<a href="http://www.linkedin.com/profile/view?authToken=0fg_&authType=name&locale=en_US&id=33105187" rel="author">Dr. Larry Emmott </a>is one of the most entertaining speakers in dentistry and he is considered the leading dental high tech authority in the country. He has over thirty years of experience as a practicing general dentist in Phoenix, AZ. He will have you laughing while you are learning. Check out his site at <a href="http://emmottontechnology.com" rel="author">Emmott on Technology</a>

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Practice Technologist

Times are changing fast and technology is the primary driver of change.

You will Lose Your job to Technology, Unless…

For years I skated around the worry that technology would take jobs away from dentists and dental staff. I can no longer make that claim. Your job in dentistry will go away or at least be severely limited by technology in the future. There is one sure fire way to ensure that you will still have a job in the high tech revolution. Become the

“Practice Technologist”.

If you believe your job is to poke teeth with an explorer and take impressions you are fast becoming out of date. If you believe your job is to understand and use digital diagnostics and digital impressions then you are ahead of the pack.

If you believe your job is to pull charts and answer phones your job is in jeopardy. If on the other hand you believe your job is to maintain paperless charts and set up an online system to answer questions and take payments then you are secure.

The person who believes that their job is to understand and use technology effectively, can easily add new systems to the mix and embraces change will become indispensable; They will be an MVP the most valuable person in the office.

Here are three simple examples:

Practice Staff Person Practice Technologist
Pulls charts every day, spends time hunting for the lost chart then puts them all back again at the end of the day. Knows the management software well enough to create and maintain completely paperless records.
Hands a clipboard to patients to fill out forms then re-enters all the information in the computer. Sets up and uses online forms that synch with the electronic records. No paper and no dual entry.
Spends considerable time every day phoning and mostly leaving messages with patients to confirm (remind) them of an upcoming appointment. Sets up and maintains an online e-service that sends daily reminders with no additional input from office staff.

It is vitally important that the dentist understand the technology available to the office. As the practice leader the dentist needs to know what is possible in order to create a vision and lead the team.


Three days of Adventure C.E. that will change your practice, your Team, and your life!
Technology on the Rocks – May 18-20, 2017

Register today »

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Three things to keep in mind about your reputation

More wisdom from Seth Godin:

Three things to keep in mind about your reputation

  1. Your reputation has as much impact on your life as what you actually do.
  2. Early assumptions about you are sticky and are difficult to change.
  3. The single best way to maintain your reputation is to do things you’re proud of. Gaming goes only so far.

Source: Seth’s Blog: Three things to keep in mind about your reputation

In dentistry reputation is everything. Read the linked post, it is short and worth the effort.

New technology, especially the Internet and social media have accelerated the age old word of mouth process. Your reputation can be tarnished in the click of an eye. Because our reputations are so valuable dentists are especially concerned about online reviews and other social media.

Godin reminds us (as stated in #2 above) first impressions are still very powerful. If a patient comes away from a first visit with a positive first impression it is unlikely he/she will be persuaded you are a jerk based on an online review. However if the first impression the potential new patient gets of you comes from a negative online review it will be harder for you to overcome the impression and win them over. In fact it is probable that the potential new patient will simply go elsewhere and you will never get a chance to win them over.

The second big take away is that a good reputation comes from doing good things.

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Charts in the Cloud, who owns the data?

saved by the cloud... or not

When we buy a paper book or a DVD video what we are really doing is assuring access to that “content” whenever we want. If we want to read it or view it we just go to the shelf and get it. But if we can just go to the Internet and get it streamed to our e-reader we have the same benefit of ownership we just don’t actually have a physical book. But do you really own that e-book?

So how about a patient chart? We have charts stacked on shelves because we need assured access to that info whenever we need it. However if we could get the same chart info from the cloud anywhere any time wouldn’t that be just as good. In fact better as you could get the data at home or while traveling you don’t have to actually be at your office.

From a purely intellectual point of view cloud storage of digital content makes perfect sense it just seems strange and risky to us. Just as we are becoming comfortable with storing important information in the cloud another huge data breach is announced on the news. Then there is the other question. Who owns data in the cloud?

The vast majority of reported data breaches in healthcare (62%) are the result of lost or stolen computers. Not malicious hackers. That means that cloud based record storage is actually safer than storing the data on a computer in your closet. If the data is in the cloud there is no need to have the data stored on a local computer. If a burglar steals a computer out of the office that has no patient data on it there is no breach.

Data storage is just one aspect of cloud computing. What is even better but also even harder to accept is that the actual computing takes place in the cloud. We don’t have any software applications installed on our local computer we just exchange data with a big server in the sky and the actual processing of the data takes place in the cloud.

This idea was originally called ASP (Application Service Provider) and has been a wonderful but elusive geek dream for almost twenty years. Several dental management systems have been launched based on the ASP or cloud model and the early ones all failed. As have most of the general cloud based business applications. They failed for a variety of reasons including people’s distrust of the Internet and worries about the system failing.

With the new attitude, faster Internet access and just overall better systems cloud based dental systems are back. They are Curve Dental, Dentrix Ascend and PlanetDDS.

Originally published on Emmott on Technology.

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New Healthcare Domains

domain-names

The new healthcare domains are significantly more expensive than the usual .com domains. Around $65 as opposed to $10 or less for most .com names.

HealthcareDomain-620x184

….. Check to see if your domain is available with our Domain Name Search tool.

Source: Domain Name Registration | Domain Name Search | NetworkSolutions.com

At this time people think just in terms of .com and usually an alternative domain like .net or .biz is not all that useful. However as we continue to grow and use the Internet more diverse domain names will be needed and eventually having a .dental will be valuable.

The graphic and link above is from NetworkSolutions. I looked for these same alternative domains, like .dental on Go Daddy and did not see them offered.

For $65 it could be a good investment, however I would not use it as my primary URL just yet.

Originally posted on Emmott on Technology

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Big Time Fines – HIPAA and the punitive fines that are being levied on medical and dental facilities

data-security

The ADA News reports that a North Carolina ortho clinic has agreed to pay $750,000 to the federal government to settle charges that the clinic potentially violated the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) in 2013 by giving patient information to a potential business partner without a Business Associate Agreement (BAA).The clinic was fined three quarters of a million dollars just because they failed to execute a business associate agreement with a company that was duplicating x-rays.

There is no indication that any patient data was compromised, no patients suffered identity theft or were harmed in any way. The clinic simply failed to do some paper work.

As frightening as that is, this is worse. A medical research group has agreed to a $3.9 million settlement after an investigation determined that a stolen laptop contained the electronic protected health information (EPHI) of approximately 13,000 patients.

NOTE: The data was not hacked. It was exposed when a laptop was stolen. There is no evidence presented that the data was used in a malicious fashion or that anyone was harmed by identity theft.

The fine amounts to $300 for each of the 13,000 records that were lost.

If you lost a laptop or a thumb-drive with your 3000 dental patient records on it then an equivalent fine would be $900,000. Your liability insurance will not cover this fine. Could you stay in business if you were required to pay almost a million dollars out of pocket?

You can protect yourself in three ways.

1. Ensure that all patient data stored anywhere is stored in an encrypted fashion.
2. Do not store patient data on a local computer but keep all PHI in the cloud.
3. Get adequate insurance. (see below)

PCIHIPAA
Most dental liability policies do not cover HIPAA violations or else have very low limits. My friends at PCIHIPAA provide insurance that can cover you if you do have a data breach.

A technology risk assessment is required in order for your office to be HIPAA Compliant. A great way to get started with PCIHIPAA is to take advantage of their free assessment. Find out about any potential risks, what you can do about them and get a quote on insurance to cover you just in case.

Free Assessment

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