Mobile Dental Systems Program Operations
f. How are patient records handled?

The use of dental software and electronic charts almost eliminates the issue of record transportation and storage. Although this may be costly for new programs, it will save effort and money in the long run. For a detailed discussion and a list of resources on dental office technology, see Chapter 4 Section X of the Safety Net Dental Clinic Manual. Dental records are important as they are medico-legal documents that may be used for forensic purposes and in civil litigation. Records can also enable you to track trends, budget accurately and assess the effectiveness and appropriateness of care.  To comply with HIPAA regulations regarding privacy, dental records or files must be kept secured at all times. If transporting written charts from the mobile van to a home base or other facility, keep them in a secure, locked box such as a portable file carrier. Make sure that your program also is compliant with HIPAA regulations on communicating patient information.  HIPAA is the acronym for the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996.