Mobile device usage is growing at an exponential rate. As more healthcare providers use smartphones and tablets in their daily lives, the line between professional use and personal usage of these devices is blurred. Many dentists and doctors are bringing their own personal devices and using them for phone calls, texts and emails to coworkers and even to interact with patients.
All dentists, doctors and other healthcare providers should consider the following questions among others, regarding mobile device usage for work purposes:
- Do you have polices and procedures in place for use of mobile devices such as laptops, smart phones and tablets etc. for work related purposes
- Are all your employees aware of the required compliance with the HIPAA security rule and the proper ePHI( electronic protected health information) security?
- Is the data stored on these devices encrypted?
- Do you have a policy for data backup and recovery from mobile devices?
- Do your employees follow best practices to comply with specific password complexity settings and prevent infection of devices by viruses and malware?
- Do you allow employees to use their personal laptops, cell phones and other mobile devices for work related purposes?
- Do you use any technologies on mobile devices that segregate personal and patient functions or data?
- What is your policy for sending text messages to communicate protected patient information?
- Do you have policies regarding cell phone camera usage and taking photographs inside your practice facility?
- Do you have policies, processes and technology in place to deal with potential theft and loss of mobile devices that may contain ePHI?