Protect Your Practice 

Could your patient data be susceptible to security breaches? Is your practice still running on Windows 7? If so, your patient data will be at greater risk starting January 14th, 2020, when Microsoft ends its support for Windows 7. This opens up your practice to a breach by malware and ransomware which could expose your patient records. Cyber-attacks have already affected dental practices across the USA. Health Data Management reported that nearly “400k dental patients” were exposed via ransom attacks in Alabama this year, “Compromised data included patient names, addresses, dates of birth, Social Security numbers, insurance and treatment information, dates of service, procedure and diagnosis codes and the names of the treating dentist.”

Is your practice prepared to pay hundreds, maybe even thousands in ransom demands or to resolve a data breach? HIPAA explicitly states within its security rules that covered entities must maintain reasonable and appropriate administrative, technical, and physical safeguards for protecting HIPAA Electronic Protected Health Information (e-PHI.) Click the here to see if your practice is maintaining appropriate security measures. 

Prepare Your Practice 

Is your practice prepared to pay hundreds, maybe even thousands, for a data breach or even ransom? HIPAA explicitly states within its security rules that covered entities must maintain reasonable and appropriate administrative, technical, and physical safeguards for protecting e-PHI. Click here to see if your practice is maintaining appropriate security measures. 

For e-PHI, specifically covered entities must:  

    1. Ensure the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of all e-PHI they create, receive, maintain or transmit;
    2. Identify and protect against reasonably anticipated threats to the security or integrity of the information;
    3. Protect against reasonably anticipated, impermissible uses or disclosures; and (This means having processes and procedures to test and confirm that the processes are sufficient)
    4. Ensure compliance by their workforce 

Evaluate Your Options 

After January 14th, 2020, practices using Windows 7 will need to decide which technology to invest in as an upgrade or replacement for their existing hardware and software. If your practice chooses to switch to Windows 8, keep in mind that Microsoft will terminate its life cycle by 2023. Windows 10 is scheduled to be terminated by 2025.  A minimal upgrade may cost less today but you could find yourself in a similar operating system predicament in 18-24 months. This may be the ideal time to consider whether or not it's time to move to the Cloud. See the iceberg illustration above to better understand the Total Cost of Ownership associated with both models. The subscription-based Cloud model, can result in over a 40% savings when you consider all of the cost “under the water” associated with on-premise solutions.

Cloud-based software, such as Curve Hero, eliminate technology hassles while delivering greater features, support, and ROI than traditional server-based systems. For example, Curve Hero performs data backup and data conversions to your new platform as part of onboarding. Evaluate products based on the complexity versus intuitiveness of performing all front and back-office tasks. Choosing the right platform will continue to pay dividends for your practice in terms of efficiency, productivity, and the speed of on-boarding new staff.

Topics: Cloud based dental software, Software for Dentist(s), Security

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