HIPAA Compliance—protecting your patients’ information—NEEDS to be an important practice in your dental office. This topic is just as pressing as protecting the health of your patients and staff. Managed Service Providers (MSP) are a great way to help you maintain HIPAA compliance. In this episode of Talking with the Toothcop, I talk with Nancy Sabino of SabinoCompTech about technology and protecting patient information.
Nancy and her husband founded SabinoCompTech in 2008 out of a desire to help people. They primarily focus on Medical and Oral Healthcare—so she KNOWS the ins and outs of the dental industry. They focus on the “Awesome IT Way” and providing excellent care to their businesses. Listen for some great advice on keeping your dental practice HIPAA compliant.
What is a Managed Service Provider (MSP)?
I’m going to be honest—you should know what an MSP is, but if you don’t, it’s easily described as an “outsourced IT department”. They offer technical support, advice, cyber-security, cloud services and much more. Your MSP stays up to date on technology so that it’s one less thing that you as the provider have to worry about.
This gives you the freedom to focus on what you NEED to do.
The IT world is constantly changing, and unless you and your staff are completely savvy in all things technology, I recommend utilizing the services of an MSP. SabinoCompTech is based in Katy, TX but local service providers can be found everywhere.
Remediation is ALWAYS more expensive than being proactive
People often jump to “how much is this going to cost me?” but fail to consider the ramifications of the cost if something goes wrong. It’s all about prevention! Being proactive allows you to better control costs. An example Nancy gave is that in 2020 Windows 7 will no longer be supported by Microsoft.
If you’re still using that operating system, it will no longer be issued important security updates.
Would you necessarily know that? Probably not. But your MSP will. If you continue using non-supported operating systems, you open yourself up for security breaches. If you don’t plan now to replace those computers—it will cost you. This year the lowest HIPAA violation will cost you a whopping $25,000. That’s enough to put most small practices out of business! Keep listening as Nancy and I talk about protecting and securing patient information.
What baseline technology and security measures should be in place?
Nancy was kind enough to share some of the things that you need to have in place for your practice, here are just a few:
- You need to pay for antivirus software that is updated continually
- Encrypt any device that can be encrypted in case of theft
- Your staff needs to be educated on the most common scams
- Update Windows frequently and make sure the updates go through
- Have backups of your data set in place and check them DAILY
The last point is extremely important—if your computer crashes and you lose all your patient data you need to have it saved elsewhere. This is something your MSP can help you manage and backup daily. They’ll also run tests to make sure the information is not corrupt and can be recovered.
The two most common problems that are preventable
The first issue is that most dental practices don’t have security risk assessments done. If you don’t know where your weaknesses lie it leaves you more open to security breaches. Nancy’s company offers an annual risk assessment and then work with you to make needed changes to become HIPAA compliant. Remember, prevention costs you far less than cleaning up a patient data breach!
The second issue is that many businesses do not have proper policies and procedures in place. How can staff be properly trained on patient security when a comprehensive guideline isn’t in place? They can’t. An MSP can run a risk assessment and actively work with you to develop security guidelines for your practice.
This episode is a must-listen if you’re looking for ways to secure patient information and make sure your practice is HIPAA compliant!
Outline of This Episode
- [0:22] I introduce my special guest, Nancy Sabino.
- [1:40] About SabinoCompTech
- [6:18] Being proactive allows you to control costs
- [10:20] Protect and secure patient information
- [13:30] Baseline for technology and security measures
- [22:35] Two common issues that are preventable
- [26:30] Things you can to immediately
Resources & People Mentioned
Connect With Nancy
- Nancy Sabino on LinkedIn
- SabinoCompTech on LinkedIn
- SabinoCompTech on Twitter
- SabinoCompTech on Facebook
- Call SabinoCompTech at 281-392-8802