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Tips to keep mobile technology secure

Whether it's an iPhone, iPad, laptop computer, Google tablet or Android phone, mobile technology is increasingly used by many dental professionals.

Storing patients' health information on mobile devices can provide faster and easier access but it also comes with potentially serious security risks.


The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has an online education program to help health care providers protect patient information when using portable devices.

The website www.healthit.gov/providers-professionals/your-mobile-device-and-health-information-privacy-and-security, offers a series of tip sheets, frequently asked questions, videos and downloadable materials related to mobile security.

"As technology continues to evolve, it's important for dentists to keep certain safeguards in mind when they access their patients' health information," said Dr. Jonathan Knapp, chair of the ADA Council on Dental Practice.

"The various devices we use to store patient information will undoubtedly change over time but the imperative for proper security measures will remain consistent."

The ADA offers several products to help dentists comply with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. The ADA Practical Guide to HIPAA Compliance: Privacy and Security Kit (J594) provides a step-by-step plan to help dentists implement a compliance program in their practice. It's $225 for members and $337.50 for nonmembers.

The ADA Practical Guide to HIPAA Training (J596) is a CD-ROM program that includes two levels of training. Level 1 teaches the basics of complying with the law to dental office staff and level 2 is a more detailed module intended for managers who are developing and implementing their office's privacy and security plan. It's $135 for members and $202.50 for nonmembers.

Each of these can be purchased through the ADA Catalog by calling 1-800-947-4746 or visiting adacatalog.org.