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HIPAA Compliance – NOT an Option


There is a common misconception in the dental office workplace.  Most dental offices have implemented HIPAA regulations back in 2003 and feel their efforts are sufficient.  This could not be farther from the truth!

In March 2013 Federal Regulations concerning HIPAA in the Healthcare Workplace all changed.  The new HIPAA Omnibus Rules require employee training (for all team members), a new HIPAA manual (written to these new standards) and plenty of new policies and paperwork to implement.  All of these new regulations and protocols should have been operational within your dental office as of September 23, 2013.

The new HIPAA Omnibus Rule protocols are required by all healthcare facilities– there are no exceptions!  Why is HIPAA changing?  It is presumed that perhaps up to 70% of Identity Theft in this country could be leaked from a healthcare facility.  Protection of the patient’s personal information is foundational.  The new laws protect patient PHI (Protected Health Information).  There are about 18 common Protected Health Identifiers that all healthcare workers need to safeguard.  From paper to computer input to internet activity — all employees need to be trained on these new HIPAA Omnibus Rules and the new protocols need to be set in place

There seems to be a lot of confusion and misunderstanding surrounding HIPAA within the dental field.

HIPAA compliance is not voluntary or recommended– it is required!  The new HIPAA Omnibus Rules come with big fines ($10,000 – $1.5M) and a HIPAA Task Force is out doing audits to ensure that these new rules are properly in place.  This is a very serious and pressing issue.  Make sure you choose a HIPAA Omnibus Rule compliance solution that offers complete compliance.  Don’t ignore these new federal regulations.  Don’t give Mr. HIPAA Auditor reason to hit you with those big fines!  Do you have your HIPAA Omnibus Rules in place? Get your groove on!

Written by Heather Whitt, HIPAA Trainer for Dental Enhancements

Dental Office OSHA and HIPAA Compliance since 2013

There are really 3 things you should put on your “must do” list for your dental office OSHA & HIPAA requirements in 2013. These are the (3) Requirements:

  1. Annual OSHA Employee Training
  2. GHS: Global Harmonization System Proof of Training
  3. HIPAA Omnibus Rule Employee Training & Implement Protocols

1. Schedule your Annual OSHA Employee Training….Now!

Too many times the busy pace in a dental office makes it easy to forget annual training obligations. The best way to ensure you keep in compliance with your annually required training is to work with a company that will send you reminders, or better yet, schedule your next year’s training, at the time of this year’s training! We do it with hygiene re-care patients, why would we not do it with something as important as a federal requirement! Dental Enhancements coaches will train and track your required OSHA trainings with phone call reminders, emails and postcards. But it’s safest and best to just always schedule your next training, at your current year’s training. That way your office will remain in healthy shape….just like teeth and gums in re-care!

Also Get a Facility Report that Reflects How OSHA Compliant Your Dental Office Is….

Having an OSHA Employee Training Session is only half the battle. If you do not keep your facility up to safety standards the fines can be serious and expensive! Make sure you choose to work with an OSHA coaching service that will either come to walk-through your facility or review all of the physical safety statutes associated with a dental office within your State. Dental Enhancements provides a very comprehensive 72-point Facility Checklist. It is completed over the phone with one of your employees and a post-evaluation report is instantly emailed to your office so you can review where you may be remiss with OSHA Safety. Best part: You can call the OSHA coaches at Dental Enhancements anytime if you need help with understanding how to get the non-compliant items rectified. It’s like having a private tutor for your OSHA homework!


2.  OSHA this year will have you adding one additional Employee Training called GHS: Global Harmonization System.

The USA will join world-wide efforts to control hazardous chemical handling in the workplace with one unified system This will affect your MSDS Sheets, as they will change to SDS—universal sheets and need to be stored in (2) formats (paper and cloud-back-up). Chemical / Professional Product labeling will be effected too. Proof of GHS Training for all dental employees will be required as of December 1, 2013.


3. Research & Get Educated on the New HIPAA Omnibus Rule Laws

As of March 2013 there are new HIPAA Laws called the Omnibus Rules or the Final Rule: HIPAA law makes did a complete overhaul of the existing HIPAA laws in an effort to reduce Identity Theft emanating from within healthcare facilities. The Omnibus Rules are 580 pages in length. If you want a cleaner condensed version for immediate use within the dental office environment, try the HIPAA Omnibus Rule Complete Package from Dental Enhancements. It will give you everything you need to learn and implement these cumbersome protocols, easily, in your dental practice.

As one of the countries few dental OSHA & HIPAA experts, I get calls all of the time asking for help with OSHA & HIPAA requirements. It’s my pleasure and passion to take the cumbersome burden of OSHA & HIPAA requirements off of a busy dental team’s plate. With 25 years of OSHA & HIPAA training experience, I can act as an extended team member to get these requirements in order with very little work effort needed from the team. Unfortunately, many of these calls come “too late”, when inspectors have already visited the dental office and have begun to sanction fines and warnings. Don’t be one of the slackers! It’s so easy to keep up-to-date and in compliance with your OSHA & HIPAA requirements, if you choose a dedicated, caring expert. has been my home base for coaching thousands of dental offices all over the USA for the past 15 years. They offer better than ready-made manuals and training, as everything from Dental Enhancements is custom-made (including all needed employee forms—addressed specifically to each of you employees!) and “by-appointment” private team webinars to fulfill your annually required OSHA Employee Training.