Passwords…Yeah But

passwrdpasswordFrom the summer issue of Dentrix Magazine:

However, your Dentrix database also has great worth to an identity thief. The confidential patient information stored in your Dentrix database can be worth hundreds of thousands of dollars on the black market if it gets into the wrong hands.

Dentrix Magazine

Follow the link to a very complete article on using passwords, how to set them up assign user rights and avoid problems. All of that is good advice and it is undoubtedly sound strategy to protect yourself and your patients from unauthorized use of your practice data or from dishonest staff members.

It is good advice but in the real world hardly anybody does it.

The fact is that in a dental office people move from one computer to the next to enter and retrieve data and if Sally is out sick we still need to use her machine. When Sally leaves the computer in room one she doesn’t log off, that takes too much time as she will be back in room one with the next patient in another thirty minutes. That means anyone else can go to room one and use that computer with Sally’s log on and user privileges. Password protocols that block the user every time he/she attempts to do certain procedures are intrusive, frustrating time waters that do not get used.

The standard dental office password practice is the “all the same sticky protocol”. That is everybody has exactly the same password or the password is stuck to the side of the computer with a sticky note.

However there is another way that is so easy to use it might actually work. That is to provide each team member with a unique token that the computer recognizes and then applies the proper user rights and access. The computer recognizes the token when a team member gets close and then logs off once the team member moves away.

One such system developed expressly for medical and dental applications is AuthAir.

Not only does the token solve the problem of logging on and off and recognizing various user rights without the need or frequent password entry steps it provides a record of who used which computer when.



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