In 2018, most people think identity theft and cyber security when they hear “security tips.”
After recent fake news scandals and the FCC’s decision to repeal the protection of Net Neutrality, that’s no surprise.
So as long as your dental practice locks the door and has a secure internet firewall, you’re set. People don’t rob dentist offices, right?
Unfortunately, more than half of the data breaches in the healthcare industry are a result of devices being physically stolen from offices, homes, and cars.
For whatever reason, physical security still plays a significant role in keeping HIPPA protected medical data safe in your dental practice. We’ve collected some of the most critical physical security tips for your business below.
Keep reading to learn more about crucial physical security measures for your business:
Smile at the Cameras
One of the most important things you can do to protect your dental practice is to install security cameras.
In the event you do have a physical security breach at your business, you’ll have so much more information to give police if you install a hidden camera system. It’s easier for police and lawyers to work with clear footage of a crime in action than piecing together evidence left at the scene.
Implement Access Control
A dental practice needs to be extra intentional about the security of certain areas compared to other businesses.
Certain employees will need access to strong medications and dangerous equipment while others are kept out to prevent theft. An easy way to arrange this is updating key cards from a database. Different entry codes can protect different doors, and each employee card can be assigned different codes remotely.
Use Photo IDs
Giving all employees photo IDs accomplishes a few important things:
- Helps employees feel like a valued part of a team
- Helps patients identify staff
- Makes an easy way to identify anyone in the building who shouldn’t be there
They don’t have to be expensive or elaborate. You can print and laminate them in-house for relatively cheap.
Maintain Doors and Lighting
Regularly checking entrances and exists for tampering or damage is one of the most fundamental physical security measures that somehow gets overlooked.
It doesn’t matter how high-tech your security systems are if a door itself is damaged. It’s also important to keep all exits and entrances are well lit to make it harder for anyone to hang around and tamper with locks.
These easy security tips can make all the difference in protecting your business and only take a few minutes.
Identify Visitors and Contractors
Pretending to be a patient visitor or independent contractor is one of the easiest ways for anyone to gain access to your building.
The most effective way to keep track of everyone coming in and out of the building is by requiring everyone who is not staff to sign in at a front desk. Whether or not anyone wears a name tag, this will at least give staff in front a good look at everyone coming in.
Lock up Your Technology
As mentioned above, more than half of medical information breaches are a result of physical theft. So it’s important to physically lock up important technology in addition to having robust cyber security.
There are plenty of ways to make it hard for someone to steal or damage the information technology in your dental practice:
- Use metal cables to lock computers and storage devices to tables
- Use metal plates to bolt computer monitors to the countertop beneath
- Store computers or smaller devices in a cage or lockbox
When sensitive patient information is at stake, don’t assume the honor system will be enough to protect your practice’s devices.
Keep Addicts in Mind
If your business often hosts large amounts of physical cash, narcotics, and other medications you are at high risk of being targeted for theft. Be prepared to take additional security measures that other businesses don’t normally worry about.
You may need to pay to install extra cameras in the parts of your dental practice that house the most sought-after substances. It may also be beneficial to make lighting and visibility clear around the doors to rooms holding medications.
Train Your Staff on Security Practices
Physical security is a team effort, and all your employees need to have a strong understanding of all security policies.
Create security policies that are straightforward and actionable. Make sure new hires are not only thoroughly vetted but also quickly taught all security policies.
Nobody necessarily has to have their black belt in anything, but enforcing security at all times is a team effort. Security systems on their own can only do so much.
Don’t Wait to Use These Security Tips
Cybersecurity isn’t the only way you need to protect your dental practice and your patients’ information.
To recap, there are several essential security tips you can put into action right away:
- Install security cameras wherever necessary
- Limit how many people can access different parts of the building with key cards or a similar system
- Give all employees photo identification
- Keep entrances and exits well lit and maintained
- Require all visitors to sign in
- Physically bolt down information technology
- Be mindful of areas storing valuable substances being targeted for theft
- Train all staff well in all security measures
Taking all these steps will help reduce the threat of physical property damage and stolen information.
For more valuable information and blog posts about running your dental practice, check out our blog.