Dentalcompare Management Software

Beauty and the Technologist: Why Mastering Technology is the Key to Future Dental Practice Success


Researchers at Oxford estimate that as many as half the jobs people are doing today will be eliminated by technology. This includes dentists and dental team members. There is one sure fire way to ensure you still have a job during the high-tech revolution. Become the “Practice Technologist.”

Source: Beauty and the Technologist: Why Mastering Technology is the Key to Future Dental Practice Success |

The latest article in Dentalcompare. Technology is no longer an add on, a luxury it is an essential. The people in the office who embrace technology will become the MVPs of the office.

Dentalcompare Paperless

The Basics of Creating a Paperless Dental Practice

SIn case you missed it: Dentalcompare from last year.

One of the fastest growing trends in dental tech is “going paperless.” Creating paperless electronic patient records is not only possible with current technology it is highly desirable…

If you want to join the trend and start using electronic records what do you need to get started?

Integrated Practice Management Software: The first essential element is software. Look at a paper chart. What all do you have in there? Forms, medical histories, tooth charts, radiographs, treatment notes, prescriptions, perio charts, financial information, treatment plans, specialist reports, lab slips, insurance information, consent forms and more. Your management software must allow you to re-create all that in a digital format as part of an electronic record.

The leading dental management systems such as Dentrix and Eaglesoft have been designed for paperless records and will work well. If you have a different management system you like and want to keep, you should seek out an office using it to make paperless records and arrange to visit and see how they do it…

Computers in the Treatment Rooms: It should go without saying, but some dentists still resist putting computers in the clinical area…

Note: New ways of computerizing a dental office are on the way. The standard server client network is being replaced by cloud based servers with local thin client computers or mobile hand held devices in place of desktop clients. These new systems promise to reduce the initial cost of hardware and the need for constant upgrades. The potential is fantastic, but for now these new systems are still developing and for most dentists seeking a trouble-free, proven system, the client server model is still the best

via Emmott On Technology: The Basics of Creating a Paperless Dental Practice |

Frequently I visit with dentists who have everything they need to go paperless but still hang on to the old paper charts. The most difficult step is the final one…just do it.

Sometimes dentist are putting off going paperless because they dread scanning all the old paper records. There is a good solution for that…don’t do it. Keep the old paper records as an archive, pull a paper chart when needed, which you will find is a lot less than you expect, and just make everything new paperless and everything old is paper. Going paperless is a process not an event.

For more help look here.


Dentalcompare General Hardware Management

Keeping Your Machines Germ Free

virus1In Case you missed it: Dentalcompare from Jan.

There is more than one type of computer virus. In addition to malicious software, we also need to be aware of actual microbial viruses that dwell on the surfaces of our computers. Cleanliness and asepsis are important in the dental treatment area, so how do you keep the technology clean? …

…cleaning them can be tricky. You can’t just dip your Android in the cold sterile for five minutes, or at least you can’t do it more than once. Manufacturers warn against using cleaners, aerosols, ammonia and abrasives on your device.

…The Violife is just $50, looks like a countertop coffee grinder and works with smart phones but is too small for tablets. If you have one of these in the operatory, you could even offer to sterilize patient’s phones as an added service while they are in the chair. That not only provides a benefit but it gets the phone out of their hands while they are being treated.

via Emmott On Technology: Keeping Your Machines Germ Free |

As computers in the treatment areas have become ubiquitous and as more and more people bring tablets and such into the treatment areas we need some quick inexpensive and effective means to decontaminate the hardware.

In related news a recent study revealed that the dirtiest most infested keyboards belonged to lawyers. Hmmm.

Dentalcompare Digital Marketing Social Media

What Graph Search Means for Dentists

facebook-graph-search-iconIn case you missed it: Dentalcompare from Feb 2013.

With over one billion users, Facebook has been an amazing phenomenon that dentists could not ignore, yet there has been little evidence that having a dental office Facebook page has any direct benefit. However, the new Graph Search feature changes everything…

n the past having a practice Facebook page was nice and getting patient likes allowed you to connect with them on a regular basis. This could generate goodwill and might possibly lead to referrals or better retention, but there was no way to actively promote this and actually measure results. Hopefully if a person asked their Facebook friends for a dental referral your patient might refer to you. In that way Facebook has become the digital equivalent of the office water cooler or the backyard fence.

With Graph Search the person looking for a dentist does not have to ask and hope for a response he or she can search their social graph to see which dentists their friends like.

Compare this with a typical Google search. If you type in the word dentist into Google you will get a list of dental referral sites as well as some dentists in your area. Which dentists show up? Those who are Internet savvy have paid a web designer for good SEO and or paid Google to show up on a PPC ad. Are those dentists any good? Will you like them?

With a social Graph Search you are finding dentists your friends use and like. It is much more like an actual personal referral than a random Google search.

via Emmott On Technology: What Facebook’s Graph Search Means for Dentists |

I wrote the linked article nineteen months ago. At that time it looked like Facebook’s “Graph Search” had vast potential to impact how people find dentists and other services. However so far no one seems to have noticed. Hardly anyone in my seminars has heard of Graph Search and dentists are not seeing new patients as result of Graph Search. It has essentially disappeared from the tech press.

In addition new research indicates that very few people (6%) who like your business page actually see your Facebook posts. At this time I do not believe that Facebook has much value for the typical dentist.

On the other hand I still like the concept of Graph Search, but so far it has been a bust.

Dentalcompare Diagnostics Radiography

Taking X-rays Off the Wall

Nomad 2 hand held dental x-rayIn case you missed it: Dentalcompare from 2013

The NOMAD, a hand held x-ray unit from Aribex, looks like a big ray gun from an old sci-fi film. There is a body, a pistol grip and a cone or barrel that emits the x-rays. The operator aims the device and holds it steady while the radiograph is taken. The ability to stay in the room while you take the image and better yet hold the tube eliminates most of the problems we encounter when taking an x-ray.

If the little guy in your head is screaming, “Stay in the room! That’s nuts don’t you know x-rays are dangerous!” Of course NOMAD knows that and the device is perfectly safe, but more on that later…

Radiation safety is important, and Aribex takes it very seriously. The NOMAD is made in the USA, has FDA approval and has been studied meticulously to insure it is safe. Links to the actual studies can be found at the NOMAD website.

via Emmott On Technology: Taking X-rays Off the Wall and by the Hand |

Not only does a hand held x-Ray unit solve the problems of the fidgety patient and the drifting arm but it is also more cost effective. One Nomad can service an entire office of three or four treatment rooms. Plus there is no need for installation with dedicated power and support built into the wall.

Do not build an office, remodel or even replace an old wall mounted machine without checking out the Nomad. It even comes in two dazzling designer colors dental office white and sophisticated black.

Dentalcompare Management

Hiring and Training Staff for Technology Success

trainIn Case you missed it: Dentalcompare from Nov. 2013.

Dentists sometimes worry about new staff members, “What if I spend a lot of time and money training them and then they leave?”

What if you don’t train them and they stay?

 …There are three possible outcomes to adding technology to the office only one of which is good.

One: The office pays for the installation of a new high tech system then throws team members at it with little or no training and no system in place to implement the technology. This is all too common and almost always results in frustrated staff and wasted money.

Two: An office spends the money to implement a technology system then spends additional time and money training a staff person to use it. The staff person clings to the old way of doing things, fails to implement the system, is the wrong person for the job and either leaves or even worse stays in place like a roadblock preventing things from progressing. The result is again frustrated staff and wasted money.

Three: The dental office buys the system, sets up training, develops protocols to use it effectively and engages team members to use the system, learn and get better. The result is faster better service, decreased costs and happy staff.

Notice the determining factor in our three outcomes is not the technology it is the people using it. It is how they are trained, how the office established the benefits of the technology and helped the staff learn.

via Emmott On Technology: Hiring and Training Staff for Technology Success |

Training Training Training. One of the two biggest mistakes dentists make with high tech is not enough training. In far too many dental offices only one person knows how to use the computer and she doesn’t know much because she is self-taught.

Training is not a one-time event but should be ongoing. If you have not had any computer training in the last 18 months you are almost certainly losing time and money by failing to use your technology effectively.

Using technology effectively starts with training but it requires much more. It is not enough to know which icon to click you must know why you are clicking it. What is the outcome or solution you are expecting from the technology?

If you are a Dentrix user they offer a wide range of training options including webinars, seminars, in office trainers, on demand and coaching.

Dentalcompare Future Tech Internet

3rd Generation Dental Specialist Referrals

In Case you missed it: Dentalcompare from summer of 2013.

FormsDespite advances in digital records and communication, the majority of specialist referrals still follow this old paper-based system. However, paperless digital referrals are possible, have already progressed through two generations and promise to be even better in the near future.

First generation attempts to create digital referral slips simply recreate the paper form in a digital format, usually pdf. The referring dentist needs to download and print the form from the specialist’s website then fill in the information (patient name, practice information, tooth number, diagnosis, etc.) by hand…

Second generation online referrals can be created online, no paper. However, the referring dentist still needs to fill in the information by hand using a keyboard and mouse…

A third generation system will upload all the appropriate patient data from the paperless record to the online referral forms automatically with no additional typing. In other words, the patient name, the tooth and the treatment would not need to be re-typed but would be extracted from the exiting digital record.

But that’s not all. With a digital referral you are not limited to the minimum information we used to scribble on the paper form. You can automatically upload all the patient information the specialist’s office will need such as address, employment, contact numbers and the other things needed to create a patient record. The system will upload the patient’s insurance information with plan, group numbers and benefits. The system will upload the patient’s health history with areas of concern noted.

All the information a patient usually needs to spend time writing onto a paper form on an old brown clipboard is sent automatically before the patient even arrives for the first appointment.

via Emmott On Technology: Looking Ahead to 3rd Generation Dental Specialist Referrals |

Caught up in HIPAA Hysteria some doctors are afraid to put any patient information online or share anything with another dentist without a release.

HIPAA rules specifically allow professionals to share relevant patient information regarding treatment with no specific patient release. It is assumed to be legitimate and in the patient’s best interest.

On the other hand sending patient information via basic e-mail is not secure. You can get an e-mail encryption program or better yet do not use e-mail but transfer patient information using a secure web site. Several of these have been developed but none have yet reached the critical mass needed for widespread acceptance.

Third generation referrals are still in the vapor ware stage but they make so much sense I believe they will be here shortly.

Dentalcompare Radiography

Taking X-rays Off the Wall

Nomad 2 hand held dental x-rayIn case you missed it. Here is a Dentalcompare article from March2013 about one of my favorite products – Nomad.

The NOMAD, a hand held x-ray unit from Aribex, looks like a big ray gun from an old sci-fi film. There is a body, a pistol grip and a cone or barrel that emits the x-rays. The operator aims the device and holds it steady while the radiograph is taken. The ability to stay in the room while you take the image and better yet hold the tube eliminates most of the problems we encounter when taking an x-ray…

Back in the day of wall mounted telephones, if you wanted to use the phone in the kitchen and in the living room you needed two phones each mounted and wired in place. And you had to pay for each phone including installation. It is the same with wall mounted x-ray units.

With a hand held unit you only need to buy one and there are no installation costs. You can use NOMAD in the hygiene room for re-call, in the overflow room for emergencies, and in the doctor’s room for root canals. One device takes the place of three or four wall mounted units, making it much more cost effective than the old system

via Emmott On Technology: Taking X-rays Off the Wall and by the Hand |

Handheld x-ray units eliminate most of the problems we have with drifting arms and squirmy patients. They are also much more economical than wall mounted units. BUT are they safe? The answer for the Nomad is yes. The unit has been extensively tested and proven to be safe. On the other hand not all hand held devices have passed the same tests as the Nomad.

Dentalcompare Digital Marketing Internet

Does Your Dental Practice Website Have a Purpose?

building_a_website_imageIn Case you missed it: Dentalcompare from July 2013.

Do you need a dental website?

Do you need a high speed handpiece?

The folks who sell websites to dentists have focused on the marketing and advertising potential of web pages, and as such, many dentists think that is the sole purpose of a website. If you do not feel the need to market your practice then you do not feel a need to have a practice website.

However marketing to new patients is only one of three primary website purposes.

The Purpose of a Dental Practice Website

  • Promotional to generate new patients

  • Manage your online presence

  • Support your existing patients

via Emmott On Technology: Does Your Dental Practice Website Have a Purpose |

Website developers do not want to merely build you a web site they want you to buy SEO from them on an ongoing basis. SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization and some vendors will charge $$ thousands $$ a month for it.

SEO may help if a random surfer is looking for a generic dentist. However at this time it is questionable if SEO has any value for most dentists in a large metropolitan area.

On the other hand most new patients still start with a referral and will type your name into Google rather than a generic key word like “dentist”. That is what you need to worry about, what happens when someone types in your name.

Two items that will give you great “name” results are Google+ and a well-designed web site.

Finally what about established patients? If your site is just for new patients then everyone has a need to go there once per lifetime. Good web pages offer patient services such as online payment and forms.

Dentalcompare Health Care Politics Paperless

There is no 2014 Deadline

-paperless-notesIn case you missed it: Dentalcompare from March 2013.

This from the January 21 ADA News,

“If you believe the rumors, every dentist in the country will have to go paperless by this time next year…The truth is, no dentist is required by the federal government to use electronic health records or implement digital radiography systems by 2014”

Like many federal programs the whole Electronic Medical Records (EMR) thing is confusing. Supposedly you would have to read it to know what is in it but even then it is not clear. What there is, is a lot of confusion, speculation, scare tactics and vendors willing to exploit the confusion in order to sell dubious solutions to dentists. The same as we saw when OSHA and then HIPAA first plagued the dental profession…

There is no emergency. There is no mandate to go paperless. However, don’t wait around for some bureaucrat to tell you what to do. EDR makes sense for many reasons even if the law does not require it.

via Emmott On Technology: Debunking Electronic Health Records Deadline Rumors |

This is a very persistent rumor. It came up again in association with a recent webinar I presented. There is no actual federal deadline as such but there is a deadline for medical providers to get subsidy dollars for “meaningful use” EMR adoption. Essentially none of these dollars are available to dentistry. Even though there is no government mandate there are still many good reasons to go paperless, not the least of which is that it will save time and lots of money.

Dentalcompare Internet Mobile

Get a Responsive Dental Practice Website

mobileheromobileheromobileheromobileheromobileheroIn case you missed it: Dentalcompare from December 2013.

Imagine trying to read this page if it was shrunk to the size of a postage stamp.

Have you ever gone to a website using your smartphone only to find it is impossible to read or navigate because the phone attempts to fit the standard webpage into the tiny phone screen? After several frustrating minutes of resizing, waiting for the site to load, scrolling and looking for navigation buttons you give up…

Using responsive web design, a website detects the device on which it is being viewed and reformats itself to fit the screen. You do not want to create a different web page for different device screens. One website with the same content for all devices makes it easier for search engines to index a website, improving SEO. Responsive design uses a single website that is formatted for different devices.

At this time we are using three distinct screen sizes, traditional desktop monitors, tiny smart phones, and in the middle tablets such as the iPad.

via Emmott On Technology: Get Responsive With Your Dental Practice Website |

Mobile search has grown to equal desktop search. Patients are looking you up on their smart phones, both existing patients and possible new patients.

When they look you up on a smart phone they are not looking for lovely before and after photos or even online forms they are looking for the phone number and address, so make these big and easy to use with large thumb friendly buttons.

Dentalcompare Management

Training and More Training is the Key to New Technology

Confused-1aIn case you missed it: Dentalcompare from 2012.

I often have a dentist or dental team member say to me something like, “It would be great if Dentrix just did xyz.”

“Well,” I tell them “it does do xyz.”

“You’re kidding. How long has it done xyz?”

“At least three or four years.”

The second of the two biggest mistakes that dentists make in using technology is inadequate training. (The other big mistake is buying random technology because the dentist does not have a plan or vision for the office.) If you have not had any training on your office technology in the last eighteen months you are way past due, and you are costing yourself money.

Commonly a dental office will get two days of intense training when they first purchase their practice management system. Human capacity being what it is, most of us stop learning after the first half day and we forget anything we don’t apply in the next few days.

Then, a new person is hired, another team member moves out of town, a software update is released, and as a result, the office is barely using the expensive system the doctor paid for. What is worse, they don’t even know what they don’t know.

Ongoing training is critical. That means at least a day a year on the general system and special directed training for critical systems.

via Emmott on Technology: Training and More Training is the Key to Avoiding the Second Biggest Pitfall in Adopting New Dental Technologies |

Inadequate ongoing training is still the biggest mistake dentist make when trying to use high tech in dentistry. Recently I have added a third mistake that is closely related to lack of training.

Big mistake number three:

Insisting on doing things just like you always have and twisting the technology to inefficiently fit the old systems instead of evolving to new systems to take advantage of the technology.

Without good ongoing training there is no way to know what is possible. Team members and doctors just cling to what they have done before and timidly ask the technology to help a little but mostly stay out of the way.

A car is not merely a faster horse.

Dentalcompare Internet

How the Internet Works

networkrIn case you missed it: from Dentalcompare January.

Just as you do not need to understand the intricacies of an auto transmission to drive a car, you do not need to understand the arcane details of the Internet to use it. On the other hand a basic understanding will help you use it more effectively and avoid potential problems.

The Internet is the largest endeavor in human history. It is big, I mean really big. Almost three billion people are online, that is more than one third of the entire population of the planet.

However the Internet is not just people connected through computers, it is also things. Anything with an IP addressable chip is part of the Internet. That includes your phone, your car, household appliances and even some dental equipment. But the Internet is not just the things it is connected to it also is the network…

We tend to think of the Internet as a network similar to the phone system. That is a hub and spoke arrangement in which we send information from our location to a central command center where it is routed or switched to the intended recipient. The intelligence needed to connect the call is located at the central switch and once the connection is established there is an unbroken link from sender to receiver.

The Internet does not work that way at all. It is more like a tangled web of connections; if the web was created by a deranged spider.

via Emmott On Technology: How the Internet Works |

The Internet will have a more profound effect on the world we live in than any technological advance of the last century. More than cars, planes, electronics, telecommunications and all the rest. It will affect our lives in ways we cannot yet even imagine.

For dentists the most obvious change the Internet has brought is the way patients find us. This leads to web pages, Google and social media. All of which are changing constantly as we learn how to use the Internet most effectively.

Less obvious but possibly more significant is the use of e-services. These allow us to automate certain tasks to free the people in the office to be more productive. The best example is appointment confirmations.

The future will include massive online data bases that can be used by Artificial Intelligences to enhance diagnosis, and real time remote systems for tele dentistry.

Dentalcompare Hardware Management

Plan for When Technology Fails

43-00097765In case you missed it: Dentalcompare from Nov 2013.

Sometimes the power fails—therefore electric lights cannot be trusted and we should all stick to kerosene lanterns.

Of course that is foolish, but it is the approach some people take to using computer technology. They are so afraid of a computer crash they use it as an excuse not to use technology at all.

Sometimes the power does go out and sometimes computers do fail. What do you do? You deal with it.

In dentistry we rely on a number of mission critical systems. If these critical systems fail we cannot do dentistry. This includes the air compressor, the central vac and maybe even the curing light. Most dentists have an emergency plan to backup a failure in a mission critical system. You may have a small emergency compressor or have an arrangement with Henry Schein to bring you a loaner.

You need to have exactly the same type of arrangement with your IT provider. An emergency plan should be in place to get the office up and running within a few hours or a day at most in the unlikely event of a major computer system failure. In fact, you don’t have a choice over whether or not to have such a plan. A disaster recovery plan is not only good policy, it is part of the updated HIPAA omnibus rule.

via Emmott On Technology: Have a Plan for When Technology Is Offline |

By far the worst thing that could happen to a dental office computer system is the failure of the server hard drive. If this happens the dental office has no access to data. The best way to protect yourself is to have two additional copies of the data. The first is a second hard drive or a BDR computer in the office. The second is an offsite copy or backup. Backup technology has continued to improve over the years, at this time the best option for most dentists is a web based cloud back up.

However you store and copy your data it needs to be encrypted. HIPAA rules and professional ethics require us to protect patient confidentiality. If a thief breaks in and steals your server that is a data breach. The only defense you have in that case is encryption.

Small, annoying, yet non critical technology failures may also happen.  This could be the failure of a monitor or a software glitch. It is a good idea to train a team member to deal with these minor issues. Not only will it reduce your IT expense it will get you up and running much faster.

Dentalcompare Diagnostics

Caries Diagnostics With The Canary System

34_767_CanaryIn case you missed it: Dentalcompare March 2013.

If Doctor McCoy on Star Trek had been a dentist he wouldn’t have used a Tricorder he would have used a Canary.

As a dentist you are taught to diagnose dental disease by observing a physiologic change in a tissue, and then based on training and experience to determine if that change is pathologic. Does it represent disease? We have a number of tools to help us do this; a sharp stick to explore the tooth and a probe to stick under the gums. We use our eyes to observe the surface colors; we feel the tissues and measure pockets with a tiny dip stick.

All of these techniques have something in common; they are inconsistent, subjective and not very accurate.

The best example is checking for occlusal decay. We are taught, essentially, to check for decay by using a sharp stick. We poke the occlusal surface with an explorer, and then depending on our training, experience and tactile sensitivity, we determine whether or not decay is present by how it feels.

via Emmott On Technology: Caries Diagnostics Steps Ahead With The Canary System |

I believe that high tech digital diagnostics will be the next big breakthrough in medicine and dentistry. We are already closer than you might imagine to the “Tricorder” of old Star Trek fame.

The developments in using genetics for diagnosis and treatment planning as discussed here is another great example of high tech diagnostics. In the near future we will have patients simply swab their mouths then stick the swab in a reader connected to a smart phone and we will dispense a chemically formulated toothpaste designed for both their personal genome and that of their oral bacteria.

Personalized genome based medicine is still a few years away but the Canary is here now. Using a sharp stick to detect caries was fine for G.V. Black. Dr. McCoy would use a Canary.

Dentalcompare Management

Uninformed, Clueless or Frightened

Confused1In case you missed it: Dentalcompare from October 2012.

Implementing new digital technology in the dental office involves a lot more than just choosing, buying and installing some tech gizmo. Just choosing the right gizmo is fraught with change and knowledge issues. Installing, implementing and then using the new gizmo creates even more change issues.

According to management and marketing expert Seth Godin when faced with change, or even just making a decision, people are one of three things: Uninformed, Clueless or Frightened.

This of course includes dentists and dental team members choosing and using technology…

It is not nearly enough to choose a particular software or sensor or e-service. If you are going to get value from technology you also have to use it. And use it in an effective manner. You need “buy in” from the entire team, including the dentist, and uninformed, clueless or frightened people do not buy in.

via Emmott On Technology: Uninformed, Clueless or Frightened—How to Avoid the Obstacles Blocking Successful Technology Implementation |

Overcoming resistance to change is often the most difficult part of implementing new technology. However it is not enough just to acknowledge people resist change. If we understand why people resist change and if we can anticipate the issues before they block progress then our transition will be faster, easier and less expensive.

Resistance is not confined to team members. Frequently the dentist resists using the technology he/she has invested in. If the dentist won’t bother to set up and use digital notes in the chart why should the team members buy in?

Resistance is often related to fear. However it is not some generic fear of change it is the fear that you as person will lose value; that your skills and your contribution will no longer be important and valued.

Effectively implementing change requires leadership. A leader has a clear vision for him/herself as well as for the organization. Then the leader communicates that vision to the team in a passionate manner than encourages others to come with them.

Dentalcompare Hardware Office Design

Putting Treatment Room Computer Monitors in Their Place

45-179-195In case you missed it: Dentalcompare from August.

Where to put the treatment room computer monitors is a dilemma for many offices.

A monitor needs to be positioned so the assistant can access it easily to input data—such as chairside charting—while maintaining eye contact with the dentist and patient. The monitor must also be close enough for the dentist to view radiographs or photos for diagnosis, or to read the chart. And finally, a monitor needs to be in a position that the patient can view in order to see his or her own radiographs or photos as well as patient education programs.

There is also the public/private issue. Some things we want the patient to see such as his or her own chart, x-rays, photos or patient education materials related to the case. On the other hand sometimes you just don’t want the patient seeing what is displayed. That would include another patient’s chart or even the daily schedule. That is practice information.

via Emmott On Technology: Putting Operatory Computer Monitors in Their Place |

We are weaving technology into the fabric of every day life. A few years ago computers were an after thought, added on to a room that was designed for clinical efficiency, the computer was awkward, in the way and unattractive. We tried to force a device designed to sit on a desk into a room with no desks.

Today dental cabinetry and the rooms themselves are designed with technology in mind. Still where to put things for the most efficient use is still an issue and as new hardware and new clinical devices continue to proliferate we are faced with new challenges.

For more help:

Dentalcompare e-Services

Dental E-Services Do the Work Without the Workers

NursePaperworkIn case you missed it: Dentalcompare from May 2013.

In 1820 it took a man wielding a scythe three days to harvest one acre of grain. In 1860 that same man using a mechanical thresher could harvest twelve acres in a single day.

We easily understand that kind of mechanical automation and how it helps us do more with less. Now we are learning to use information automation, and even though the savings in time and money can be just as dramatic as we saw with the industrial revolution, people resist the change.

People resist change for the usual reasons; they think it will devalue their work, they think it will be too hard and expensive, but mostly they resist because they just don’t know what is possible. With online digital e-services it is possible to transfer much of the information work that a passel of paid staff members used to do in the office to software in the cloud.

We gather digital information about our patients simply as a byproduct of doing business. For example our computer knows the patient’s name, phone number, insurance coverage, birthday, employer and next scheduled appointment, plus a whole lot more. Once the data is in a digital form, a computer can be programmed to use it in a specific manner.

For example, the computer can see when a patient is scheduled for care and simply send a text message to the patient’s cell phone a day in advance. No additional data entry, no human writing messages or dialing phones is necessary. It is all done automatically with no humans involved.

via Emmott On Technology: Dental E-Services Do the Work Without the Workers |

One of the best set of e-services called eCentral is offered by Dentrix. It includes patient reminders, online patient to web site services such as forms and insurance verification. Many Dentrix users are already paying for eCentral and not using it.


A Reading List of Books About Technology’s Impact on People

In case you missed it: Dentalcompare from September 2013:

“You are the same today as you’ll be in five years except for two things: the books you read and the people you meet.” – Charlie Jones

Here are three books that offer an insightful and a highly optimistic look into the future.

Abundance: The Future Is Better Than You Think by Peter H. Diamandis

Peter Diamandis and his co-author Steven Kotler make the case that things are better now than they have ever been, and what is more, we are on the verge of eliminating the scarcity economy that has ruled our existence. We are rapidly approaching abundance.

Here Comes Everybody: The Power of Organizing Without Organizations by Clay Shirky

Here Comes Everybody is a fun easy read that uses stories to show you how the rapid, revolutionary spread of new forms of social interaction supported by technology and the Internet are changing the way humans form groups and how we exist within those groups.

The Man Who Lied to His Laptop: What Machines Teach Us About Human Relationships by Clifford Nass

Although this book is based on technology, what it really can teach us is how to better understand ourselves and how to interact effectively with the rest of humanity. The man who lied to his laptop did so in order not to hurt its feelings. You probably think that is foolish but after you read this book you will realize that we all do it, that is what makes us human.

via Emmott On Technology: A Reading List of Books About Technology’s Impact on People |

All three books listed above and others can be purchased from Amazon through the link on the right. Just scroll down ’till you see the “Book Recommendations” section. Thanks.

Dentalcompare Digital Marketing Internet Management

Five Key Terms to Understand Before Jumping Into Online Marketing

In case you missed it: From Dentalcompare Sept of 2012, still very relevant.

Everyone is jumping on the online marketing bandwagon, including dentists. There is little doubt that websites, Google searches and social media are having a profound effect on how people find and choose a dentist. However before you jump on that crowded bandwagon here are some general online marketing terms you should know.

The five terms are:

  1. SEO
  2. PPC
  3. CRO
  4. Geo Targeting
  5. Contextural Ads

via Emmott on Technology: Five Key Terms to Understand Before Jumping Into Online Marketing |