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October is National Cybersecurity Awareness Month

Observe National Cybersecurity Awareness Month with an eye toward improving your computer, dental website and data security which are parts of HIPAA compliance.  There are many aspects of HIPAA compliance to consider for your patient data, patient communications and dental marketing.  I have already written several dental blog entries and social media posts about the need to make your dental website secure with an SSL certificate.

Here are some helpful links to HIPAA reference materials created by The Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights (OCR):

Here is just a partial list of HIPAA compliance tasks that you can implement now:

  1. Provide staff training in HIPAA.  Here is a cost effective on-line program created by the American Dental Association.
  2. Implement Business Associate Agreements.
  3. Conduct an assessment of the potential risks and vulnerabilities to the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of patient data.
  4. Implement security measures sufficient to reduce risks and vulnerabilities to a reasonable and appropriate level to comply with § 164.306(a).
  5. Add a HIPAA Sanction policy to your employment manual.  Ensure that all staff members receive the new policy with documentation.
  6. Implement procedures to regularly review records of information system activity, such as audit logs, access reports, and security incident tracking reports.
  7. A covered entity that maintains a a dental website that provides information about the covered entity’s customer services or benefits must prominently post its notice on the website.

I encourage you to subscribe to the HIPAA Journal.  It is a FREE on-line journal providing valuable information and news about HIPAA for the healthcare professionals.  They just published an article entitled: “Why Dental Offices Should be Worried About HIPAA Compliance.”

HIPAA compliance is a process.  Keep working toward getting a secure website.  If you need help, please call Cutting Edge Practice at 847-370-9131 or reach out to your IT professional.

Why HTTPS matters for your dental website….

HTTPS for dental websites - Cutting Edge PracticeHaving the HTTPS designation on your dental website is now becoming more important to Google, the #1 search engine. Google posted this position statement on their Google Search Console Help page:

“HTTPS (Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure) is an internet communication protocol that protects the integrity and confidentiality of data between the user’s computer and the site. Users expect a secure and private online experience when using a website. We encourage you to adopt HTTPS in order to protect your users’ connection to your website, regardless of the content on the site.”

Why does this matter for your dental website?

In 2017, Google is returning page-1 positioning for websites that are HTTPS.  Dr. Peter J. Meyers at MOZ reported that “Projecting the fairly stable trend line forward, the data suggests that HTTPS could hit about 65% of page-1 results by the end of 2017.  I’ve speculated previously that, as the adoption rate increased, Google would have more freedom to bump up the algorithmic (i.e. ranking) boost for HTTPS pages.” Read his entire article……

What should a dentist do to secure his/her dental website?

An easy way to do this is to contact your website hosting company and ask them to make your website secure by adopting an HTTPS or SSL certificate for your website.  At GoDaddy for example, SSL certificates cost between $59/year to $299.99/year.  Contact Godaddy or your hosting provider to learn how you can add security to your website.

Need help?  Contact Sharon Kantor Bogetz at Cutting Edge Practice.  She can help you through the process.

 

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