Most Americans think of themselves as honest, law-abiding citizens. However, consider a familiar experience: You get into your car to drive to work and the first thing you do is buckle up. Why?
Either you buckle up because it’s the law, or you buckle up because you are mindful of the reports that your seat belt can save your life. If you are like most drivers, you drive about 5 mph over the speed limit. So here’s the question: Why would you break the law and risk an accident just to arrive two minutes earlier?
Now let’s add a twist: As you are traveling to work, you notice a police officer ahead. How do you react? Chances are you hit the brakes even if you are just going a couple of miles over. When the police officer vanishes from sight, traffic picks up speed again.
This example illustrates important underlying aspects of compliance. First, compliance requires an understanding of potential dangers and the cost of being non-compliant. Second, as the difficulty of compliance increases, unless the pain of being non-compliant rises at the same level, compliance decreases. Third, many people tend to be as compliant as their circle of friends. The prevailing thought: Since everyone is non-compliant, we are not likely to get caught. If you engage in this type of thinking , you effectively roll the dice on the future.
How do driving habits relate to HIPAA compliance? As Sun Tzu said, “Know your enemy and know yourself, and you will always be victorious.” Knowing the barriers to becoming HIPAA compliant, we realize that an important step is understanding the cost of being non-compliant. Here are three examples:
- Catastrophic Fines and Remediation: Fines range up to $1.5 million, plus the cost of remediation and damages from class-action lawsuits.
- Lost Production: Going through a months-long breach investigation is not a pleasant process.
- Lost Reputation: When patient trust is lost, patients typically don’t stick around until you have new safeguards in place.
Next, we need an easier solution to HIPAA compliance. This is where Smart Training comes in. We’ve developed a program that walks practices through each step of becoming HIPAA compliant:
- Privacy Officer and HIPAA Risk Assessment: Every practice must appoint a Privacy Officer. Our Risk Assessment modules guide your Privacy Officer to completion of the process. Risk Assessment results are reviewed by a Certified HIPAA Professional who creates a Remediation plan.
- Staff Training: Combining industry leading HIPAA training with monthly Security Reminders will ensure your staff is prepared to be your first line of defense against costly data breaches.
- Updated HIPAA Policies and Patient Forms: Finish with required Policies and Procedures and updated patient forms. You have just put yourself in the top 10% of all dental practices.
With large breaches becoming common, patients are concerned about their PHI. Dentists who choose to be proactive with HIPAA compliance will have a leg up in the marketplace.
Read more about Smart Training’s Dental HIPAA solution by clicking the link below.