HIPAA: Keep your data and practice protected

Posted January 12, 2017 by Alexa S.

We get it, HIPAA isn’t the most exciting topic out there. However, it is a topic that needs to be a priority to every dental practice. A lack of attention to HIPAA details could cost you. HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) was established in 1996 as a way to promote and standardize information stored and exchanged, as well as create a guideline for transaction, security, and privacy standards. A common buzzword associated with HIPAA is PHI (Protected Health Information) which is individually identifiable health information that is held or transmitted by a covered entity or its business associate. There are 3 primary categories in HIPAA that we should first take a look at.

The HIPAA Privacy Rule establishes standards to protect individuals’ medical records and other personal health information. The HIPAA Security Rule deals with electronic Protected Health Information (ePHI). The HIPAA Breach Notification Rule requires covered entities to notify affected individuals, HHS, and in some cases, the media of a breach of unsecured PHI.

Now that we have reviewed the nuts and bolts of HIPAA, what do you think the most common HIPAA violation is? Negligence. Negligence can in the form of either intentional or unintentional. More often than not in a dental office, unintentional negligence is the most common. Human error is the number one offender for unintentional negligence. It cHIPAAan be as simple as an employee who forgets to log out of the computer when leaving, or other violations such as improper data disposal or a lost backup device. A first step in minimizing the unintentional acts is with proper staff training. HIPAA education and processes should be ongoing in your practice. Every team member should participate in HIPAA training and should understand the do’s and don’ts that surround patient data.

So, what are you doing to keep your office HIPAA compliant? For starters, do you feel that you are keeping up with your computer security? The modern practice relies on technology for successful and seamless daily operation, and not having a safe and secure technology system could lead to costly downtime and even violation fines. One way to make sure your practice is doing all that it can to back up data is with XLBackup. This offsite backup storage uses HIPAA compliant encryption technology system that stores your data in multiple data centers. For added security and peace of mind, this solution is consistent with NIST publication 800-11 and follows Federal Information Processing Standards (FIPS) 140-2. Using XLBackup is an easy way to make sure your information is automatically backed up to a secure location, and the more automation surrounding your data, the better.

Another area to consider when making sure you are staying HIPAA compliant is an encrypted email service. XLDent offers SecureMail which is a HIPAA compliant email service that will secure sensitive patient email and file attachments from accidental exposure and data theft. SecureMail ensures compliance, guards your reputation, builds customer trust, and reduces business process costs.

There are many tips you can find surrounding HIPAA compliance and best practices. Here are a few you can start implementing today.

  1. Make sure your team is trained in HIPAA compliance.
  2. Regulate who has access to sensitive information.
  3. Keep an inventory of your office computers and devices.
  4. Wipe down tablet and touchscreen devices to ensure clear entries and to prevent easy guessing for entry to systems.
  5. Do not share passwords.
  6. Keep anti-virus scanning software up to date.

For more information about offsite backup, email security and other services to keep your data safe visit

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Tis The Season

Posted December 27, 2016 by Dawn

In case you missed it, we’ve been sharing some love and holiday cheer with you all month long! Here’s a recap of 25 tips and ideas to help your dental office make the most of the holiday season.

#1     Need help decorating your office for the holiday season? This article will help you make the season bright!

#2     Establishing a loss prevention plan will help you have a stress free holiday season. Learn how you can take the stress out of database management.









#3     Holiday parties lost their luster? Consider showing appreciation to your team by spicing things up.









#4     Keeping your hygiene schedule full is critical…make it easier!

#5     Give your patients a little something extra…

#6     Tis the season for better team communication








#7     Bring your team together in new ways this holiday season.

#8     Manage Online Reviews in one place.

#9     Just for fun….Jingle Barks: Dogs Barking Jingle Bells

Watch it here

#10     A letter to Santa.







#11     “My Two Front Teeth” was written in 1944 by Donald Gardner. He asked his second grade class what they wanted for Christmas and noticed that nearly all of his students had at least one front tooth missing as they answered with a lisp. He wrote the song in 30 minutes.







#13     Wondering what other dental offices do for the holidays? Read this

#14     Did you know XLNotify can help streamline your inter-office communication? For teams of 2 or more…

#15     Tis the season to try something new on social media. Run a contest or share your favorite recipe to get patients engaged with your practice!









#16     Happy National Ugly Sweater Day! Check out this ugly sweater for the dental pro in your life…










#18     Merry Christmas from The Holderness Family. Check out their annual video

#19     Need a gift for the dentist in your life? Get it here









#20     Reactivating dormant patients is an easy way to boost production. Tis the season to rekindle relationships.

#21     Has the elf on the shelf been visiting your office?

#22     The holidays are busy for everyone. ePrescribing will save time for you AND your patients. Learn more

#23     Feeling generous? Here are some gift ideas that your patients will actually use

#24     Watch: 15 Funny Christmas Animal Clips

#25     Merry Christmas from XLDent!





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The Insider Threat

Posted November 29, 2016 by Jennifer G

How Well Do You Really Know Your Dental Staff?

computer-screen-with-personIn recent years the trusting relationship between dentists and their staff has come under scrutiny. Questions such as ‘how much control should my staff have?’ or ‘can my staff have access to my prescription pad?’ are questions posed in a dental office on a day-to-day basis, or so we hope.

With 58% of dentists falling victim to prescription fraud, an issue that seems to be hitting dentists is Identity Theft. Not identity theft in the usual sense, but specifically the misuse of a dentist’s DEA number, forged signatures and stolen prescription pads.

The culprit? The Insider Threat comprised of office staff and fellow dentists. As the opioid epidemic kicks into full gear, dental offices are seeing the highest rate of fraud yet with forged prescriptions, specifically for controlled substances, and unfortunately…read the eBook.



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Mission to Serve

Posted November 15, 2016 by Danielle H

Dr. Ross Sanford brings dental care to Guatemala

Tell us about your background before going to Guatemala.

I am a general Dentist, graduating from the University of Louisville in 1980 with a DMD degree. I moved immediately to Las Vegas after passing the board before school was officially “out”. I associated with a dentist for 3 ½ years before opening my own practice in December 1984. I have practiced solo for my whole career. For the first 27 years I was in a space sharing arrangement with another dentist that I met while taking the Nevada Board exam. We built our first office in 1984 and quickly outgrew that facility. In 1994 we moved into our “Taj Mahal” in Las Vegas where we continued in the same arrangement for another 12 years. I sold my practice in Las Vegas in 2006 and moved to Alaska for one year of “R and R”. I obtained a license in Alaska and practiced as an associate there while playing in Alaska. We made a lot of money and spent all of it on playing in Alaska; fishing, hunting bear and moose, helping with the Iditarod Dog Sled Race and many other things. We moved back to Vegas in 2007 to find that the recent law change had destroyed the clinical practice of dentistry in Nevada, so we moved to Oregon. I established a new practice in December 2008; just about the worst time possible to start a new business, but with a lot of effort and care on my part it grew and we flourished. In 2015, I sold that practice to a younger man and my wife and I applied to serve as missionaries for the LDS Church. We were asked to be Dental Specialists assigned to the (only-one-of-its-kind in the world) Guatemala dental clinic.

What kind of work are you doing there?

2-dentist-mission-to-serveOur work here in Guatemala is focused on serving several populations: 500 orphaned boys and girls of the Tio Juan/Mi Casa organization, a municipal school serving about 800 “would be” street kids, La Esperanza which serves about 500 children, and current and future missionaries up to about 300 miles around Guatemala City.

We (there are two dentists here in our clinic) provide general dental services of the most basic nature; including cleaning, basic restorative dentistry, minor periodontal services, endodontic services and extraction of teeth. All services are provided at no cost to any patient. We, as doctors, are not paid at all. We pay our own way (airfare, living expenses, auto expense, food, etc.). We depend on donations for our sustenance of dental supplies in the clinic. Additionally, everything we are used to hiring for; cleaning, repairs and maintenance of dental equipment, and ordering supplies, is all done by us. The good thing is that we don’t have to worry about money!! We don’t charge anything for our services and therefore don’t have to worry about collections. It is amazing how fulfilling dentistry can be when money is removed from the equation!

Share with us what a typical day looks like.

We arrive about 8:30 and setup the clinic. That means getting out all the valuable stuff that we keep locked away at little-girl-mission-to-servenight (laptop computers, Nomad X-Ray machine, operating loupes, etc.), turning on the computers and getting the network up and running, and setting up our operatories. We have a short devotional every day before beginning. Patients arrive about 9 and we start to work. Lunch is from 11:30 to 1:00, then in the afternoon we do the same thing. When we are done, we take down the clinic and put everything away, lock up and go home. We work Monday to Thursday on this schedule. We take off Fridays like most U.S. dentists. Our treatments can be anything from a routine prophylaxis to horizontally impacted third molars. We do not use any sedation; only local anesthetics when required. One challenge is…Read the full story

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4 mistakes that are costing you money

Posted November 7, 2016 by Danielle H

4-mistake-costing-moneyFor many Dentists, the dream of practice ownership is often met with the struggle to start and run a small business. In today’s post, we look at 4 common mistakes that business owners make and how you can overcome these challenges.

1. Not sticking to your budget

For many, the concept of budgeting is easy to understand but difficult to do. You probably know that creating and following a budget is key to building a profitable practice, but if you’re finding yourself stuck in a bad routine, it may be time to push the reset button. Dentists who run their business on a budget are able to keep their goals in perspective and make wiser purchasing decisions. If you’re just getting started, give yourself some grace for the first few months. Remember that no two months are exactly alike and your budget cannot be a template that you copy and paste over and over.

2. Letting your bookkeeping slide

Bookkeeping is a critical component to realizing success in your dental practice. If you’re not reconciling your books monthly, you’re missing an opportunity to correct mistakes sooner, when transactions are fresh on your mind. Left unnoticed, even small mistakes will create additional work for your CPA and result in higher fees.

3. Failure to review practice reportspractice-demographics-report

To take your practice’s daily pulse, you have to check reports daily. It will take you less than a minute to glance at your production, collection, debit and credit values each day. Making it a habit to review this information frequently will ensure there are no surprises when you’re reviewing the numbers over longer periods of time, such as monthly or quarterly. After you have a good handle on the basics, start getting familiar with other metrics such as outstanding insurance claims, new patient analysis, accounts receivables, and practice demographics.

4. Do-It-Yourself technology

Spend a few minutes perusing the Dentaltown forums and it might seem easy to setup and manage your own network. After all, there are many other dentists documenting their trials and successes, right? The average DIY dentist fails when it comes to seeing the big picture, especially as it relates to managing risk, aligning technology with practice goals, and long term planning. Taking time from production to configure practice hardware is not a wise use of your time. This job is best outsourced to a network service provider who can help you manage the technology needs for your practice.

As an independent dental software company, XLDent is dedicated to the preservation of private dentistry and has made it our purpose to help new dentists in practice build successful small businesses.

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