Over the past 10 years, healthcare has been rapidly changing. And dental offices, like all medical professionals, are not only having to provide quality services to patients, but they are having to manage HIPAA compliance.

HIPAA compliance remains a major concern to dental offices, as its more than just a set of rules to follow. It’s a crucial thing to protect the health information of your patients – as privacy and security are so very important.

So, here are five key components about HIPAA compliance.

  1. Protected Health Information or PHI. PHI is any information about your patients’ health or payment. For dentists, this includes dental records, X-rays, treatment plans, billing information and more.
  2. Patient Privacy. Under HIPAA, the Privacy Rule for patients spells out how to protect PHI – and who can access that information. Health care providers – including dentists – must get written consent from every patient before disclosing ANY PHI.
  3. HIPAA’s Security Rule lists guidelines for how to keep electronic PHI secure. So, dentist who use electronic systems must ensure they are using the utmost precautions to ensure confidentiality, safety and integrity of their patients’ data and information.
  4. HIPAA also has a Breach Notification Rule, which spells out how to notify patients in the event of a breach of their PHI. Dentists must notify individuals who might have been impacted and they also have to report to the Department of Health and Human Services. Sometimes, they have to publicly report the breach to the media, as well.
  5. Dental offices that don’t comply with HIPAA could face substantial penalties, including fines or criminal charges – depending on the breach or negligence.

AccuNet Inc.


If you own a dental office and are seeking expert guidance in IT security for your practice, we can help. Contact us today!