Understanding Data Encryption’s Role in Your Dental Practice

Encrypted data is a software and technology industry standard. Data encryption is necessary in the healthcare industry, working as an effective tool to protect patient information (PHI). In this blog post, we want to help you understand the importance of data encryption and explain the steps ABELDent takes towards protecting and securing your practice’s valuable information via encryption.

What is Encryption?

Data encryption is the process of translating information into a code to prevent unauthorized access and leaked data. In simpler terms, encryption is where your practice data is coded into an unreadable format, which then can be transferred safely. For example, your practice data is encrypted before it is backed up with our Remote Backup Service (RBS).

Encryption for Data At Rest vs. Data In Transit

Data at rest accounts for the information that resides in your machine. For example, photos, documents, and files that you store on your computer. These files are ideally protected by multiple layers of security, such as antivirus software and/or a firewall. Encrypting specific sensitive files, such as payments, healthcare-related files, or other private documents, creates another layer of protection, which only allow viewers with authorized access to view the files.

ABELDent protects your resting data by ensuring only people who have an account to access their SQL data will be able to access it. This measure, achieved through data encryption, keeps dental offices safe from malicious third-party attackers. Resting data that is backed up in Cloud servers, such as Microsoft Azure servers (which ABELDent uses for RBS) is secured under multiple layers of encryption and firewalls to ensure your practice data is as protected as possible.

Data in transit, as you might have guessed, is data that travels. An example of this is data that is being backed up on Cloud servers. Data in transit is more vulnerable than resting data, as communication channels are easier to attack for cybercriminals. For this reason, encryption is a necessity for transmitting data. ABELDent ensures your data in transit is secure by encrypting your information before backing up your data, such as with the ABELDent Cloud solution and RBS. As mentioned above, when the data reaches the Cloud location for storage, the information is encrypted and safeguarded under multiple layers of security.

Minimize third-party systems

juggling

Your office may use several third-party software systems outside of your original practice management software. For instance, your office may use separate patient communication, imaging, and system backup software. From a security standpoint, it is ideal to minimize the number of different applications your office runs. We want to highlight the risks associated with integrating third-party software with your practice management system, especially if some platforms are outdated or data is kept unencrypted. Some of these risks include:

  • Possibility of hacking and accessing PHI by anyone who may have access to your system via a third-party entrance
  • Older/outdated versions of software are typically not as secure as new versions, and therefore must be kept up-to-date
  • Juggling too many different platforms makes it harder to stay up to date with each software

Opting for an all-in-one solution, such as ABELDent, helps you minimize these issues, as well as making daily workflows easier and faster.

What to do with this information?

Now that you have a better understanding of the process of encryption and can see how it is a technology industry-standard, we hope you take some time to evaluate your practice’s security set-up. Is your practice data regularly backed up into local or cloud servers? How often are your practice data backups? If your office uses local servers, what protective measures do you have in place to deter cyberattacks?

ABELDent is here to help you secure your practice’s valuable data. Patient records, financial information, and other classified documents can’t fall into the wrong hands. If you are interested in using a top-quality secure platform such as ABELDent Cloud, or want to look into backing up your data, we invite you to contact us – we are happy to discuss your practice security options with you.

Online Reviews: The Powerful Way to Make or Break Your Digital Image

Online reviews have become a substantial component in acquiring new patients. A lot of people rely on online reviews to make an informed decision when looking for a new dentist. Patients are more likely to choose a dental practice with a higher rating, which is based on its online reviews. The higher overall rating your practice has, the better your digital storefront appears to prospective patients. Review management systems help businesses manage the online reviews they receive, minimize the bad reviews, and increase the good ones. 

Public online reviews, such as Google Reviews or Facebook Reviews provide powerful leverage that can help potential patients make decisions about where to go for dental care. By proactively curating great reviews, your practice’s online presence can work towards guiding new patients to your office for treatment. How? 

The first step in utilizing Review Management Software is understanding the importance of online reviews. Online reviews are not always accurate, but they are highly impactful in making decisions about where we go and what we do. Prospective patients who read positive reviews are more likely to go to that dental practice than those who read negative ones. 

Understanding the Importance of Online Reviews 

Person leaving a 5-star Google review on an iPhone

We have discussed the significance of acquiring positive online reviews in previous blog posts (Read: “The Art of Acquiring New Patients”). A study by the American Academy of General Dentistry found that 80% of people use online reviews to help them choose a dental office. The study also found that 68% of people who read bad reviews said they would not visit the practice, while only 16% of those who read good reviews said they would not visit. 

As mentioned, understanding the prevalence of your office’s online listing and reviews, and in turn, digital reputation, is the first step in taking control of your practice’s reviews. Moreover, realizing the devastating blow that negative reviews can have on your practice’s virtual storefront should provide motivation in acquiring strong, positive public feedback. 

How Review Management Makes Patient Acquisition Simple

Review Management is a proactive approach to patient acquisition. Compiling multiple positive online reviews is the best way to naturally acquire prospective patients. Negative and critical reviews, however, are particularly damaging to your online reputation. At first glance, having multiple positive reviews indicates patients are likely to have the same experience if they go to your clinic. However, negative reviews and lowered scores can easily turn prospective patients away quickly.  

Review management systems can help you in acquiring positive online reviews, minimize the bad ones, and increase good ones. ABELDent provides a review management solution for your practice in the form of ABEL Reputation Management Service (RMS). By sending a link to a brief online survey patients are prompted to click on stars from 1-5 rating their experience. 

  • Step 1: Send an automated email to the patients that your practice saw today. 
  • Step 2: The patients are prompted to click on either a positive or negative reaction in the email. 
  • Step 3: If the patient clicks on a positive prompt, they will be brought to a page to leave a public review (such as Google or Facebook). If the patient clicks a negative indicator, they will be directed to a private form instead that goes directly to your practice. This ensures the patient can still voice their concerns and feel heard without damaging your Google score. 

Reputation management systems such as ABEL RMS not only help you evade a negative review, but also provide you with an opportunity to mend a patient’s negative experience by providing a private and meaningful response. Doing this may encourage the patient to come back despite the negative experience, and may even turn into a positive review further down the road.  

If you are interested in using ABELDent’s Reputation Management Service (RMS), please let us know here, or call us at 1-800-267-ABEL (2235) and press 1 to speak to our team directly.