Today, there are very few dental practices that do not have a practice management system installed. The days of front office staff flicking through a paper diary and shuffling notes from dentist to hygienist are long gone for most. Owners and practice managers spend hours researching the best system to suit their practice’s needs; perhaps they are a multi-site practice and so need a system that can cope with different locations, or maybe they require a piece of their existing equipment to integrate seamlessly with the software. The decision is an important one, as a lot of time and money is being invested. Sometimes, the area that can get overlooked due to resource constraints is the dental team’s involvement. Their inclusion and motivation for the practice management system is essential in its long-term success and full utilization.
Training the Team
If you are about to install a new system—or you are changing to alternative software—the initial training and ongoing support of the whole dental team is pivotal in its success. Even if there are members of the team who will use it to a lesser degree than others, their understanding of how the program works and where they can find certain information might prove beneficial in the future. Suppliers of practice management systems should offer comprehensive guidance and support for all members of staff; this should also be part of the decision maker’s criteria when assessing which system to purchase. Often, the training provided is an assortment of face-to-face teaching, self paced online training and written instructions, and then—when needed post-launch—webinars, telephone interactions and online forum support as appropriate. Continue reading
By Gary Salman
Carestream Dental U.S. Director, Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery
When I talk to doctors who are still using paper charts in their practices, they all have one thing in common: they resist electronic medical records (EMR) because they’re certain that the switch from paper will be painful. While the transition is not a walk in the park, the challenges that EMR addresses make it a worthwhile effort. Consider these points: Continue reading
Many areas of the dental practice are now influenced or controlled by digital features. Most practices have already adopted some element of technology to help improve the efficiency of the business and the outcome for their patients. The majority, however, still have opportunities to integrate further digital alternatives.
Why haven’t practice owners converted to digital wherever possible? There are a number of reasons why, but they usually come down to two: cost and time. In comparison, the lucky few who have adopted digital dentistry are “innovators,” embracing technology to the fullest, and reaping the rewards.
Where is digital dentistry in the practice?
In the last few decades, digital options have become available in both the clinical and business side of dental practices, including:
- Shade matching
- Computer-aided design and manufacture (CAD/CAM)
- Diagnosis and analysis, such as detection for caries, temporomandibular joint and muscle disorders
- Practice management
The latter, although it does not have a clinical application, is becoming increasingly important in this era, since records and reports are essential to meeting organizational and legal standards. Improvements in practice management software—and the range of products available—mean that practices are becoming more efficient as businesses. Continue reading
“Theft and loss amount to 62% of reported data breaches.”
Are you afraid of some sinister hacker lurking in cyberspace ready to pounce on your dental office data? Are you at risk of a dental data breach?
If you experience a significant (500 or more records) data breach, you are subject to onerous and expensive HIPAA rules of notification—and even possible fines. A data breach is a real and potentially serious problem for dental offices.
However, very few reported medical dental data breaches are the result of hackers. According to the Health and Human Services website, the biggest type of breach—by far, at about 50 percent—is theft. Not theft of data, but theft of a computer. Burglars break into the office and steal a computer or someone takes a backup from the backseat of a car. Twelve percent of data breaches are loss. Again—not lost data—lost hardware, a misplaced laptop or thumb drive. Theft and loss amount to 62 percent of reported data breaches. Continue reading
It is a basic characteristic of human nature that we overestimate our own capabilities relative to those of others. Behavioral scientists label this “Illusory Superiority”.
A familiar example is driving, where a 1981 survey found that 93% of US drivers rated themselves as having above average skill, and 88% considered themselves to be safer than average. This is an obvious statistical impossibility. It also explains something important about embezzlement.
As the CEO of the world’s largest dental embezzlement investigation firm, I am consulted on hundreds of embezzlement matters annually, and this work provides insight into embezzlement unavailable to anyone else. Continue reading
As the owner of Prosperident, a dental embezzlement investigation firm, I understand the importance of security for dental practices. One solution that practices may consider when protecting their patient and business information is switching from server-based to cloud-hosted dental practice management software.
Dental practices deal with highly sensitive data that is protected by HIPPA, and this should be a consideration when choosing your dental practice management software. Storing your important files in the cloud provides a number of security benefits, including:
- reducing the risk of server hacks
- preventing the need to back up data externally
- making it easier to perform discreet embezzlement investigation
- ensuring that software is always up to date
- improving network security