Hospital II

by Larry Emmott on May 2, 2016

in Health Care Politics

From John Stossel: Follow up to this.

Last week’s column on my lung surgery struck a nerve. Many of you wished me well. Others said I deserve to die.

Source: Hospital II – John Stossel

Interesting responses, mostly politics with some thoughts from people in the business. Including this most important question, “How does a patient know they are getting good medical care?”

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ADA CDT 2016 flash drives contain malware !

by Larry Emmott on May 2, 2016

in Security

A small percentage of flash drives included with the 2016 CDT manual were found to have malware, and the ADA took steps several weeks ago to notify all customers of the potential problem.

Source: ADA takes lead in alerting members to CDT 2016 issue

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“Risk Management” = Notes

by Larry Emmott on May 2, 2016

in Management,Paperless

lawsuitIf a tree falls in the forest and no one is there to hear it, does it make a noise?

If a dentist does the right thing but doesn’t write it down did he do it”

I recently attended an execrable risk management course foisted upon us by our malpractice provider.  As always whether or not the dentist is guilty of malpractice is far too often dependent on what he/she wrote in the chart not on what he/she actually did, or failed to do.

There is a simple and effective solution to the chronic problem of lousy hand written clinical notes. That is templated electronic notes. The seminar leader showed several examples of excellent electronic notes, she then asked how many in the audience were using them. Maybe five hands went up n an audience of several hundred. Pitiful. If the insurers are really serious they would be promoting and helping dentists develop digital note systems. Instead she shrugged giving tacit approval to the old ways that obviously do not work.

Electronic notes not only protect you from frivolous malpractice claims they are faster and cheaper. Here is an article showing exactly what to do to start using electronic treatment notes.

More help with paperless records.

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Great Computers Never Die

by Larry Emmott on April 29, 2016

in General,Just for Fun

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New ADA Code for High Tech Caries Detection

by Larry Emmott on April 28, 2016

in Diagnostics

Quantum Dental Technologies the makers of the Canary System has announced that the ADA has approved the addition of a procedure/ billing code for caries detection using: “Non‐ionizing diagnostic procedure capable of quantifying, monitoring, and recording changes in structure of enamel, dentin and cementum”

Examination with The Canary System, monitoring and recording changes in the structure of enamel, dentin and cementum, will be covered under this procedure code. Detection methods using visual examination, explorers and other tactile probes, fluorescence or transillumination with visible light may not fall under the code’s definition because of their inability to detect and record changes in all the tissues.

The complete press release is here:

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Writing to form.From John Stossel, as they say read the whole thing:

But as a consumer reporter, I have to say, the hospital’s customer service stinks. Doctors keep me waiting for hours, and no one bothers to call or email to say, “I’m running late.” Few doctors give out their email address. Patients can’t communicate using modern technology.

Source: Hospital – John Stossel – Page 1

Obviously Stossel is a smart guy as virtually everything he states in the linked article I agree with. :-)

I had a similar experience in the hospital a few years ago. Every time I was wheeled into a new area I had to fill out another form, by hand, asking the same questions as the form I had filled out minutes ago in the ward next door.

Impenetrable reams of regulations and paperwork take up way too much valuable staff time reducing patient contact and increasing costs.

Since the patient rarely pays he/she has no idea of what the costs are and what the best options might be. All too often the treatment patients receive is what the insurance covers not what might be best for the case or for the patient. Customer service is horrible because the patient is not really the customer. The customer is the one who pays.

Stossel points out that the areas of medicine where patients pay directly physicians compete to satisfy the patient, fees are readily available and prices are held down by competition .

Medicine is a high tech contradiction. On the one hand we have totally amazing new devices that can diagnose and treat disease. We can apply advanced technology that both extends our lives and improves the quality of our lives. Clinical medical technology is extraordinary. On the other hand medical system struggle with the most basic of customer service and patient communications. Many if not most physicians offices and hospitals have record and communications systems that would have seemed out of date in the 1990s.

Dentistry has some of the same issues as medicine but in many ways is much different. Dentists do not have anything near the technological miracles they are using in medicine but we do have much better communications and customer service.

Insurance plays a much smaller role in dentistry. Insurance never covers major work and covers only a portion of basic procedures. Since the patient is paying they demand and we provide an accurate detailed estimate of the fees before we start the work. That almost never happens in medicine. If your physician recommends a triple bypass and you ask what it will cost you will just get back a blank stare. They actually have no idea.

Since dental patients are paying the costs of their treatment and by necessity know the expected costs they can and do shop for price.

However price is not the only or even the most important factor. Dental patients also shop for service. How they are treated and how effectively the office communicates matters. This is where technology makes a difference. If you offer e-reminders, online forms, online bill pay and make crowns in a single visit you are offering better customer service. People will notice, just like they notice the abysmal customer service in the hospital, they will be willing to pay more and they will refer their friends and family.

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In Theory

April 27, 2016

In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice, there is.

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Dental Art

April 27, 2016

“Decay Pendant” A light from Matthew Shively. Thanks to dental architect extraordinaire Michael Unthank for the photo. Michael thinks it might be appropriate above the dental office greeting counter. 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 […]

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Protect Your Office from Ransomware

April 26, 2016

From the ADA Center for Professional Success: HIPAA requires providers to maintain access to health records, in addition to protecting data from breaches. The HIPAA Security Rule is designed to protect the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of health information. Because ransomware is designed to deny access to data, there could be HIPAA implications for a dentist […]

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Chip, Implanted in Brain, Helps Paralyzed Man Regain Control of Hand

April 26, 2016

From NYT: On Wednesday, doctors reported that Mr. Burkhart, 24, had regained control over his right hand and fingers, using technology that transmits his thoughts directly to his hand muscles and bypasses his spinal injury. Source: Chip, Implanted in Brain, Helps Paralyzed Man Regain Control of Hand – The New York Times AMAZING !! Helping […]

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New Biking Photo

April 25, 2016

The photographer is Jill Richards

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Microsoft Sues Justice Department Over Secret Customer Data Searches

April 25, 2016

From WSJ: SEATTLE—Microsoft Corp. sued the Justice Department on Thursday, alleging it’s unconstitutional for the government to bar tech companies from telling customers when federal agents have examined their data.The suit, filed in the federal court here, raises a fundamental question of how easily, and secretly, the government should be able to gain access to individual’s […]

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UnitedHealth Pulls Out of Obamacare

April 22, 2016

From Yahoo Finance: The Affordable Care Act suffered another jolt late last week with the news that UnitedHealth Group, the nation’s largest health insurer, was making good on its threat to pull out of Obamacare, beginning with its operations in Georgia and Arkansas. Source: UnitedHealth Makes Good on Threat to Pull Out of Obamacare – […]

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Our software must get better

April 21, 2016

More wisdom from Seth Godin: As software gets more successful, the instinct is to hire more people to work on it (which increases complications and errors dramatically) and to be ever more conservative as well (don’t mess with what’s working). Source: Seth’s Blog: Our software must get better As always he makes some great points, it […]

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FotoDent

April 21, 2016

I wish I could remember more of the German I studied way back when. Even without understanding the captions this is pretty amazing.

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Dental Art

April 20, 2016

“Dental Anatomy” Fine Art by Joseph Ventura One of a series. 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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Guide to Digital Radiography

April 19, 2016

What is your excuse? Digital Radiography is no longer new; it has been on the market for close to thirty years. If you are not using it you probably have a convincing personal excuse. On the other hand you could compare film x-ray users to a dentist still using a belt driven handpiece in 1995, […]

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3D printing BioPen lets surgeons draw with stem cells

April 19, 2016

In the not-too-distant future, orthopedic surgeons may simply draw new cartilage inside your knee, using a 3D printing, stem-cell-extruding device called the “BioPen.” Source: 3D printing BioPen lets surgeons draw with stem cells Imagine “drawing” new bone or gingiva around a periodontally hopeless tooth. Or “drawing” a filling on a tooth surface. A filling that […]

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HIPAA audits may come for dentists

April 18, 2016

From ADA News: The federal government has begun auditing some health care providers, including dental practices, to ensure they are complying with patient privacy laws and health care information security laws. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights announced March 21 it has begun its second phase of audits of […]

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People will pick up and use almost 50% of random, discarded USB drives

April 18, 2016

…when people see a random USB drive just lying on the ground, it’s a perplexing dilemma. Should you pick it up? Take a look at the data you find on it, and maybe try to return it to its owner? What about malware, is there a security risk? Regardless of what goes through people’s minds […]

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