Here is a five minute demo for meeting planners looking for a high tech dental speaker.
One of the smartest guys I know is Doug Yoon. Doug is a dentist but more importantly he is a digital image scientist and the founder of XDR digital radiology. I asked Doug to give me some advice on the best clinical monitors for digital radiography. Here is what he had to say.
Even the lowest end monitor has sufficient pixel resolution for most digital radiographs. The two most important parameters that manufacturers publish are brightness and contrast ratio.
We recommend a brightness of at least 350-400 candela per. sq meter. (cd/m2) and a static contrast ratio of at least 1000:1.
Note: Dynamic contrast ratio is a misleading parameter because it compares contrast between frames which can generate amazing million to one ratios. This is not relevant for viewing radiographs because these are ‘static’ non-changing images.
However the best test is to view a few radiographs on some candidate monitors This is because intangible, un-reported parameters like SNR and precision of voltage control over each pixel can greatly influence image quality – especially when it comes to discrimination of subtle difference in gray scale. Compromising in these parameters can allow manufacturers to cut corners in design and manufacturing costs, yet they can still tout ‘good’ specs for brightness and contrast ratio.
Some things seen on the computer monitor are public. Those are things we want the patient to see, their own chart, x-rays, photos or patient education. Other information should not be seen. That would include another patient’s chart or even the daily schedule. That is private.
Another way to refer to these is the patient monitor and the practice management monitor. Computer monitors in the treatment rooms need to be placed so that they can be seen or not as needed. That means either movable or multiple monitors.
The three biggest mistakes dentists make when attempting to use technology are:
- Failing to know what is possible and developing a high tech vision or plan.
- Not getting enough training including ongoing training.
- Continuing to do things the old way instead of using technology to do things differently.
Dentists are extremely dependent on powerful word of mouth referrals. Why should we expect anyone to refer us if we are just average? To be noticed we have to be noticeable; provide an experience that is not average.
Over time what was exceptional becomes average and expected. It isn’t good enough to be friendly, on time and accept insurance. Everybody does that!
Technology can be seen by patients as an exceptional above average practice feature. If the technology is exciting and the patient is invited to participate then they will be more likely to mention it to others. For example if a patient can fill out forms online before coming to a first appointment that is the type of experience they will remember and tell others about. If they are then given an opportunity to mention it on a social media platform they end up telling not just one friend but hundreds.
As you appease your guilty conscience with resolutions for self-improvement in the coming year here are six dental high tech resolutions to consider.
Do the HIPAA basics. The new HIPAA omnibus rules went into effect September of 2013. Full compliance is ideal but can be overwhelming. On the other hand you do have a professional obligation to protect patient privacy. Resolve to do at least these three things in the next two months. Assign a HIPAA compliance officer. Do a technology risk assessment and start encrypting your patient data.
Use the Internet more effectively. The first thing every dental office should do to improve their online presence is to claim their Google Business page. When people search you by name your Google Business page will appear on the top right of the first page. Resolve to create a Google Business page and then complete it by adding content.
Use what you have now. Most likely you already have some pretty sophisticated technology and you aren’t using it fully. Make a resolution to get more out of what you have. In order to do that resolve to schedule two training sessions in 2018 for both the team and the dentist.
Clean up your system. Redundant, out of date and just plain wrong information plagues most every dental computer system. For example, patients who have moved to South America and aren’t coming back; a single insurance company is listed three different times; patients with pop up medical alerts that no longer apply and hundreds of discarded alternative treatment plans that are still attached to patients and listed as incomplete. Resolve to tackle these problems one at a time. Set aside dedicated time to do it, at least an hour or two a week. Do not wait until you have some free time to start the clean up; that is what got you into this mess in the first place.
Reduce paper. A completely paperless record in 2018 would be great. However start with some easier goals. Evaluate every paper you now create. Is it still important? Can it be added to an electronic record? Is there a faster way to do this?
Just like last year. Lose ten pounds
New Year’s resolutions are all about envisioning and creating a preferred future. Whatever you resolve, the future is coming and it will be amazing!
From Dental Product Shopper:
…according to this report, healthcare is the single most targeted industry because victims are most likely to pay ransoms. This is a disturbing revelation for a couple of reasons. On one hand, it indicates that healthcare businesses, dental practices included, have outdated or compromised security protections. In addition, and perhaps more egregiously, the staff is so desperate to regain their patient data that they feel compelled to pay the ransom. At that point, it’s game over and these criminals have won.
As a reminder ransomware is an insidious cyber crime in which the criminal tricks the victim into opening malware that encrypts the victim’s data. In our case that includes all our patient charts and information. In order to get the key to unlock the data the dentist must pay a ransom within a few days or loose all their data forever.
Good offsite back up and state of the art malware protection are important however with ransomware the critical element is often staff training.
Team members need to be educated on the latest cyber threats and aware of the kinds of e-mails and such that may contain ransomware. For example an office attending one of my recent data security sessions told us they were tricked into a ransomware situation by a bogus e-mail, supposedly from UPS regarding some undelivered packages. Fortunately they recognized the problem quickly and were able to stop the process before any real damage was done.
Dentists have an additional ransomware concern. Losing our data is a HIPAA violation. The rules not only require us to protect the data from unauthorized use but to keep it available as needed for the patient and future practitioners.
For help contact your professional IT vendor or Tech Central from Henry Schein.
Let’s try a thought experiment:
Imagine that you are a well-educated middle class adult American. You are looking for a dentist. You know nothing about dentistry except what you see on television or have experienced in the past. You have two dental offices to choose from Dr. Adams and Dr. Baker. Both are convenient and have been recommended by a friend.
Doctor Adams: sends you an e-mail welcome and allows you to fill out forms online before your appointment.
Doctor Baker: calls and leaves a reminder message and hands you a clip board when you arrive for your appointment.
Doctor Adams: takes digital photos and x-rays which the dentist shows you that instant on a large monitor to help you understand your dental condition.
Doctor Baker: does not take photos and takes film x-rays which the doctor looks at when they show up at the end of the appointment.
Doctor Adams: prepares a crown and delivers it that same day as you wait.
Doctor Baker: prepares a crown, takes an impression, places a temporary and has you return in a few weeks to have the crown delivered.
Based on these experiences which office would you believe to be “the better dentist”.
It would be nice if patients judged us by the quality of the dentistry we deliver. But of course patients have no way to judge the marginal integrity of a restoration or the cleanliness of a root surface. So they judge us on easily observed superficial factors
It is possible that Dr. Baker is a better dentist than Dr. Adams. It is possible, but the patient will never figure it out.
Here is the kicker. Most likely Dr. Adams is in fact a better dentist. Dentists who take the time to keep up with the latest technology and up to date procedures are almost by definition better dentists.
IT has become as important to a dental office as a compressor and central vac. In other words you can’t do business without it.
At one time dentists had to either understand technology well enough to do it yourself or trust their business to an IT start up that had little or no knowledge of the dental industry.
That is no longer the case. Major dental companies like Henry Schein now offer IT services such as Tech Central. Or you can choose a dedicated dental IT professional from the membership of the DIA Dental Integrators Association.
Are you using the full power of Dentrix® to simplify your life?Why not? In just a few hours, you can learn 50 tips and tricks that smart practices use to simplify work that is currently wasting your time.
Training, Training, Training
I consistently run into dentists or dental team members who wish Dentrix could do some task, say “refob the misanger”. I say “Dentrix can refob the misanger”. “Really! Since when?” They ask. “Oh, since the update in 2007” I tell them.
Almost without exception dental offices will benefit from additional technology training. Training can and should be tailored to the office and the individual. For example dental hygienists do not need to master insurance claims however they do need to master perio charting, radiographs and re-call.
PLUS the dentist needs to know how to use Dentrix. The dentist is the office leader. However the dentist cannot lead if he/she does not know where they are going.
Your dental office has several team members, and sometimes the same documents are unknowingly scanned more than once and stored in the Document Center. If you have duplicate files or have attached a document to the wrong person in the Document Center, it is okay to delete that document to reduce redundancy and save storage space
Source: Dentrix Tip Tuesdays
Lots of great tips for Dentrix users. I suggest you make the weekly tip part of your Tuesday morning meeting then do a monthly follow up to see if the team is using the tip and if it is working.
We all tend to stay in our comfortable rut and will continue to do things like we always have even if it is not the best way to handle the task. Change happens when we are pushed into trying something new and then are held accountable for the change.
All this and more at Technology on the Rocks
You will learn how to identify what is going well within your practice and where there are opportunities for improvement. Also, you will learn how a personal practice advisor assessment can help you identify and review key metrics in your practice that will help you maximize your patient care as well as your profits.
Source: Event Registration
In my opinion you can never get too much training.
One of the great features of digital systems is the ability to gather and analyse data. The problem then becomes which data is important and what do I do when I find it? This course will help you identify key data points called KPI (Key Performance Indicators) and then give you a plan to act on the indicators.
A few people still maintain that old fashioned paper records are less expensive than digital paperless records. But that is simply not true.
Paper charts don’t just appear in the office for free. The paper folder and all the other papers cost about $4.40 each. If you have 3000 charts they cost you at least $13,200 to create and every time a new patient walks in it’s another four-forty; cha-ching.
Other chart contents, like x-rays can be even more costly. A set of bitewings with film, processing and mounts costs about $2.00. Three sets of bitewings adds $6.00 to the cost of each chart for these contents adding another $18,000 to the cost.
Storing the records isn’t free either. A typical office with 3000 charts will need three or four full size lateral files to hold them all. Depending on how nice the files are they will cost about $4,000 and could be a lot more. They will take up office space. A 10’x 5′ file room will cost $7,500 to build. That is 50 Sq. Ft at $150 per foot. Not to mention all the “inactive” charts stashed away somewhere else?
So far our inexpensive paper files are costing us $42,700, but that’s not the total cost. There is the human effort to make the chart, type the label, arrange the contents, file new bits when they arrive in the mail, write the notes, pull the charts every day and then re-file them. And of course there is the daily ritual of the lost chart, which no one can find only to have it turn up days later either misfiled or hiding in a stack on the doctor’s desk. The human cost is at least $13,800 per year. You also have the expense of renting the office space the file cabinets sit on, at $25 per Sq, Ft for $1,250 per year. (Double that if you are in New York or San Francisco)
What we have is a paper chart system that is really quite expensive costing $42,700 to create and $15,050 per year to maintain for a total of $57,750.
On the other hand a great digital management system including radiographs, the computers and network will cost about $30,000. Need some help? Look Here.
What an experience. I presented to the Saudi Dental Society in Riyadh. We talked about paperless records, digital workflow and using the Internet.
Whether you’re looking for an Android, Apple, or Windows tablet, here’s what to consider, along with our top-rated slates.
Tablets have many uses in the dental office. Most commonly they are used in place of a clip board and paper for patients to register and fill out forms. Tablets may also be used by doctors and team members as a simple portable device to access charts and write notes or for patient education.
The Apple i-pad dominates the tablet market however new Android tablets and the combo laptop-tablet Surface from Microsoft are beginning to erode the i-pads dominance. The linked article gives ten options ranging in price from $50 to over $1,000.
There are three possible outcomes when adding technology to the office; only one of which is good.
One: The office buys a new high tech system then throws team members at it with little or no training and no plan for implementation. This all too common approach almost always results in frustrated staff and wasted money.
Two: The dental office spends the money to buy 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 and blames the technology for the failure. She is the wrong person for the job and either quits or even worse stays in place like a roadblock preventing things from progressing. The result again is frustrated staff and wasted money.
Three: The dental office buys the system, sets up multiple training sessions, 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.
The determining factor in our three outcomes is not the technology, the stuff. It is the people using it, the staff. How they are trained, how th
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.
I have developed an easy to follow assessment tool for dentists or dental team members to use to determine how tech savvy you are. This is a great way to find out how you compare to your peers and to discover areas of improvement.
Using technology effectively in the dental office requires that the office have the right stuff; that is things like hardware, cameras, sensors and good software. However it is just as important that the office use the stuff well. That is the office needs good solutions as well as good stuff.
If you want some help developing your high tech office look here: