From  Healthcare Informatics Magazine :

Researchers from the Regenstrief Institute and the Indiana University School of Dentistry plan to conduct an analysis of electronic dental records of patients treated by dentists across the United States to explore the feasibility of using electronic dental records data for clinical research.

Source: Indiana Researchers Taking Big Data Approach to Dental Informatics | Healthcare Informatics Magazine | Health IT | Information Technology

This is great. I am a huge fan of the concept of using “Big Data” to help us better understand disease and treatment and to improve the human condition. But.

Recent experience has shown us that the Internet is simply not secure. At this time we have to assume that anything online is hackable. Until people can be assured that their personal information will remain anonymous and secure they will be reluctant to allow it to be used for research.

The research is very likely to find that some of our most cherished beliefs as to what is important to good dental health simply are not true. This will result in enormous cognitive dissonance and complete denial by large portions of the profession and the public.

Who gets to decide what “good” treatment actually is. What is best for the patient may not be what is best for the payers (who will likely have a hand in funding) or even what is best for the dental profession.

Never the less the concept is good and this research is a welcome step in the right direction. I am eager to see what they find.

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Investigating Google

by Larry Emmott on February 4, 2016

in Internet

Google2015From Bloomberg Business:

“The issue of local search result fairness is an evolving issue in a fast-paced digital economy,” Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes said in a joint letter with the attorney general for the District of Columbia. “We encourage the commission to consider new information and developments that have become available both domestically and internationally since closing its Google investigation.”

Source: Google Search Probe by U.S. Should Get New Look, Utah Says – Bloomberg Business

“Don’t be evil” was the corporate slogan from the earliest days of Google.

How is that working for you?

I am naturally skeptical of government bureaucrats looking to expand their power. On the other hand Google has become extremely powerful. Here is where we cue Lord Acton, “power corrupts” or Spiderman, “With great power comes great responsibility.”

Google has literally changed the world in remarkable ways. Remarkable and for the most part very positive ways.

Google is now so big it is easy to imagine that some of the things they are doing will hurt some people while advantaging others. They have systems that are designed to promote Google. Is that bad? Is that something the government needs to police?

Perfection is the enemy of the good.

 

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Fit and finish

by Larry Emmott on February 4, 2016

in Management,Office Design

sethGMore wisdom from Seth Godin:

It’s pretty clear that the design of the egg carton isn’t going to change the flavor of the omelette. Except, of course, it does.

Source: Seth’s Blog: Fit and finish

People make judgments based on the things they see and feel. Then they defend those judgments.

Patients have no way to properly judge quality dental care. They can not realistically evaluate the fit of a margin or the cleanliness of a root surface. However they can easily see how clean the counter tops are, how friendly the staff is and how up to date the office technology is. And they will.

Who is the better dentist; the one who fills your mouth with goo, makes an uncomfortable “temporary” and makes you wait two weeks for a crown, or the dentist who scans your mouth with a wand and makes a crown while you wait?

As dental professionals we know there is a lot that goes into determining who is a better dentist. CAD CAM does not necessarily make for a better dentist. However in the eyes of the patient there is no doubt the same day dentist will be perceived as the better dentist.

Up to date technology will impact how a patient perceives the office.

Here is another exercise that you may find helpful. Video the office from the point of view of a patient. Start in the parking lot and capture what a patient sees as he or she enters the front door, sits in the reception area, walks into a treatment room and sits in the chair.

 

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Guide to “Computers in the Back”

by Larry Emmott on February 3, 2016

in Hardware,Office Design

Most US dentists have moved computers into the treatment rooms, but not everybody. If you are one of the hold outs make 2016 the year you upgrade. When you do it do it right. There is more to it than just buying a bunch of computers, the question is where the heck do I put this stuff?  Many dentists either just assume there is no room for a computer or they stuff it somewhere between the sink and the glove dispenser … then wonder why it doesn’t work very well.

My comprehensive technology guide, “Computers in the Treatment Rooms” lists the six keys to computers in the operatory and it will answer the basic question…Why bother?  It then provides step by step help in setting up the computers, including the four access points, avoiding mistakes and resources for hard to locate parts and accessories.

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“Computers in the Treatment Rooms” will answer all your questions, provide a plan and show you how to save money… all delivered in a fun and easy to understand style.

Follow the link to order your copy today.

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Dental Art

by Larry Emmott on February 3, 2016

in Dental Art

p-radiologist-art5_1467429c

“X-Ray” Radiology as art. Interesting. I do not have a name or source for this image but it is creative and has a strong visual impact.

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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Digital photography in dentistry

by Larry Emmott on February 2, 2016

in Cameras

10DFrom DentistryIQ, Tools and techniques to help your patients and improve your practice :

Digital photography can have numerous impacts on your dental practice: Photos can educate patients and improve case acceptance, communicate shade to the dental lab, and improve patients’ confidence following treatment.

Source: Digital photography in dentistry: Tools and techniques to help your patients and improve your practice – DentistryIQ

Photography should be an integral part of every dental exam and every dental record. Prior to the digital revolution taking patient photos was a haphazard, tedious and expensive process. As a result it was never considered as a routine part of a dental exam. Digital photography has changed all that.

The linked article is comprehensive, including tips on choosing a camera as well as taking and using dental photos.

Photos are invaluable as both a diagnostic aid and as a record. I have participated in several malpractice cases acting as an expert witness for the defense. Often the cases come down to what was present prior to treatment and what was the end result. These cases are extremely hard to judge based solely on written records. Often brief and inadequate written records. However a series of pre-op diagnostic photos would have made the case clear and easy to understand, Even for a jury.

Another great benefit of photography is that it allows patients to see their own mouths and participate in the decision to accept proper treatment. Better photography equals better understanding which equals better care.

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Paper Charts are NOT Free (Cont’d)

February 2, 2016

I apologize. In this article from last week I stated that paper records cost about $2.50 each. I was wrong. As you can see in the screen shot below a basic record actually starts at $4.39. I looked this up after a reader questioned my calculations. Based on a modest practice size of 2,500 patients […]

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The Ten Most Common Mistakes Dentists Make Using Technology

February 1, 2016

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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Encrypting the Server

January 29, 2016

The following comes from Scott Wood the CEO of ACS Technologies in California. “There are two basic ways to encrypt your dental practice data on your server. You can use encryption software, like BitLocker or you can use Self-Encrypting Drives (SED). BitLocker and other systems allow the server to reboot without entering a password. Your […]

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Expert Business Strategies

January 28, 2016

From the ADA “Expert Business Strategies”   I contributed a chapter on Paperless Records. I am honored to be included along with Cathy Jameson, Rita Zamora, Roger Levin, Susan Gunn and others. Order Here:

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Diagnosis by Smartphone? – There’s an App for That

January 28, 2016

From Dentistry Today: Researchers at the University of Western Australia and the Australian e-Health Research Center developed a store-and-forward telemedicine platform called Remote-I to assist in oral disease screening, using an image acquisition Android application. Source: Diagnosis by Smartphone? There’s an App for That | Dentistry Today Another step to true teledentistry. Here is another example of this […]

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Paper Charts are NOT Free

January 27, 2016

Paper charts don’t just appear in the office for free. The paper folder and all the other papers cost about $2.50 each. If you have 2500 charts they cost you at least $6,250 to create and every time a new patient walks in it’s another two-fifty; cha-ching. Other chart contents, like x-rays and photographs can […]

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Dental Art

January 27, 2016

“Pliers” Commercial art from BEGO. Notice the pliers have 3rd molars, I also like the inventive TMJ concept. 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 […]

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The 25 Most Popular Passwords of 2015: We’re All Such Idiots

January 26, 2016

Every year, SplashData complies a list of the millions of stolen passwords made public throughout the last twelve months, then sorts them in order of popularity. This year the results, based on a total of over 2 million leaked passwords, are not the list of random alpha-numeric characters you might hope for. Rather, they’re a […]

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Dentists Will Soon Print Antibacterial 3-D Teeth

January 26, 2016

Wow…just Wow: The rapid evolution of 3-D printing technology in the dental industry will soon expand beyond simply creating crowns or dentures to incorporate chemicals that fight the bacteria that cause tooth decay and infection in the first place. Source: Dentists Will Soon Print Antibacterial 3-D Teeth

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The New and Improved Office for Civil Rights (OCR) Website

January 25, 2016

Source: Office for Civil Rights (OCR) | HHS.gov In case you were unaware the Office of Civil Rights investigates HIPAA violations. The new web site is supposed to be easier to use.

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Google Ranking

January 22, 2016

Trying to hack the “Secret Sauce”. Since Google wants to return page one results that are high quality, relevant, and trustworthy, Google created a ranking algorithm to determine website placement in the search engine results pages (SERPs). There are over 200 factors that play into Google rankings. Source: How Does Googlebot Rank Content Algorithmically? Check […]

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Where do I put the Computer?

January 21, 2016

Do not put the tower on the floor, it is likely to be damaged from cleaning activities; it could easily get wet from spills or mopping and it will pick up lots of dirt and dust. It needs to be close to a power supply with access in and out for various cables and as far […]

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This is what happens when you reply to spam email

January 21, 2016

Suspicious emails: unclaimed insurance bonds, diamond-encrusted safe deposit boxes, close friends marooned in a foreign country. They pop up in our inboxes, and standard procedure is to delete on sight. But what happens when you reply? Follow along as writer and comedian James Veitch narrates a hilarious, weeks-long exchange with a spammer who offered to […]

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Rocky Mountain Dental Convention

January 20, 2016

I will be presenting a full day Friday January 22 on “Google Juice for Dentists”. More information here:

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