The Optometric Minute

5 Things to Do to Prevent Practice Data Breaches

March 4, 2020

In today’s environment of privacy concerns, data breaches, ransomware and heavy HIPAA regulation, ODs need to be extra careful in protecting data. Peter J. Cass, of Beaumont Family Eye Care in Beaumont, Texas, and a consultant with Practice Compliance Solutions, shares the approaches he uses to secure his practice data.

Analysis of the Practice. Examine all aspects of your practice from locks, to employees, to computers, to data encryption, and look for potential areas of vulnerability to data breaches.

Proper Network Setup. I use a mix of hard wiring and WiFi in my office, but I try to plug in as many devices as possible. I also use a good commercial grade router, separate and segregated WiFi for patients and VPN certificates for secure remote access for doctors and key staff.

Data Protection. That means hard-drive encryption, strong passwords, antivirus software and firewalls.

Staff Training. Employees should be trained to: use secure passwords, never share their passwords, never install any software without doctor or IT company approval (including screen savers), never check personal e-mail, or social media, on company devices and never download any attachments to e-mails, unless they were expecting the attachment. Training should be updated annually.


Peter J. Cass, OD, is the owner of Beaumont Family Eye Care, a Vision Source practice, in Beaumont, Texas, and past-president of the Texas Optometric Association. To contact:



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