For a small business of any kind, uncertainty can often feel like the only certainty there is, and in these unprecedented times of great economic unpredictability, all business owners – dental practitioners included – are wondering what the future will hold.
The economic outlook is evolving daily.
How deep will the global recession bite? How long will it last? How much will we – as individuals, as businesses, as communities, as nations – have to borrow to see us through the storm? What will happen to our practices in the long-term?
In times like these, dental practitioners have so much on their plate that the robustness of their data backup and recovery provider may well be the least of their concerns.
However, while there are many things that “might” happen over the coming months that are largely out of our hands, focusing on the things we can control – right here and right now – puts us back in the driver’s seat and returns some much-needed certainty to an uncertain situation.
Truth be told, even before current events started to unfold, dental practitioners have been operating under great uncertainty for some time already.
There is the growing threat of cyberattacks to contend with, evolving data privacy regulations, and the need to adopt new technology solutions to combat the former and comply with the latter.
These need attention now as much as ever.
The good news? These are areas where today’s dental practitioners have the most mastery of all – they just need to utilize the services of a data backup and recovery provider with a solution that is robust enough to give them that control.
HIPAA Compliance Remains Crucial
If HIPAA-compliant dental practitioners can be certain of anything, it is this – no matter what else happens, secure data backup is not optional.
Though it’s true that certain penalties are being temporarily waived for potential HIPAA violations in response to current events, these waivers are designed to support the temporary spike in demand for remote virtual care.
As such, ensuring the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of all electronic protected health information (ePHI) remains mandatory under HIPAA.
In particular, the legislation states that a data backup plan is required (CFR 164.308(7)(ii)(A)), for which organizations must “Establish and implement procedures to create and maintain retrievable exact copies of electronic Protected Health Information”.
A further requirement is for a disaster recovery plan (CFR 164.308(7)(ii)(B)) to be in place to “restore any loss of data” in the event of a system outage, data breach, or damage to computers/servers where ePHI data is stored.
Organizations must also “Implement policies and procedures to prevent, detect, contain and correct security violations” (CFR 164.308 (1)(i)) and “Implement procedures for periodic testing and revision of contingency plans” (CFR 164.308(7)(ii)(D)).
Healthcare Data Breaches on the Rise
Aside from remaining compliant with HIPAA, top-notch data security is vital for dental practitioners to protect their businesses against the growing threat of ransomware and other cyberattacks.
In February, the HIPAA Journal published its 2019 Healthcare Data Breach Report, which revealed a big spike in data breaches ripping through the healthcare industry last year.
The research found that 510 breaches involving the exposure of 500 or more records were reported in 2019 – a 37.4% increase over the 371 reported in 2018.
These breaches resulted in the 41.9 million patient records being exposed last year – up from 13.9 million the year before.
According to the report: “More healthcare records were breached in 2019 than in the six years from 2009 to 2014.
In 2019, the healthcare records of 12.55% of the population of the United States were exposed, impermissibly disclosed, or stolen.”
The location of most breached PHI was found to be email and network servers – though everything from portable devices to desktops, laptops and electronic medical records were also vulnerable.
The report also tracked OCR penalties handed out for HIPAA violations over the course of the year. It found multiple violations of HIPAA Rules, ten of which resulted in financial penalties amounting to a combined total of $12.2 million being paid to the OCR over the period.
The Importance of Choosing a Robust, Reliable and HIPAA-Compliant Data Backup and Recovery Provider
With all the economic uncertainty pervading every corner of business at present, the last thing any dental practitioner wants to deal with right now is a data breach or a huge fine from the OCR for a HIPAA violation.
To prevent both occurrences, a robust and reliable data backup and recovery solution delivered by a trustworthy provider is the only certain action you can take.
But – how do you know if a data backup provider is capable of carrying you through the current climate of economic uncertainty and beyond?
Well, first, you need a solution that enables HIPAA compliance. This, as we hope is clear by now, is not optional.
Second, you need top-notch security.
Of all the data breaches that occurred last year, most – 59.41% – were classified as hacking/IT incidents, accounting for 87.6% of breached records, with a further 28.82% classed as unauthorized access/disclosure incidents and involving 11.27% of all records breached.
Third, if your current data backup and recovery provider (if you have one) doesn’t provide the security and HIPAA compliance capabilities you need, then you must source a new one who can handle these requirements as your ePHI is transferred across to a new system.
And finally, since you and your employees will undoubtedly be overstressed and overworked already during these uncertain times, you need a solution that will automate your backups to give you all one less crucial thing to worry about.
Regain Control of Your Data Backup and Recovery with Cloud Data Storage
Amidst all the economic uncertainty sweeping the globe, two things remain true and predictable – HIPAA compliance remains essential for dental practitioners and healthcare data will remain a high-value target for cybercriminals.
The time is now to take back control and begin working with a reputed and reliable data backup and recovery provider.
Central Data Storage is the provider you’ve been looking for.
All our products have been purposefully built to keep your ePHI safe and secure and are approved by third-party auditors as 100% compliant with HIPAA, HITECH, as well as the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and State Laws.
What’s more, our 448-bit end-to-end encryption exceeds military-grade standards to ensure your data remains protected from cyberattacks and other outside threats, both in transit and at rest in our highly secure private cloud.
With Central Data Storage, you also enjoy unlimited storage capacity, dual authentication, Encrypted Sharing, automated backups, and ransomware recovery.
Our sole purpose is to ensure that your data is always safe, fully protected, and recoverable and that you remain in full compliance with HIPAA and other regulatory requirements.
Download Central Data Storage’s new eBook on How to make sure your HIPAA-compliant business is robust enough to weather any data disaster to learn how to backup and recover your data with confidence.
To learn more about the benefits of our data backup and recovery solution, call 1-888-907-1207 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.