Protect your office from ransomware

by Larry Emmott on July 25, 2016

in Security

From ADA News:

Ransomware, a rapidly growing form of cyber attack, is a type of malicious software that encrypts a user’s data and holds it for ransom. It can affect any computer device. Most ransomware infects systems through “spam, phishing messages, websites and email attachments,” according to the Office of Civil Rights.

Source: Protect your office from ransomware

The linked article gives a good overview f the ransomware issue. The primary things we need to do to protect ourselves is to create multiple off site back ups and to train the safe to recognize suspect e-mails. There is also a link to a new OCR fact sheet in ransomware and HIPAA.

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From IEEE Spectrum:

Researchers have developed a reliable early warning system for dengue fever outbreaks in Lahore, the capital city of the province of Punjab in Pakistan. Based on statistical analysis of dengue-related phone calls to a public health hotline, the system can track the incidence of symptoms down to the neighborhood and give local government officials a three-week heads up on potential outbreaks.

Source: Telephone Hotline Data Forecasts Dengue Outbreaks Three Weeks Ahead – IEEE Spectrum

This is not a dental topic but it does demonstrate how big data will be used to help diagnose and treatment plan in the future. Events that do not seem to have a direct medical dental significance, like telephone calls, can be used to anticipate and then prevent or treat disease. The challenge is to determine what matters in the enormous amounts of data we now accumulate on people and populations every day.

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Data is not Information

by Larry Emmott on July 21, 2016

in e-Services,Management

225moneygraphI was on a bike tour with a large medical data processing group. Talking with them about what they did this phrase came out repeatedly: “Data is not information.”

As dentists using computers we generate a lot of data. However if we cannot assemble that data into a meaningful format it has little value. Beyond that what does it mean? Just knowing the numbers is not useful unless we can turn the number into significant action.

Here is an example. Your computer keeps track of the number of prophys you do and the total production of every service you provide. That is data. You can assemble that data to give you a ratio of the prophy income to total income. Numbers or ratios of this kind are called Key Performance Indicators or KPIs. Now what?

In order to act on that data you need to know how your prophy to income ratio or KPI compares with the norm and with the ideal. You also need to know what action you can take if the KPI indicates a problem.

Finally you need to monitor change after the actions are taken turning data once again into information.

Few dentists have the training or experience to use this kind of business information effectively. That is why we rely so heavily on business consultants. Dentrix users have another option.

Dentrix offers an online consulting service called Profitability Coaching. Profitability Coaching monitors the data generated by your Dentrix system generates KPIs and then creates a personalized action plan for your office. Finally they will monitor results and follow up with help as needed.

Video

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Professionalism and HIPAA

by Larry Emmott on July 21, 2016

in Security

From DentistryIQ:

No one wants to look at their mistakes. But even when confronted about their mistakes, many medical and dental staff don’t think they’ve breached any privacy rules. Then they repeat the behavior. This is why you need to stop and make a conscious effort to pay attention to what you’re doing and how you’re handling patients. This is a common problem, and many practices deny it. But patients definitely hear and see things.

Source: This might surprise you about HIPAA and your dental practice – DentistryIQ

The author of the linked article makes some good points about patient confidentiality and professionalism. However the experience she writes about does not really have anything to do with HIPAA. She recounts an experience at a surgeons office in which she overheard patients and staff discussing procedures. This is inappropriate and should be avoided but does not represent a HIPAA violation.

HIPAA has to do with records and the transfer of information. HIPAA is concerned about data breaches, or medical plans selling patient data. The HIPAA police do not care if you mention a patient by name in the reception room. They do care if you loose your data to a computer thief.

Having said that, good protocol and professionalism requires that dentists and staff members respect patient privacy and refrain from speaking  in such a way that others can hear conversations regarding treatment or diagnosis. And of course no one should ever discuss a patient with anyone outside the office.

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Dental Art

by Larry Emmott on July 20, 2016

in Dental Art

Norman Rockwell

Norman Rockwell drawing. Last weeks “art” was so bizarre and cruel I thought we should do something the exact opposite this week. It is hard to imagine anything more wholesome than Norman Rockwell. Actually I believe this is not actually a dentist but a physician having the patient say “ahh”. But it’s close enough.

Dental art is anything that depicts teeth or dentistry in an interesting or artistic way. If you have any suggestions for future Dental Art pieces please send them to me or give me a link. Thanks.

All the Dental Art images can be found here on Pinterest.

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Mini Keyboards

by Larry Emmott on July 19, 2016

in Hardware,Office Design

Since space is almost always an issue in the treatment rooms smaller keyboards are often a good choice. There are many mini keyboards available. This image shows the basic difference between a standard and a mini keyboard.

Mini

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Southwest Dental Conference

July 19, 2016

I will be presenting three sessions in Dallas; Google Juice, Hippa Hackers and Hype and a new take on Paperless Workflow. See you there.

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A Medical Mystery of the Best Kind: Major Diseases Are in Decline

July 18, 2016

From NYT: Something strange is going on in medicine. Major diseases, like colon cancer, dementia and heart disease, are waning in wealthy countries, and improved diagnosis and treatment cannot fully explain it. Scientists marvel at this good news, a medical mystery of the best sort and one that is often overlooked as advocacy groups emphasize […]

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Judy the Juggler

July 18, 2016

Judy the juggler works the front desk for Dr. Paperman. The front desk is the data center of the office. The data is the schedule, financial records and the charts. If the schedule is a paper book the book can only be in one place at one time and can only be accessed by one […]

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Creating a Safe, Effective X-ray Practice

July 15, 2016

From Dale Miles: I’m shocked at how many dentists sometimes order dental X-ray images based on the frequency of the payer or insurance companies’ reimbursement schedules. That is not a reason for prescribing X-ray images in the first place, and second, it would be hard to defend requesting these images for diagnosis if you haven’t […]

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CON Commission votes to deregulate dental CT scanners

July 14, 2016

This is good: Dentists have complained for years that the 10-year rule that required a CON to purchase dental CTs only increased dental practice costs and made it more difficult to diagnose and treat patients. The cone-beam CT scanner is also fast becoming a standard tool for specialists, they said. Source: CON Commission votes to […]

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Digital impressions and S-Ray

July 14, 2016

From IDT  dentalaegis.com: Digital Trays For dentists who are skeptical of scanning with a wand versus using tried-and-true impression trays, S-Ray (s-rayinc.com) and Medentic (medentic.de) are developing scanners that fit the full arch as traditional impression trays do. “A handheld wand must be moved in very specific positions throughout the patient’s mouth to scan the full […]

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How Desktop 3D Printers Are Changing the Face of Facial Reconstruction

July 13, 2016

WOW just wow: …a 68-year-old Vietnam veteran, lost the lower half of his face to tongue cancer, but a team from Indiana University has recently been able to design a new jaw for him using a desktop 3D printer. Their process, dubbed the “IU Shirley Technique,” is now being used to help other patients Source: […]

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Dental Art

July 13, 2016

“Korean Propaganda” This is one of the most bizarre dental art images yet. It was produced by the North Koreans as a propaganda piece depicting American atrocities. Supposedly it is still hanging in a museum in North Korea. Dental art is anything that depicts teeth or dentistry in an interesting or artistic way. If you […]

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July 12, 2016
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Phone Safety

July 12, 2016

From AzDA: A recent survey showed that only 36% of people use a lock screen on their smart phone. Setting up a passcode is a simple and easy way to instantly increase your security. Misplacing your smartphone is more than just a lost device, it gives instant access to all of your private information on your […]

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This Tiny Camera Can Be Injected Into Your Body

July 11, 2016

From Popular Science: 3D printed a three-part lens, no bigger than a grain of salt, onto the end of a fiber optic cable the width of two human hairs. Source: This Tiny Camera Can Be Injected Into Your Body | Popular Science The Future is Coming and it will be…

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This is what your patients are reading in the popular press

July 11, 2016

However, thanks to a breakthrough in crown technology, the thought of going to the dentist now makes VanDemark smile.“I can get a crown done in a couple of hours,” he said. “It’s a fabulous experience. There is no pain. I have had three crowns done using the new way. If you’ve ever had a psychologically […]

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The End Of Root Canals?

July 8, 2016

From Popular Science: In in vitro testing, the fillings stimulated the proliferation and differentiation of stem cells into dentin, the bony tissue that forms the bulk of the tooth under the white enamel. The researchers believes that if used in a damaged tooth, those stem cells can repair the kind of damage that often comes […]

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Guide to “Going Paperless”

July 7, 2016

2016 is the year to “Go Paperless” Stop putting it off, going paperless can save you tens of thousands of dollars. Make it your goal – paperless in 2016. My comprehensive technology guide, “How to go paperless in the dental office” will answer the basic question…Why bother?  It then provides step by step help in setting […]

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