You’re probably listening to this podcast because you know the importance of compliance standards in the dental practice. We want to control the cleanliness of our tools, limit the spread of bacteria and illnesses, and offer our clients the best environment. Just as important as quality control is HIPAA compliance with your electronic devices, records audits—and so much more. This important episode of Talking with the Toothcop will cover these often overlooked procedures.
Outline of This Episode
- [2:16] Mobile devices and cybersecurity
- [7:20] Claims and Record Audits
- [13:35] Mitigating workplace violence
- [22:50] Policy on service animals
Mobile devices and cybersecurity
You want to make sure that any device used in your office—whether it’s a phone, tablet, or computer—is properly equipped to protect client information. Also, your staff needs to be properly trained to be HIPAA compliant and procedures must be in place. Set it up so that you don’t save patient information on the computer or there is a policy in place to consistently remove it.
If you use your personal laptop or mobile device to access client information, use a virtual private network (VPN) connection. Did you know some of your devices can be set to remotely wipe if stolen? There are so many tools you can utilize to protect client information. Andrea and I cover a huge chunk of tools you can utilize—you don’t want to miss it.
Don’t “set it and forget it” when it comes to record audits
I’m just going to briefly touch on this topic because it will be covered fully in another episode. But it is inherently important that you are constantly reviewing your documentation. There needs to be a paper trail that shows you’re auditing your work, that billing procedures are being followed, and you’re rectifying any mistakes that have been made.
Make no mistake, you WILL be audited at some point or another.
It is not a matter of if, but when. Any insurance company, even if you’re not an in-network provider, can audit you. So make sure you’re doing your due diligence to stay up to date on billing policies and procedures. Take time to audit some of your files (making note that you did so). Remember—you will be liable for mistakes made.
Mitigating the effect of workplace violence: have safety protocols in place
No one goes to the dentist expecting or anticipating that any form of violence may occur. Unfortunately, recently, a man in Florida pointed a gun at staff in a dental office because he was tired of waiting for his appointment. It’s rare, but workplace violence does happen, and your staff must be prepared.
99% of the time your policy won’t get used. Be prepared for the 1%.
Have you heard of the procedure ‘run, hide, fight’? If not, I’ll lay it out for you:
RUN: If at all possible, flee the situation that’s been forced upon you and escape.
HIDE: If you are unable to escape, find cover (you’re hidden and safe from bullets) or at the very least concealment (staying hidden).
FIGHT: If all else fails, be prepared to protect yourself by any means necessary with any tool available.
We cover ALL the details if you listen to the whole segment.
Are service dogs allowed in the dentist’s office?
This is a question straight from the mailbag, and the answer is yes. According to the Department of Justice and the American’s with Disabilities Act (ADA), service animals are allowed anywhere that the “public is normally allowed to go”. This does not mean you have to allow Emotional Support animals into your practice—they’re not the same thing. You are legally allowed to ask two questions to determine if the animal is allowed to enter:
- Is the dog a service animal required for a disability?
- What work or task has the dog been trained to perform?
You are not legally allowed (or required) to ask any other questions or request documentation. It is important to know these rules so that you are not discriminating against the disabled. Your community knows that your practice is accommodating and knows the law!