-off users after a period of inactivity.
Apart from all the preventive measures, it is also necessary to be able to mount a quick response to any active threats. Ensure that your system has continuous monitoring to go assess requests in real time and get notified for any suspicious activity.