A doctor’s role in bringing in new technology doesn’t end with writing the check—it also includes attending training sessions along with your staff and harnessing the full power of your new system. Mark Setter, DDS, MS explains the many benefits proper implementation will have on your practice.
While incorporating digital technology into the practice can streamline your overall workflow and enhance diagnoses, being fully trained on your equipment can have a positive impact on you and your staff for years to come.
User-centered design and the voice of the customer drives innovation at Carestream Dental. Designers, developers, researchers and product line managers are sent into the field to observe the day-to-day workflows of real practices. Once a product is in the development stages, industry leaders are invited to the company headquarters to put the technology through its paces to ensure engineers are working in the right direction.
At the Global Oral Health Summit—being held Nov. 9-11 at the Gaylord Texan Resort and Convention Center just outside Dallas, Texas—this focus on the end-user can be seen throughout the event. Not only was the educational program designed with the input of real software users, but Carestream Dental’s designers, developers and leadership will be onsite seeking feedback and insight from attendees on the future of Carestream Dental technology. Numerous unique opportunities have been included in the program to give attendees and Carestream Dental staff time to interact and discuss what’s up-and-coming in the oral health field. Continue reading
Online marketing is changing the way businesses market themselves—and that includes dental practices. Today, prospective patients want to see more than the website. They also want to see the doctor and staff that they will interact with.
In this video, Janice Hurley, Dentistry’s Image Expert, explains the role that videos play in your marketing. From using professional videos on your website to shorter, more informal videos on Facebook, video marketing allows practices to connect more with people than images alone.
Has your practice embraced the use of videos in your marketing plan?
User-centered designed has driven software innovation at Carestream Dental for the past several years, and listening to the voice of the customer has always played a key role in developing new products. The educational program for the 2018 Global Oral Health Summit is no different. When it came to assembling the program, Carestream Dental sought the feedback of past Summit attendees to learn more about what real users wanted to learn more about.
The expertise of Dawn Hill, Jan Odell, Angie Minks, Misty Mattingly, Jerilyn Bird, Barb Nissen, Carol Chambers and Barb Houser, all volunteers, were called upon to help the Carestream Dental team develop a carefully curated program and event experience. Along with user experience designers and trainers, the volunteers, reviewed all purposed sessions and provided valuable feedback to ensure the educational program would meet the needs of attendees by addressing the challenges real practices and teams face every day.
Ultimately—and in keeping with the workflow-based theme of the Summit, “Where Your Practice Meets Proficiency”—the courses selected for the Summit support one of the following concepts: Developing an Effective Dental Practice, Patient Engagement, Consultation, Case Acceptance, Patient Care and Treatment and Patient Billing and Patient Follow-Up. Continue reading
By Roy Spence
Co-Founder & Chariman, GSD&M/Co-Founder & CEO, The Purpose Institute
Aristotle once said the purpose of life is to do good and be happy. It’s so simple yet so powerful, and it’s a thought that has shaped my thinking around the idea of “purpose.”
Defined simply, purpose is the reason why you exist and should be what drives you towards all your goals in life. It’s a concept that starts at home; essentially, stop asking your kids what they want to do and instead ask them what they love to do. And wouldn’t be great if schools put more emphasis on developing a sense of purpose and talent in students rather than simply passing tests? Once you have established your purpose, it will influence every aspect of your life.
I highly encourage individuals to find their purpose, but it’s an idea that easily translates to business as well. A practice’s purpose differs from its mission in that purpose is the practice’s “why” and mission is its “how.” Why does your practice exist? To provide every patient with a beautiful, healthy smile. How will your practice accomplish that? By delivering exceptional patient care. Vision, by the way, is how you see the world when you’re fulfilling your purpose, i.e., your practice can see a time when everyone will have access to great oral health care. It’s so important that practices clearly establish their purpose and rally their team around it. It’s the difference between waking up in the morning and thinking, “Today, I have to take 10 X-rays, perform 15 prophies, do two extractions…” and “Today, I get to make a difference in a patient’s life!” A practice’s purpose is a higher calling that motivates and encourages engagement. Continue reading
In oral healthcare, clinical expertise and experience should count for more than technology—but the truth is that patients do judge their doctors by the technology they use. It can take as many as 25 years to become a great dentist or specialist, but these days it only take 25 minutes to look the part, especially when leveraging technology at a higher level. Patients often judge practices by their technological expertise and their perception may even start when looking at your Internet presence (website, reviews, etc.) From there, it continues with their interaction with the front desk staff all the way throughout their clinical exam. For this reason, it’s imperative that the impression you make with your technology is a good one from the start.
Keeping your patients happy has a direct impact on your bottom line, which includes:
- Attracting new quality patients
- Increasing treatment acceptance
- Retaining patients and decreasing patient turnover
The following chart also demonstrates how technological competency plays a role in improving the patient experience.
||How It Helps Patients
||How It Helps You
|Instant Access to Images
||Patients these days are busy. Whether a parent has taken his or her child out of school for an ortho records appointment or your patient is missing work for dental restorative appointment, reducing the length of patient visits is important. With fast image acquisitions and efficient access to historical image data, you can get patients in and out in a timely manner without them feeling rushed.
- Digital technology produces images instantly—without the delays caused by processing film.
- By capturing images with digital technology—such as direct digital sensors or phosphor plates—you no longer have to purchase expensive consumables, such as film or chemistry.
||Patients want to feel in charge of their health. By “co-discovering” problem areas with you via a monitor, you give them the opportunity to play an active role in their oral health.
- Allowing patients to co-discover problems with you improves understanding and increases case acceptance.
- Patients who are satisfied with their care are more likely to return and also recommend your practice to their friends and family.
||Some dental symptoms are asymptomatic, so patients aren’t often aware that a problem exists. By putting an image on the monitor, patients receive visual cues about the treatment needs that must be addressed.
- When patients are able to visualize the problem, they are more likely to accept your treatment recommendation.
- Digital images are usually displayed larger than those captured with film, which allows patients to participate more than before.
Patients are more likely to refer others to you if they feel safe and if they believe that you’re investing in your practice. You show them how much you care when investing in technology that aids in efficiency and raises your diagnostic accuracy.
Updating your technology will not only have an impact on your existing patients but it can also impress prospective patients as well. Featuring technology as an important part of your treatment philosophy enables you to stand apart from other practices in the community and allows your philosophy of technological competency to ring out loud.
Have you found that your patients judge your practice based on your technology? How has it affected your practice?
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 Dr. Bethany Valachi, PT, DPT, MS, CEAS
Imagine spending $1,500 on new loupes and then developing neck pain—or your existing neck pain worsens. This is an all-too-common problem that I frequently encounter in my dental ergonomic consultations and among my dental students. On the other hand, I have repeatedly seen well-designed ergonomic loupes that improve or completely resolve neck pain. So how do you know if your loupes are improving or worsening your health?
Of all the criteria for selecting loupes (working distance, frame size, scope position, declination angle, co-axial adjustment), declination angle is the most important ergonomic factor that can make or break your health.
Studies show that working with the neck flexed forward only 20 degrees or more for 70 percent of the working time has been associated with neck pain. While no loupe systems provide completely neutral head posture (ear-over-shoulder), loupes with a steep declination angle may significantly improve operator working postures in dentistry, thereby lessening risk of musculoskeletal disorders and improving clinician comfort. Therefore, to prevent musculoskeletal injury, loupes should enable you to work with less than 20 degrees of neck flexion.
By William J. Moorhead, D.M.D.
To some people, “time-out” implies “sporting event.” To others, it means “parenting strategy.”
Time-outs have been used in medicine for several years. In surgery with the surgical team, time-outs verify such areas as:
- Patient’s name
- Date of birth
- Consent form had been signed
- Drug allergies
- The kind of surgery being performed
In our practice, we use time-outs as a planned pause before the start of treatment to focus on safety and patient communication. Continue reading
By William J. Moorhead, D.M.D.
Can the design of your medical and dental history forms affect efficiency? Yes, definitely. In fact, a well designed form not only saves time, it can facilitate diagnosis and motivate your patients.
Today, most practice management systems have online forms, which enable patients to register and complete their medical and dental history in advance. This can streamline the appointment—but only if the forms are designed with the patient in mind. If you discover that patients are filling out the forms incorrectly or if they are omitting information, it’s likely time to rethink your forms.
When you develop the medical and dental history section of your forms, develop questions so that a “yes” answer requires the doctor’s attention. For example, change the question “are you satisfied with the color of your teeth?” to “would you like whiter teeth?” This approach can speed your review process, because you can quickly decipher where to focus your attention. Continue reading