How Secure is your Passwords and Security . . .

It’s interesting to me that we get so frustrated with having to set up unique passwords … and heaven forbid that we would even have to change them regularly in order to protect our identity and personal information! And then we get even more frustrated, even to the point of blaming others, when our personal information is breached. Passwords and security are there to protect you, your patient data and your livelihood. In my opinion, it’s not optional.
Some software programs we use every day require password and some software programs we use everyday passwords are optional. In the Dentrix world, currently passwords are still optional. So let’s talk about why they are important and discuss some recommendations on the setup.

Using passwords in Dentrix not only helps protect your patient data, but it also creates an environment where the practice owner and management team can identify changes in the system. You set the parameters for each team member using a comprehensive list of rights for their job description. This list of rights has options ranging from admin rights to scheduling to writing prescriptions. You will need to decide which rights should be assigned to each job description. If you need a tip sheet to help you through the process, reach out to me at
Here are some guidelines I recommend for the owner of the practice. Only the doctor or practice owner should have the rights to perform these functions.

  • Password Administration – This user right gives you the ability to update and change the rights for your team. This is also used for overrides if necessary.
  • Audit Trail Report and Audit Clear – This report is for the eyes of the practice owner, accountant or financial advisor only.
  • Delete a Prescription – You must protect your prescription module from unauthorized scripts. With the drug abuse in our country, you must password protect this module.
  • Time Clock – Depending on who does your payroll in your practice, you can password protect certain aspects of this module.

Next, when you start to create password rights for your team, you can customize the list depending on the job description and then copy those rights to each team member within that same job description. For example, you can customize the list for one of your dental assistants and then copy those rights to every dental assistant on your team. There are also many new password security features in the Dentrix G7 update. You can now force passwords to expire, require secure passwords and require password changes at certain intervals.

The Dentrix software will track many things with your user ID and password. Not only is it important to protect our patient information, but it is also a way to hold our team accountable for the integrity of the data. Let’s take a look at a few things you can monitor.

  • Appointment changes – There is an appointment history button where you can see any changes made to that appointment and who made those changes. Also, any appointment deletions will be tracked as well on the Audit Trail.
  • Ledger changes – Any changes to the ledger will be tracked by user ID and password rights can restrict certain movements in the ledger.
  • Login attempts – This might not sound important but it could show if a user is attempting to guess someone else’s password.

I was recently at the Dentrix Train the Trainer conference and I heard a great tip on testing the strength of your password. If you go to, you can enter your password and it will tell you how long it would take for a hacker to crack your password. It was eye-opening.

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