In late 2022, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services warned of a growing ransomware threat that might impact the dental community, pointing to new ransomware operators that aggressively target the healthcare sector with increasingly sophisticated methods. In addition, according to a recent Health-ISAC and Booz Allen Hamilton report, ransomware remains at the top of healthcare cyberthreats, followed by phishing and spear-phishing attacks, third-party or partner breaches, data breaches, and insider threats.
You can’t have eyes on your practice every moment, but you do have the technology at your disposal to make sure it’s covered 24/7: video surveillance.
Insight into what questions dental and medical practices should ask managed IT providers as they are searching for one. The checklist also dives into red flags to be on the look-out for.
You rarely get advance notice when disaster strikes. Even if you are fully prepared for it, things can unfold in unexpected ways. To give your business and your technology protection in the face of any unforeseen event, you need a guide: a business continuity plan.
As modern dentistry evolves, new products are constantly entering the market, all with the ability to outperform old technology. While investing in the latest and greatest should save time and money, that’s not always the case.
For any practice, foundational technology is a key factor for the operation. But how do you determine those needs? First and foremost, notes Jon Northway, co-founder and Senior Technology Consultant at Integrity Systems & Solutions (ISS), defining requirements starts with the type of practice you will have. Are you a general dentist, or do you specialize in a particular area, like endodontics, pediatric dentistry, orthodontics, oral and maxillofacial surgery, etc.? Understanding practice direction informs workflow and technology criteria.
Among the first steps Integrity Systems & Solutions takes in onboarding new clients is a technology evaluation.
Most of us have a basic understanding around the concept of firewalls: They are network security hardware systems or software applications (sometimes a combination of both) that monitor and control incoming and outgoing network traffic based on predetermined security rules. A firewall typically establishes a barrier between a trusted network and an untrusted network, like the Internet.
In 2022, we continued to see the adoption of digital dentistry across our clients’ practices. The trends we covered last year—smart toothbrushes, 3D printers, augmented reality (AR), intra-oral cameras, and more—appear to be part of a continuing move into dental digital transformation.
The Right of Access Initiative by the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) was introduced in 2019. On September 20, 2022, the OCR noted that three new investigations pertaining to patients' right of access under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)—focused chiefly on dental practices—were underway. With these additional investigations, the OCR has issued 41 enforcement actions since the initiative began.
The benefits of practice management software, especially as they relate to scheduling, billing, and targeted report generation, are not a secret.
As a principal in your practice, you own everything. Not just the physical assets, but every aspect of workflow. Given how important that is, it can be tough to delegate, especially if your practice is fairly new or growing.
Managing a dental practice can be a challenge, but assuring that every patient receives quality care from friendly, trained professionals comes with the territory. Additionally, only a well-managed practice can grow and evolve into a thriving business. Here, we’ll discuss dental office management as well as five tips that can help get your practice growing.
As a dental professional, you pride yourself on delivering to your patients the highest-caliber healthcare. Being proactive regarding digital dentistry can be key to putting your patients first. Dental technology is constantly advancing, and you’ll want to stay on top of the changes.
Whether you’re in the process of opening up a new practice or you’re simply in the market for a new IT partner, it can be difficult to choose a provider.
Some dental practices don’t see the value in a proper network assessment or the need for cybersecurity. But network security is critical in the dental field, as healthcare companies are at a much higher risk for attack, due to the vast wealth of protected health information (PHI) they house.
Small dental practices can be some of the smallest businesses in an area, and are often eclipsed by well-established, larger practices and giant dental corporations. With only one dentist, a dental assistant, a few hygienists and maybe one other staff member on the team, it’s easy to think that small dental practices can fly under the radar of hackers.
HIPAA compliance is critical for all types of medical providers, including dental professionals— as a HIPAA violation can be costly for your dental practice.
You have made the decision to go digital in your dental practice, now what? Navigating the field of dental practice management software can often be challenging and overwhelming. There are tons of options, each with different features, functionality, integration options, reporting, levels of support, etc. But deciding on the right software for YOUR PRACTICE doesn’t have to be so difficult. Listed below are some guidelines that will help you evaluate dental practice management software. Whether you operate out of a single office or manage multiple locations, considering these 5 factors will help you maximize your success in making the right choice for your dental practice the first time.
What is HIPAA? Whether you are looking to digitize your records or you’re fresh out of school, it’s important to get familiar with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) as it applies to you and your practice to avoid costly HIPAA missteps.
For any dentist who's considering selling their dental practice, moving through the process (or even knowing where to start) may seem extremely daunting. But it doesn't have to be. Instead, selling your practice can be easier than you might expect. Just follow some simple, common-sense guidelines in your planning.
There is a wide range of conferences for dental professionals in 2022. Here are a few of the best dental conferences in 2022.
All things considered, 2021 was a pretty unpredictable year. But the team at Integrity Systems & Solutions was honored to be right about a key point—health care professionals from across the country adjusted their practices to meet and overcome the challenges brought on by the ever-shifting mandates and new regulations due to the continuation of the global pandemic.
Every dental office needs some kind of IT support. But many dental offices are too small to afford the salary and benefits of a full-time IT employee, never mind an entire information technology-focused team.
In today’s digital world, consumers expect more from businesses— and healthcare companies are no exception. Patients are no longer passive participants in their medical care. Instead, they have a wealth of information at their fingertips and expect transparency, convenience, and easy information access from their healthcare providers.
Dental service organizations (DSOs) can be a smart choice for both dental workers and practice owners.
In this day and age of increasing compliance requirements and ever-evolving threats of security attacks, it's important to have the right cybersecurity package for your dental practice. After all, your sensitive data, including the personal and financial information of your patients, needs to be protected at all costs.
What is the most important part of your practice? Is it your building? Is it the equipment? No, your practice is your patients. And since most patient records are stored electronically these days, your practice is your patients’ electronic data.
PCI. To you, it’s just one more compliance protocol for your practice to deal with.
As a dental practice owner, you’re running a healthcare organization that houses a wealth of private patient data. From names and home addresses to social security numbers and billing information, just think of your hundreds or thousands of patients captured in your database.
Many dental practices communicate with patients via email— from appointment reminders or billing to friendly newsletters. It’s the nature of the digital age! But convenient digital communication comes with a long list of security concerns, from office-wide malware infection to patient data leaks. With all its risks, email communication is not something dental practices should use lightly.
You’ve faced the hard reality that your dental practice can’t handle all its technology needs on its own. It seems like every time your staff comes to you with problems about a dentistry application or questions about your digital security, you don’t have answers for them— and this can’t keep happening.
Whether you are in the process of opening up a new practice or you’re simply in the market for a new IT partner, it can be difficult choosing a provider.
When it comes to starting and running a dental practice, there are more than just operational and patient responsibilities to manage. Meeting compliance measures is a major concern—a full-time job in-and-of-itself—and one that you likely don’t have the knowledge of or time to commit to yourself.
If you’re just opening your first dental practice, there are undoubtedly a few crucial items you need to begin. In this post, we’re taking a look at some important dental technology and equipment considerations to help you make the right investments right away.
Whether you’re establishing your first practice or just getting a foothold on your marketing, you’re here because you're researching strategies for promoting your dentistry online.
We’ve all seen ads at the top of the search engine results pages for searches like “dentist near me.” Your top competitors are shelling out who knows how much money for these prime-location digital promotions.
Gone are the days when billboard advertisements and home-mailers were enough to promote your dental practice. While these ads can be effective, marketing has evolved dramatically over the past two decades. It’s now clear that digital marketing plays a significant role in your success— as patients become more and more reliant on their phones and technology.
You just graduated from dental school. Congratulations, you did it! Your hard work has finally paid off. Now, to answer the questions: “what’s next?” and “what do you do after graduating from dental school?” While moving from a school setting to an actual real-life practice can seem overwhelming, with a little preparation and planning, you can be ready to face the challenge and conquer any obstacles along the way. Let’s consider what you need to do and know next.
As the country begins to reopen in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, your office also needs to prepare to reopen. Here's what you can do to get ready for patients in this unprecedented time and how you can get them back on the books efficiently.
Your patients and your dental practitioners are more concerned than ever about personal protective equipment (PPE) — and for good reason. With health-conscious mindsets and increased safety protocol emerging everywhere, there’s no time like the present for reassessing your dental PPE standards.
As the country reopens for business after the COVID-19 closures, it’s more important than ever to make your patients feel safe when visiting your dental practice. This includes communicating with your patients about the new office policies and procedures you will enact upon opening.
With continual advancements in dental imaging, practice management software, and other important industry tools, it's critical that dentists stay up-to-date with emerging technology in order to remain competitive.
The novel coronavirus, and the severity of disease it causes— COVID-19— has wreaked havoc worldwide. Dental practice owners are feeling the pressure, with most unable to see patients with the exception of emergencies.
If you're reopening your dental practice after an extended closure, there are some things you need to do to make sure your office— and your team— are ready.
If your dental office is closed due to COVID-19, there are still opportunities to communicate with your patients to keep them healthy and well-informed in this trying time. Here's how, and what information you should be sharing with your target audience.
Small business owners everywhere are facing waves of uncertainty during the height of our nation’s COVID-19 pandemic. Dental practices in particular have taken a hard hit. Coronavirus is transmitted orally, putting dental workers at particularly high risk of exposure to this deadly virus. While some dental offices remain open for emergency visits, a staggering number of dental care professionals are temporarily homebound.
Every year a long list of healthcare organizations break HIPAA rules, accruing costly violation fees— not to mention the time and headaches of re-assessing their future compliance readiness.
HIPAA compliance can be intimidating. You probably hear about HIPAA violations all the time, where companies are forced to pay hefty penalties for failure to follow the rules. Healthcare systems in particular frequently make the news for exposure of protected health information (PHI). Patent data requires different levels of security than other files, and HIPAA strictly reinforces the law to keep all forms of personal data private.
As a dental professional and practice owner, you know that your most valuable resources are your dental expertise, your time, and your money. When you waste one or more of these resources, it is bad for your patients and your practice. To best focus your expertise and attention on your patients, why not let an outsourced information technology partner worry about your practice’s technology needs? There are many benefits to outsourcing your IT to a certified partner. Here are the 5 most important ones:
As a practice owner, you understand the impact that every choice you make has on your business. This is especially true when it comes to choosing an information technology partner for your practice. A hasty decision made without doing all of your research, or perhaps not doing the right research, can seriously set back your practice’s success. On the other hand, a well-researched and carefully considered IT partner can increase your practice’s success and can help you attract new patients.
The Internet of Things (IoT) has begun to infiltrate the healthcare industry. Some estimate that by the year 2021 IoT in healthcare will reach almost $137 billion in sales. This new wave of technology will dramatically impact the healthcare industry in a variety of ways. This post will explore everything you need to know about IoT for your practice.
As a healthcare provider, you are responsible for providing the best possible care to your patients. In order to do so, you gather important details about them. Therefore, you are also responsible for protecting your patients’ sensitive information. This includes, but is not limited to, demographics such as birth dates and social security numbers, financial data, or health information such as medical conditions and test results. Recently, Quest Diagnostics was in the news for a data breach affecting 12 million of their patients. This is just the latest in a series of several major security breaches in recent years. Although the Quest breach affected American Medical Collection Agency, a third party billing service employed by Quest at the time, it is Quest’s business reputation on the line. Read on to find out ways your practice could be at risk and how to protect yourself and your patients.
As an owner of a medical practice, your ultimate goal is to ensure the safety and health of your patients. You know that to accomplish the best patient care it’s essential that your operations and systems are set up in a way to ensure everything is running as easily and efficiently as possible. The technology industry is constantly changing, so it’s important that you are aware of what’s coming and how your practice can prepare for these changes. Technology can help you effect the best possible outcomes for your patients.
Each day, there is increasing demand for instant electronic data. And with the lines ever more blurred between personal and work time, people have come to expect the same level of information accessibility at work as at home. Employees want to access data they need for their jobs as well as the ability to book their next vacation from their desks. However, there is a huge difference in how and how much information employees should be able to retrieve on their home computers versus their employer-owned systems. Technology in the workplace is supposed to increase workplace productivity, but often results in cyberslacking. Here we will focus more on security issues surrounding your practice’s technology. We will outline three reasons for limiting what your employees can access. Your IT partner can provide further guidance.
There is a lot to consider when you begin planning to install information technology in your dental practice. Planning should be a collaborative effort involving the doctor(s), an information technology partner, and other vendors as indicated (such as an electrician or your construction contractor). Taking on a large project like this requires a lot of planning. Here are some of the things to consider before you install a dental clinic information system in your practice.
These days every business has to think about how to integrate information technology, or IT, into their operations. But doctors’ offices have a few unique considerations they must look at when deciding how to set up their office technology. Medical practices must consider how technology will work in day-to-day running of a business while conforming to incredibly stringent regulations surrounding patient data and privacy.
With the ever-increasing popularity of text messaging, it makes sense that healthcare companies are looking into ways to incorporate texting into their practices. It’s fast, easy, and anyone in the office can do it… but should they? If medical practitioners decide to communicate with or about patients via text message,, they need to ensure that it’s done in a safe, secure, and HIPAA-compliant way. Read on to identify what you need to consider regarding text messaging for your medical practice.
As a medical or dental practitioner, you are quite familiar with the benefits of preventive care. Brush and floss, eat healthy and exercise, schedule routine check ups and tests - these are all ways to prevent larger health issues down the road. The same thing applies to protecting your practice from a potential healthcare data breach. Preventing a data breach by protecting your patients' sensitive information requires an investment up front, but be assured that the cost for not doing so far exceeds the cost of the “preventive care”. In this post we will define what a healthcare data breach is, the catastrophic cost associated with recovering from one, how to prevent a breach, and how to get started with your own “preventive care” plan for your practice.
In the dental industry, you always hear about the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). But do you really know what it means and more importantly, is your organization HIPAA compliant? Here, we will go over what HIPAA is, which entities are governed by HIPAA, and how your practice can ultimately become compliant.
If your dental practice is accepting credit card payments from patients, then your practice is required to be PCI compliant. There are a number of standards your company must meet and maintain in order to attain and keep your compliance. In this article we will cover everything from what PCI compliance is to why it is essential for you, as a practice owner, to understand and implement.
Since Microsoft Windows 7 and Microsoft Windows Server 2008 , including Windows Server 2008 R2, will be going to "end of life" as of January 14, 2020, it is important for you to understand what this means for your practice. Continue reading below to find out how you will be affected, the risks your practice will face if you continue using these products after end of life, and the steps you’ll need to take to switch to new operating systems.
As a dental or medical professional, you want the ability to stay connected to your patients around the clock. Of course you want to remind a patient of an upcoming appointment or send them the latest practice newsletter. But what about really staying in touch and providing them with valuable information about their health? Whether it be sending over test results, asking patients for sensitive information, or sending treatment records, ensuring that your email system is set up to be safe, secure and HIPAA compliant is essential. In this blog we will outline 9 things you need to be doing to ensure your emails are HIPAA compliant.
You have found a managed information technology partner, chosen the best practice management software, and have digitized your practice. Now you have to follow healthcare information technology standards. While it may be difficult, following healthcare information technology standards is very important to ensure the best service for your patients. Become familiar with what those standards are, and why it is important to have processes in place in order to preserve the integrity of your patient data and to avoid penalties.
Nearly every industry relies on the internet to conduct business. For this reason, network security and cybersecurity breaches will continue to be in the news. Healthcare is one of these internet-reliant industries. Because of the confidential and valuable information that healthcare providers collect about their patients, healthcare has become a popular target of cyber attackers. Following HIPAA standards is not enough to keep data safe. Knowing that their practices have valuable data, medical and dental providers must take the proper steps to make sure that their networks and information are secure.
Communication is key when it comes to providing a better experience for your patients. Improvements in medical information technology have made it easier for practices to adopt new methods to securely communicate with and educate their patients. Not only are there better ways to reach out to your patients, but with the advancements in medical information technology your patients’ private information is secure and Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)-compliant. Electronic health records make it easier for you to help your patients understand what is being recorded, and how they can use their health information. Here are five ways you can use medical information technology in your practice.
Congratulations! You’ve recently graduated from dental school, and you’re probably considering your options. One of your most fulfilling (yet most challenging) options is to open up your own practice. Or maybe you have been working as an associate dentist for an established practice, and now you want to be your own boss. You might be looking at purchasing an existing practice. Whether you build from scratch or buy a practice, opening up your own practice is not easy, and it’s not something you learn how to do in dental school. Over the years we’ve seen dozens of practices open. Some practices succeed and some struggle. As a professional, you want the opportunity to open your own practice and ultimately run it successfully. Here are some tips to make your practice start-up experience a successful one:
As a dental professional, you pride yourself on delivering the highest caliber of dentistry. To continue putting your patients first, being proactive is crucial as advances in dental technology are made, especially regarding digital dentistry.
One of the greatest and most costly threats to your dental or medical practice today is a data breach. The healthcare industry loses over $6 billion a year in dealing with the costs of compromised data. In 2017 alone, there were 477 healthcare data breaches, affecting nearly 5.6 million patient records. Your practice is not immune to these threats. Your office collects names, dates of birth, Social Security numbers, addresses, and entire medical histories. Because medical and dental practices collect so much sensitive information, they are particularly attractive to cybercriminals. Hackers will use many different methods to break into your network or website to steal information and sell it on the open market. Stolen data is then used to steal people’s identities.
In this age of electronic protected health information (ePHI), one of the greatest threats to your medical or dental practice is ransomware. Practices are facing this vulnerability more and more frequently. Sure, you’ve heard of ransomware, but do you know what it is and how to protect yourself from it?
Now-a-days, almost every industry has been affected by information technology and the need to go digital. Communications, entertainment, shopping, and banking have all gone digital. Medical and dental practices are no exception.
Managing a dental practice is a complex undertaking. You have many moving parts to address – the most important of which is taking care of your patients and ensuring their happiness. But with a need to continuously fill appointments, meet industry regulations and keep your information secure, there’s a risk of missing key responsibilities.