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Are your electronic devices secure?

HHS Office For Civil Rights offers tips on physical security
Man standing in front of a large computer while another man hacks into the files

While it seems obvious that HIPAA requires a dental office to back up all of its electronic patient information, physical security is an important component of the HIPAA Security Rule that is often overlooked, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office For Civil Rights.

Dental office workstations like desktop or laptop computers, as well as portable electronic devices like tablets and smart phones must be protected by physical safeguards. 

Physical security controls are available at little or no cost and can include privacy screens, cable locks and port and device locks. There are also cost-free measures like positioning workstation screens away from busy areas, keeping electronic equipment in secured areas and using security cameras and other security practices to restrict access to equipment.

Failure to take reasonable steps regarding physical security may have serious consequences. For more information on physical security measures and questions for practices considering a physical security strategy, download the OCR May 2018 newsletter.