A few years ago I had my cell phone stolen. I learned afterward that if I had a password on the phone, I would have been able to erase all of the information on it remotely and make it useless for the person who stole it. Unfortunately, I had to go into every account that I had an app for and change the password to protect my private information. After that incident I put a password on my new phone. So now every time I use it I have to put in a four-digit code. While it was very inconvenient at first, now it is just second nature and I don’t even think about it.
I think of this story every time I hear of a dental practice that doesn’t have a password on their practice management software. The difference is that if their practice gets broken into, there are much heavier consequences. Their dental patients’ personal information is at risk, including social security numbers in many instances. Not only is this a violation of the HIPAA security rule, but it’s also not a phone call that you want to make to ALL of your patients.
The moral of the story is make sure your dental practice software is password protected. It might be a difficult transition at first, but it won’t take long before it is second nature for the team. As a dental practice owner there really isn’t any other choice, protecting your patient’s private information should be top priority.