Data Security

computer-hackerI am such a Pollyanna when it comes to technology I always see the positive side and ignore the negative. However the features that make digital technology both powerful and convenient for businesses also make it powerful and convenient for crooks to abuse your data. The linked article outlines some of the data breeches dental offices can face. The consequences can be severe.

Security breaches happen all the time: A laptop is misplaced, backup tapes are lost in transit, or information is inadvertently posted online. It’s estimated that almost half of all data breaches can be tracked directly to a medical office. That’s bad news for the practice, as penalties can run as high as $50,000 per incident and $50,000 for each day of non-compliance. And it’s happening all around us…

The trouble is, a vast majority of practices are ill prepared to handle theft. Analysts note many Dental Offices and even hospitals haven’t even taken the basic measures to protect data.

As dental professionals we have an ethical and legal duty to protect the privacy of our patient’s medical data. That is what HIPAA is all about. However we may be at greater risk if we collect credit card data. That information needs to be protected under a different standard called PCI.

If you use a service to manage online payments or run automatic pre-payment agreements then you are probably PCI compliant. However if you are collecting Credit Card numbers and storing them in the patient chart or an unencrypted file on your computer you may be at risk.

The article linked above will direct you to an online risk assessment test.

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