The following was not written by me (Dr. Emmott) but is from Kodak.
“The primary functional role of the Internet is to provide a universally accessible network through which information can be communicated. The typical vehicle used for information exchange on the Internet is a website, which supports updatable information and content that can be browsed by anyone with Internet access. Over time, websites have evolved from read-only sources of information to fully interactive sites providing access to a variety of public and private information. Provider-specific websites have increased in popularity, particularly as more interactive capabilities have been added to the information available at the site. The ability for patients to check their balances, confirm and schedule appointments, download forms or make payments online is driving interest in websites among dental healthcare professionals. Kodak’s business agreement with TeleVox provides professionally developed and hosted website solutions that include two way integration and online payment processing to its customers.
In addition to interfacing with a website, the Internet may be leveraged more subtly “behind the scenes” to support these dental electronic services. Claims and statement submissions, as well as real time transaction services, utilize the web portal concept to transparently communicate information between applications on the Internet. Rather than providing a graphic interface that the user manipulates, a web portal supports automation that allows secure data exchanges to occur over the Internet with minimal user interaction. Kodak practice management systems launch an independent application thread that initiates a real time exchange of information via a secure HTTPS Internet session (using encryption techniques that meet HIPAA privacy and security standards). The user continues to use their practice management software to perform other tasks, while in the background information is being exchanged through the web portal. When the background task completes, a window pops up in their software, notifying the user that the task has been completed, and providing information on the results as appropriate. This process represents one of the significant improvements in workflow in the dental practice that has come about directly as a result of the availability of the World Wide Web.”