Technology and You

by Larry Emmott on January 21, 2019

in CAD CAM,Future Tech,Management

From New Dentist Blog:

These three questions. Does it improve the ease of care? Does it make the patient more comfortable? And does it improve quality? Are all essential when evaluating new technologies?

Source: Technology and You – New Dentist Blog

The linked article by Dr. William van Dyk is mostly concerned with clinical technology, CAD CAM, implants and digital radiography. He points out that early CAD CAM restorations were compromised. Dentists should begin their evaluation of new technology by examining how it ultimately effects the patient.

There is no question that this is important. It is totally inappropriate for dentists to be “experimenting” with new devices on patients. Or to compromise quality in order to use an exciting techno gizmo. On the other hand you always and forever do not know what you do not know.

It is all too easy to fall into the “That’s the way we have always done it” mentality.

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From The New York Times:

On Jan. 1, hospitals began complying with a Trump administration order to post list prices for all their services, theoretically offering consumers transparency and choice and forcing health care providers into price competition.It’s turning into a fiasco.

Source: Hospitals Must Now Post Prices. But It May Take a Brain Surgeon to Decipher Them. – The New York Times

Reading the article it is obvious the hospitals are following the letter of the law but have no intention of making buying decisions easier for patients. In fact just the opposite. They are making things intentionally obscure to illustrate how impossible it would be for consumers to make educated health choices. Hospitals and the other entrenched interests in healthcare have a vested interest in maintaining the status quo.

Here is what I wrote back in August when the new rule was first announced.

Some people imagine this new regulation will result in significant change that brings some price competition to health care resulting in lower costs and better care. It might, but I fear there are deeper dis-functions built into the system that will take more than price lists to fix. Still it is a good first step.

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Dental Art

by Larry Emmott on January 16, 2019

in Dental Art

“Tooth Repair” Dental Office Art

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.

Previous “Dental Art” images can be found here on Pinterest.

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Trends to expect in 2019

by Larry Emmott on January 15, 2019

in e-Services,Internet,Management

From doctor.com health trends survey:

3. Online scheduling and digital communications will be the norm

The ability to book or request appointments online is in hot demand. And this trend continue to grow year over year. In 2018, 31% of patients consider online scheduling options when deciding on a provider, and 42% even report that being able to schedule or reschedule an appointment online has impacted their choice of healthcare providers.

This trend toward digital capabilities is mirrored in how patients prefer to communicate with their healthcare providers. 53% prefer appointment reminders via text messages, and 17% prefer email. It’s important to reach patients through their channels of choice: 70% think doctor communications — like follow-up and annual checkup reminders — matter when leaving a five-star review.

Source: (2) New Messages!

One of four interesting trends listed in the linked article. All four have to do with online patient interaction. Not surprising as that is what doctor.com specializes in providing.

My surveys indicate that the number one online service dental office are currently providing patients is the ability to “request” an appointment. Very few are allowing patients to actually book an appointment. Most dentists and dental team members can’t imagine letting patients schedule themselves directly online. Never the less direct booking is gaining traction and I agree that it will be common in the future.

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Cut the Deadwood

by Larry Emmott on January 14, 2019

in Management

From e-Management Newsletter by Sally:

#6 – Cut The Deadwood And Enjoy Smooth Sailing
Deal with the problem performers on your team. These are the people that you and your star performers have been carrying for far too long and at far too great an expense. There are few things more demoralizing to top-flight employees than a boss who looks the other way when one or more members of the team consistently disregard office policies, bring poor attitudes to work, generate conflict, make excuse after excuse for why they were late, why they were sick, why they simply cannot get their jobs done. Yet the deadwood workers that everyone is stepping over and forced to just “deal with” get the same pay raises, same vacation time, and the same perks as top performers on your team.

Understandably, your capable staff will only tolerate this for so long. As Vince Lombardi once said, “There is nothing more unequal than the equal treatment of unequals.” You want a team of people eager to help you and your practice reach the pinnacle this year, not derail your efforts.

# 6 in Sally McKenzie’s top ten suggestions for 2019.

This is excellent advice that I failed to take as a practice owner. I kept way to many staff members on the payroll who should have been let go for all the reasons Sally describes above. The few times I did fire someone I felt horrible and stressed out for days. However looking back it was a mistake to keep these toxic people that I know cost me both emotionally and financially.

Technology will continue to become an integral part of every dental practice. We will need team members who are techno savvy, who like technology and do not just tolerate it. Or worse yet staff members who actively sabotage our use of technology that threatens their position. The big payoff with technology is reduced staff as technology improves productivity and allows us to do the same job with four people we used to do with six.

As hard as it is to do we will need to cut the deadwood.

 

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Still uses Paper Charts

by Larry Emmott on January 11, 2019

in Just for Fun

eu-dental-office

Going Paperless

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Advancement Of Teledentistry At The University Of Rochester’s Eastman Institute For Oral Health

January 10, 2019

From Health Affairs: …teledentistry has been demonstrated to be a practical and cost-effective way to improve oral health care for rural and disadvantaged children. Source: Advancement Of Teledentistry At The University Of Rochester’s Eastman Institute For Oral Health | Health Affairs The link is to an abstract. The bottom line, teledentistry can lower costs and increase […]

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Dental Art

January 9, 2019

“Tooth Fairy Bestiary Art 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. Previous “Dental Art” images can be found here on Pinterest.

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6 trends in dentistry to expect in 2019

January 8, 2019

From Becker’s Dental Review: 2. 3D printing: While this technology has been around for years, it will become more dominate in 2019. 3. More competition online: Dentists can expect to see competitors using advertisement on social media and other platforms to attract new customers. 4. Continued rise of review sites: Now more than ever patients […]

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Apple has a message for Amazon and Google and it’s plastered on the side of a hotel at the biggest tech conference of the year

January 8, 2019

The message, which takes up about 13 floors of building, says : “What happens on your iPhone, stays on your iPhone” with the URL to Apple’s privacy website. Source: Apple has a huge privacy ad at CES 2019 Hmmm 🙂

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Epic Systems adds dentists, life insurers to its software network

January 7, 2019

From Madison Wisconsin Business News | madison.com: …Now, with more than 95 percent of U.S. hospitals and nearly 90 percent of physicians’ offices equipped with some type of EHR system, according to federal figures, Verona-based Epic is branching out to put other types of health care providers in the loop, as well. Source: Epic Systems […]

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Feel Better Now?

January 4, 2019
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Anonymous patient data may not be as private as previously thought

January 3, 2019

From Reuters: “The study shows that machine learning can successfully re-identify the de-identified physical activity data of a large percentage of individuals, and this indicates that our current practices for de-identifying physical activity data are insufficient for privacy,” said study coauthor Anil Aswani of the University of California, Berkeley. “More broadly it suggests that other types […]

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Go Paperless in 2019

January 2, 2019

Make the commitment and Go Paperless in 2019. Most likely you already have everything you need to go paperless. Stop putting it off, make the commitment, going paperless can save you tens of thousands of dollars. Buy the book, take the first step. My comprehensive technology guide, “How to go paperless in the dental office” […]

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Happy New Year!

December 31, 2018

We wish you a Healthy, Happy and Prosperous New Year.

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The “healthcare crisis” is in fact not a crisis of care but a crisis of affordability

December 28, 2018

The “healthcare crisis” is in fact not a crisis of care but a crisis of affordability. So far attempts to fix the established system with central command and control have proven to be a ineffective. Technology has the potential to lower costs and improve care. Eventually the entrenched interest will be overwhelmed.

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Biggest data breaches of 2018

December 27, 2018

From Business Insider: One of the latest victims was Marriott hotels, which recently revealed that hackers had accessed the information of an estimated 500 million customers. …Some of the biggest victims in 2018 include T-Mobile, Quora, Google, and Orbitz. Facebook dealt with a slew of major breaches and incidents that affected more than 100 million users […]

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Dental Tech Resolutions for 2019

December 27, 2018

High Tech Dental New Year’s Resolutions 1. Before you purchase new technology resolve to use what you have now more effectively. Chances are you already have some pretty sophisticated technology and you are not getting all you could from it. Plan at least two technology training session for the team and the dentist in the […]

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