Why Is A HIPAA Dental Consent Form Necessary
Safeguarding patient privacy is not only vital to protecting your practice, it also shows you respect and value your relationships with patients and their families.
So, when it comes to HIPAA compliance and social media marketing—which is all about sharing valuable content—it’s understandable that there could be some apprehension about snapping and sharing photos and videos from your dental practice.
With a few guidelines and a little team training, your practice will dodge all of the most common dental HIPPA compliance violations and start sharing photos worry-free!
What You Need to Know About Consent Forms
Two of the most common questions we hear are:
- Is a consent form for dental photography needed for patient photos?
- What should the dental HIPAA form say?
Every time your practice shares any photo or video on your pages that includes patient PHI, it’s necessary to obtain their consent. This is one of the fundamental requirements of dental HIPAA compliance. If you’re creating your own form, a good patient photo consent form will cover a few simple items:
- What the patient is authorizing: permission for your practice to share a photo or video on your social media accounts.
- The purpose of the authorization: social media and/or advertising.
- The patient’s power to revoke the authorization and the expiration date of this power.
- The option for the patient to receive a copy of the form.
- Who the patient is authorizing: your practice name.
- Space for the patient, or parent/guardian of a minor, to sign and date.
Find out more by watching our video and download our free consent form template. If you have questions regarding how to create a consent form for your specific circumstances, consult with your practice attorney.
Good Dental Practice HIPAA Habits
Along with consent forms, there are other simple things your team can implement to assure patients that their privacy is protected.
The most important point is to train your team on your practice’s HIPAA compliant social media policy. Make sure everyone is clear on what they can post, the proper way to invite patients to participate in your social media, and who to go to if there’s a question. Remind them of the values you strive to reflect through your online presence. We have a free sample policy you can download and easily adapt to your practice. For those practices that want to stay compeltely clear of HIPAA violations, get our HIPAA Photo Sharing app.
Designate a space in your practice for social media photos. Do this to avoid the risk of having anything or anyone in the background that could compromise patient privacy.
The Very BEST Photos And Strategies DON’T Require HIPAA Consent
That statement sounds counterintuitive but hear me out.
The best digital marketing opportunities are when patients take photos and share them on THEIR OWN social media accounts.
If a patient takes a photo, shares it on their own social media accounts, and tags your practice, there is no need for HIPAA consent. Your practice can then share their post on your own business page.
Sharing a photo this way is not only simpler but better for promoting your practice because all the patient’s friends will see it!
Remember that HIPAA and privacy policies are there to protect patients, not create barriers. Don’t let fear or doubt keep you from taking advantage of valuable opportunities to build relationships through patient and team photos. By adhering to a few common-sense safeguards and making sure your entire team is trained, you can confidently and comfortably include practice photos and videos in your social media marketing efforts.
Keeping your nose clean of HIPAA disclosure issues is simpler than you think. Download the HIPAA dental consent form and train your team to get signatures. If you need best photography advice, Andy Defrancesco is the right person to ask!
About the Author: Adrian Lefler is a dental marketing expert and one of the founding members of My Social Practice. My Social Practice is a digital dental marketing company located in Salt Lake City, Utah. Adrian is passionate about helping dental practices grow. If you’d like to book Adrian or one of the other members of My Social Practice’s speaking team, you can do that HERE. Interested in learning more about the benefits of SEO for dentists, our dental websites service? Learn More Here.