Challenges

  • Achieve HIPAA Compliance
  • Keep Records Secure and Safe
  • High Availability
  • Workflow Integration
  • Ease of Use

Solution

Protected Trust provided a secure e-mail messaging solution for storage and transmission of confidential information which was able to seamlessly integrate with an existing workflow while also avoiding future liabilities complying with HIPAA standards.

"The best thing about Protected Trust is that we feel secure in all of our electronic communications and confident that we don’t have to worry about compliance."

Melissa Sheffield - Clinical Manager

Providing a Secure E-mail Messaging Solution for Growing Family Dental Practice

Organization: Agnini Family Dental
Industry: Healthcare - Dental
Location: Lakeland, FL

Agnini Dental is the quintessential example of a small American business. It is a three-doctor practice consisting of two sons and their father, which initially opened in 1979. Agnini Dental performs general dentistry and orthodontics as well as surgical and cosmetic procedures. The practice relocated in 1993 and started an annex office in 2004, a few years after the two sons joined to form Agnini Family Dental Center. The whole practice has become a family affair with many members working across the various locations

While not a large organization, Agnini Family Dental Center still faces common cybersecurity concerns as the practice works with private patient information and cutting-edge dental technologies.

The Challenge

Agnini Family Dental Center went through many changes in the past decade. Starting with the expansion of the practice and snowballing into the passing of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act’s security rule, patient information needed to be spread in a way that was quicker and safer than anything mail and fax machines could deliver. HIPAA was a large turning point, as it required the family of practitioners to be compliant when sharing private data between their multiple offices and other doctors’ practices.

Remaining HIPAA-compliant was a challenge initially for the Agnini Family Dental Center. The practice “relied heavily” on its existing equipment to provide necessary security, even dismissing email encryption in lieu of a secure virtual private network. While not the wrong solution at that time, only using a VPN became inadequate as new security and privacy requirements are implemented regularly and technology is often launched with vulnerabilities. Agnini Family Dental Center needed a security solution that could work with its existing technologies and software, as well as be easy to use and provide more security than past protection processes.

The Protected Trust Solution

Agnini Family Dental Center sought out a security solution. The practice’s networking supplier Kings of Networking recommended Protected Trust as an ideal method of securing private patient information sent through email because VPN was not enough. The Protected Trust solution not only integrates with Dentrix®, Agnini Family Dental Center’s dental practice management software, but it also supports the Apteryx® XRayVision® software package and works well with the systems used by other healthcare providers, insurance companies and patients. Of course, it also meets all HIPAA compliance standards.

With the Protected Trust Solution, staff members can encrypt emails with private patient information attached and send these directly from Dentrix, by Henry Schein, Inc. ensuring that no data is sent unprotected. Additionally, many different providers and companies require X-rays to be delivered following particular procedures, and the new security solution meets that demand as well by encrypting information within the X-ray software before sending it.

The Results

The main impact of the Protected Trust solution was seen in productivity and efficiency. The number of steps to send an encrypted and secure email have been reduced, freeing up employees to complete other necessary tasks.

“Instead of spending 10 or 15 minutes to send an email with attachments, it can now be done in less than five minutes,” explained Melissa Sheffield, clinical manager at Agnini Family Dental Center.

The practice most appreciates the ease with which emails can be encrypted and sent. Staff members just need to perform a single click in order to comply with HIPAA and any other cybersecurity standards. The best feature, according to Sheffield, is that employees can send emails directly from the practice’s management software, mitigating the need for excess applications. Workflows are more efficient and data protection measures increased in reliability.

“The best thing about [Protected Trust’s solution] is that we feel secure in all of our electronic communications and confident that we don’t have to worry about compliance,” Sheffield stated.