Can Understanding HIPAA Help You Find a Job?

HIPAA has been in the news a lot during 2016. There are many headlines that tell the painful story of multi-million dollar fines handed out to hospitals because of a patient data breach. The dental industry is more at risk. A modern dental office is almost 100 percent mHealth (mobile health information) and digital patient records are easy to lose. Can understanding the significance of HIPAA help you find a job when you graduate as at Dental Assistant? Absolutely. 

Dental Offices and HIPAA Compliance

One of the most common ways to cause a HIPAA violation is simply to talk about patient data where other patients can hear you. That happens a lot in dental offices. Sit back and listen to what you hear. That knowledge is important because it helps us change our own behavior and the process makes us more professional- more hirable. 

It is also important to understand how dental offices use patient data and how easy it is to cause a HIPAA violation. It may not be your policy or you may not have written the protocol, but sending an email with patient data is not only common practice it is a HIPAA violation. mHealth must be encrypted and you also have to understand what personal patient information is so that you can recognize it when you see it. 

What is Personal Patient Data?

What happens if a patient wants a copy of their digital X-ray. Can you send that by email? What if a patient want to access their lab reports online? Can they? There is no real answer to these questions because there are too many outstanding circumstances that muddy the waters. 

These examples help to show you how complex HIPAA is and how easy it is to cause a violation. When it comes to finding a job after your dental assistant program ends, it pays to be able to demonstrate that you understand the complexities of HIPAA as it applies to dentistry. A dental office is very much a team environment but it is also an environment that works closely with the outside public and increases the risks. 

Pay attention to your own behaviors and how you handle patient data. The better you get at spotting patient information, the easier it is to develop the skills to handle it appropriately. That skill is highly employable. 

At DOT By Lynn, we provide and train all of our dental assistants with the most up to date software and compliance procedures to prepare you for a very successful career in dentistry.  If you would like to learn more about our program, please contact us below. 

Hear From a Recent Graduate at Our Program, HERE