There is a good chance that you, reader of Off the Cusp, are accessing this blog from a so-called “smart” device – that is, an Internet-connected mobile phone or portable tablet computer. It is likely that these devices are never far from your reach. It is also probable that you use these devices to perform dentistry and run your practice.

Portability, extensibility, ease of use and convenience make these devices the new must-have technology for the practice.

Of course, the benefits that come with your portable devices also come with risks. Data security and confidentiality are two such risks that you should consider when using portable devices to access patient information.

What can you do to minimize these risks? Understand your technology environment and apply good practices for data security and confidentiality. One reliable source for guidance is the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The HHS developed, among other things, a simple 11-point guide on how the health care practitioner can effectively secure a mobile device. The site also provides helpful information on how practices can make strategic risk decisions when considering the implementation of mobile devices in the practice.

Mobile computing in dentistry is advancing at amazing speeds. We hope this guidance helps you keep up with rapid technological advances while protecting your patients’ privacy and your practice’s reputation.

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