hipaalockFrom the Federal Health IT site

The SRA Tool takes you through each HIPAA requirement by presenting a question about your organization’s activities. Your “yes” or “no” answer will show you if you need to take corrective action for that particular item. There are a total of 156 questions.

Resources are included with each question to help you:

  • Understand the context of the question

  • Consider the potential impacts to your PHI if the requirement is not met

  • See the actual safeguard language of the HIPAA Security Rule

via Security Risk Assessment Tool | Providers & Professionals | HealthIT.gov.

Performing a security risk assessment is not only a good idea it is the law. If you are ever challenged with a HIPAA complaint or audit one of the first things the auditor will ask to see is your risk assessment.

One of the first and most important parts of the assessment is to determine where PHI (Protected Health Information) is stored. Of course you have PHI on your server but you may also have it other places that are not so obvious. You have PHI on your back up, or more likely backups. Where are those? Are they secure?

You may have PHI on the doctor’s laptop, or transferred to a random USB memory stick. What about computers other than the server. Some team members keep copies of patient data on their personal workstation.

Once you have located the data is it secure? If your computer is stolen or you lose a memory stick that is considered a data breach.

The government guide is certainly useful but it is still cumbersome and confusing. Most dentists would benefit from paying their IT professional to come in and help them with the assessment.

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I just saw a demo of a new online service for dentists called QueueDr:

How QueueDr works

  • Doctor’s office adds patients to waitlist in QueueDr web app.
  • If an appointment is cancelled or opens up…
  • Doctor’s office presses “Fill appointment” in QueueDr.
  • All interested patients receive text about opening.
  • First patient to text back wins the appointment + skips the wait!

via QueueDr – Fill cancellations instantly!.

quedr

I have known front desk people who spend hours on the phone even staying well past closing in order to fill cancelled appointments. QueueDr  does all the work for you. If an appointment opens up the staff member does not need to look up a list and start making calls the system does it automatically. Nobody needs to dial a phone or type in a message.

Here is the best part. You do not pay unless there is a filled appointment. There is no startup fee, no monthly subscription, you can get started at no cost then just pay $9 per appointment.

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doclapFrom The Atlantic:

In the trade-off between more patients and more personalized care, growing numbers of physicians are choosing the latter.

…The concierge model of practice is growing, and it is estimated that more than 4,000 U.S. physicians have adopted some variation of it. Most are general internists, with family practitioners second. It is attractive to physicians because they are relieved of much of the pressure to move patients through quickly, and they can devote more time to prevention and wellness.

“The work won’t be any easier,” Becker says, “but I will be able to spend more time with my patients, build better relationships, and provide better care. And there is mounting evidence that such practices produce better outcomes, such as reductions in hospitalization rates.”

Of course, there are drawbacks to concierge practice. For one thing, some patients cannot afford it, and others will choose not to pay the fee. Critics also see such models as promoting a two-tiered system of healthcare, in which those with more money get better care.

via The Case for Concierge Medicine – Richard Gunderman – The Atlantic.

In many ways dentistry lends itself to the “concierge” approach far better than medicine. Dentistry is less regulated and dental insurance simply does not cover major treatment under any circumstances.Third parties pay for a bit over half of dentistry but that means that a bit less than half is fee for service paid by the patient.

Never the less I believe it is difficult for any medical / dental professional to break out of the insurance pays paradigm. I constantly hear people tell me that they cannot have some treatment because their insurance does not pay for it. Of course you can have the treatment you just have to pay for it yourself. In order for a patient to break the insurance pays trap he or she must believe they are getting value for their investment.

Technology is one highly visible way that a dentist can distinguish himself from the others. A dentist who offers online services, 3D images and same day crowns seems to offer more than the dentist who does not.

What about time? Are people willing to pay for more personal care?

I think they say they are willing to pay but when it comes time to actually pay up they choose the cheapest option.

In my opinion there is a definite place for concierge or boutique dentistry but it is limited.

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From TechCrunch:

facebook-news-feed-edgerank-algorithm

The surplus of content and lack of space forces Facebook into the role of the ‘bad guy’ for filtering the feed in an attempt to show the most relevant posts (plus some ads). And so far, Facebook has done a terrible job of communicating how and why it filters the News Feed.

via Why Is Facebook Page Reach Decreasing? More Competition And Limited Attention | TechCrunch.

I have long been skeptical of the value of Facebook for a dental practice. Currently your Facebook postings will only reach about 6% of the people who have chosen to “like” your page. The linked article explains why and why it is not likely to get any better but will probably get worse.

In theory you can get more views by providing interesting content that people like. However in practice the only way to reach more people is to pay for it. All the time effort and money you put into building your Facebook “likes” has almost no value.

FacebooBoost

 

Related, must read break up letter from Eat24.

We’d love to say “It’s not you, it’s us” but it’s totally you. Not to be rude, but you aren’t the smart, funny social network we fell in love with several years back. You’ve changed. A lot.

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Anti-Buzz: Patient Records Revisited

by Andrew Emmott on July 26, 2014

in Anti-Buzz,Security

 

Andrew has been writing Anti Buzz for 4 years resulting in almost 200 articles. For the next several weeks we will revisit some of these just in case you missed it.

BIG NEWS, We may have to wait a bit longer for some new Anti Buzz articles as Andrew just became a new father. Congratulations. That means that I just became a Grandfather. :-)

Anti Buzz: Privacy in the Internet Age:

newface-620x461The privacy conversation has more legs than I anticipated, having already found myself exposed to many stories and opinions on the subject. In early 2014, “predicting” that privacy is going to be a big deal in the near future was a safer and simpler guess than I would have anticipated. But this is good for me, and for you, because I have a lot to say on the subject, and dentists have more at stake in the conversation than most people. Expect more privacy-centric conversations in the future here. This week: a practical map of what the concerns are for your practice.

First, a lot of what I will say today isn’t really new to this blog. My father has discussed electronic dental records many times before, and I’ve chipped in with my own perspective. My father was keen enough to the ambiguity of “ownership” before it was popular discussion. And most recently, of course, is HIPAA and what it could mean for you. In short, the records you keep on your patients are a hot commodity.

As somebody who increasingly fancies himself a scientist, I am very sympathetic to the arguments put forth in this TED talk - briefly: We stifle innovation by limiting access to patient records, yet this flies in the face of conventional wisdom and ethics. It is highly unlikely that your patient records are the key to curing cancer, but the truth is that we don’t know what innovations we are missing by keeping things locked up. This much should be easy enough to convince people of by now as the conventional wisdom has shifted far away from technophobia’s famous “Everything that can be invented has been invented” attitude.

The question is, of course, if the benefits outweigh the invasion of privacy, but I don’t actually presume to make up your mind about that. I do presume to tell you that you are going to need to take a position on the matter before too long. I am perhaps getting ahead of myself here. Let’s walk through why your patient records are important, and to whom. [click to continue…]

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  • No training
  • No follow up training
  • Dentist doesn’t get training
  • No training on updates
  • Not enough training
  • Lack of training
  • Little training
  • Self training
  • Poor training
  • Won’t pay for training
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Cloud Revolution

July 25, 2014
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Training and More Training is the Key to New Technology

July 24, 2014

In case you missed it: Dentalcompare from 2012. I often have a dentist or dental team member say to me something like, “It would be great if Dentrix just did xyz.” “Well,” I tell them “it does do xyz.” “You’re kidding. How long has it done xyz?” “At least three or four years.” The second […]

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Jibo the “Social” Robot

July 23, 2014

From MIT: Jibo’s body and face are simple but emotionally expressive, and the robot responds to simple voice commands. …a social robot plays that role on your behalf. You can ask Jibo to take a picture, and he goes into cameraman mode. But he’s also got autonomy, so he’s able to track faces and see […]

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Dental Art

July 23, 2014

“Tooth Puller” This painting also called “Cavadenti” is generally attributed to Michelangelo Caravaggio an Italian Baroque painter from around 1600. Many art scholars do not believe he painted it, although it is certainly similar to his style. What this painting does demonstrate is the typical scene we see with most early paintings of dentists. That […]

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Does Tech Improve Your Quality of Life?

July 22, 2014

Regardless of what the naysayers believe about human interaction and social media, the data shows us that the abundance of technology is actually increasing the abundance of happiness all over the world. via Peter Diamandis — Does Tech Improve Your Quality of Life?.

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Living in the 21st Century

July 22, 2014

You accidentally enter your password on the microwave. You haven’t played solitaire with real cards in years. You have a list of 15 phone numbers to reach your family of three You e-mail the person who works at the desk next to you.

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What is Better Than a New Patient?

July 21, 2014

From an informative marketing blog Definet: Courting a new customer costs anywhere between five to ten times the cost of retaining an existing one, and 80% of a company’s future revenue comes from just 20% of the existing customer base. via Definet Contact — Total Marketing Solution. The article recommends we stay in touch with […]

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Amazon Officially Unveils Kindle Unlimited Subscription Service

July 21, 2014

The service promises access to 600,000 books in the Kindle reading library that members can read on their Kindle ereaders and tablets, iOS and Android devices and on Windows and Mac desktops and laptops. The service will also offer unlimited access to 2,000 audio books from Audible. …For roughly $119 a year, Kindle Unlimited customers […]

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Nomad Hand Held X-Ray

July 21, 2014
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Top Dental Sites 2014

July 20, 2014

Top Dental Sites 2014 – Braces or Invisalign | Braces or Invisalign. A nice little dental web page list that I know has value as they chose “Emmott on Technology” as a top site.

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Why are Health Care Costs Slowing?

July 20, 2014

From Bloomberg: …the decline started in the middle of the last decade, and there’s no plausible policy mechanism that would have caused cost growth to moderate just then. And second, the same broad trend shows up in pretty much every high-income country. No matter how smashing you think Obamacare was, it didn’t stabilize health-care spending […]

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Anti-Buzz: Driver’s Arithmetic

July 19, 2014

Andrew has been writing Anti Buzz for 4 years resulting in almost 200 articles. For the next several weeks we will revisit some of these just in case you missed it. This article from early 2013 0n driverless cars is even more relevant today. BIG NEWS, We may have to wait a bit longer for some new […]

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Digital High Tech Diagnostics

July 18, 2014

Some interesting information from Canary. Visual exam only sees the tooth surface not what is happening beneath it: Tooth decay begins below the enamel surface and only appears as a white spot As the decay grows one only sees a white or brown spot until a hole develops Explorers or probes are not recommended for […]

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Risk Analysis Video

July 17, 2014

Following is one of a series of videos the Government has produced to help medical and dental professionals understand the basics of a HIPAA risk assessment. The video is a good overview but does not have the detail you will need to actually do an analysis. For that you will most likely need the help […]

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