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How to Stay HIPAA Compliant in 2020

by | Nov 12, 2019 | Dental Practice Management, HIPAA

Author Alan Lakein once said, “Planning is bringing the future into the present so that you can do something about it now.” 

As dentists, we know that planning is crucial. As the Fall ends and Winter approaches, it becomes a hectic time of year. Patients are coming in left and right to use the remainder of their benefits, team members are requesting time off for the holidays, and last-minute bills and invoices are going in and out through the practice’s doors. 

As busy as you are with all the planning you still have ahead of you – there is one more important thing we want to make sure you do not forget – remaining HIPAA Compliant in 2020!


A Shocking Fact

A recent report from Forescout states that by mid-January of 2020, over 71% of medical devices will be running on Windows operating systems that will no longer be HIPAA Compliant. That means that thousands of offices across the nation will run the risk of violating HIPAA policies, not to mention potential dangers of cybercrime, data breach, and fraud.

This can be prevented by making sure that the Windows operating system (OS) you are running in your practice is not coming to its end of life cycle (EOL) in 2020. 


Rest In Peace, Windows 7 

Windows 7, initially released in 2009, became one of Microsoft’s most popular operating systems to date. This OS has been so popular that it’s estimated that over 40% of Windows users still run off of Windows 7. While Windows officially announced in 2015 it would end mainstream support, this upcoming year, on January 14, 2020, extended support will cease as well. 

This means that Windows 7 is now entering it’s EOL cycle. For dentists and all medical professionals, it will no longer be HIPAA compliant software. 

Aside from the EOL cycle of Windows 7, Windows has announced they are also ending all extended support for Windows Server 2008 R2. 

If you are still running Windows 7 or Windows Server 2008 R2 in your dental practice, now is the time to start preparing to migrate to a newer OS so that you can stay HIPAA Compliant in 2020. 


Implement a HIPAA Champion

We know that migrating to a new OS can be somewhat of a time-consuming task. If you haven’t already, now would be a good time to appoint someone in your practice as your HIPAA Champion. Your HIPAA Champion should be versed in all up-to-date policies and practices and can also act as your implementor for change. They need to undergo official training and can help make sure that all other employees of the practice have been properly trained. 

Have your HIPAA Champion orchestrate and facilitate the steps needed to start migrating to a new OS – sooner rather than later! 


Go Bigger – Windows 10

If you are currently on Windows 7, we recommend that you migrate to Windows 10. If you are using Windows Server 2008 R2, upgrade to Windows Server 2019. While Windows 8 is still HIPAA Compliant, it’s EOL cycle will come in January of 2023, just a little over three years from now. Window 10 will not lose it’s extended support until January of 2025.


YAPI is a HIPAA Compliant Software 

YAPI will continually remain a HIPAA Compliant software in 2020. YAPI follows all procedures to protect full confidentiality and security of PHI.


Stay Tuned for a Checklist 

If this article was helpful, stay tuned for what’s coming next – a checklist that you will be able to download and share with your team – helping you prepare for a more efficient, up-to-date practice in 2020!


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Ian Young

Ian Young

Content Marketing Manager

Ian Young is YAPI’s Sr. Growth Marketing Manager. He is specialized in Dental Marketing, Product News, HIPAA Compliance.