Cyber Security for Dental Practices

Stuart J. Oberman

The provision of healthcare is changing at a rapid pace as healthcare providers endeavor to maintain maximum efficiency while navigating the technology rich climate. As a result of the reliance on electronic data, dental offices have become vulnerable to cyber security threats. The growing volume and sophistication of cyber-attacks suggest that dental practices will have to grow increasingly vigilant to ward off these threats. A breach of cyber security will inevitably lead to significant expenses, both financial and reputational, which can wreak havoc on a dental practice.

Many dentists believe that cyber criminals are not a threat to their small dental offices. However, when choosing between a large corporation or bank with security teams and firewalls preventing access to databases and a dental office with no firewall or security team, the dental practice will be the chosen target. In fact, many hackers specifically target small dental offices because they believe that the small business may not have the resources for sophisticated security devices and do not enforce employee security policies.

Communicating Effectively With Employees

Peter Gopal, PhD

Communicating Effectively With Employees

Good communications between an owner dentist and his staff is one of the key components to creating a dental practice that is harmonious and enjoyable. Research shows that more than 50% of a dentist’s time is spent communicating in some form or another. Is it any surprise then, that one of the most common employee complaints is poor communication? Typically, when poor communication exists, the office suffers high turnover rates, things fall through the cracks, errors mount, and doctor frustration increases.

The lack of management training in dental school leaves most dentists ill prepared for all the staff-related hurdles they will have to deal with when they leave school to start their own practices. So in order to become a truly effective owner and leader, they must actively hone and master their communications skills. By becoming a better communicator, they can build and sustain an office team that is both cooperative and productive.

This article will discuss some of the basic elements of communications, outline some pitfalls, and provide tips on how to better communicate with employees in various situations that arise in a dental office setting.

What are Patients Buying From a Dentist?

Jenny de St. Georges

Marketing Concern 101
Dentists and staff are advised by many marketing gurus and management consultants to grow their practices by asking their current patients for referrals. In theory, this sounds quite easy. One just opens one’s mouth and says “Mrs. Patient, please send us your friends, neighbors, relatives and co-workers.”

In reality, for most doctors and teams, this rather direct approach causes stress, nervousness and a feeling of not being comfortable in one’s own skin. As a result, many practices tend to fall into one of two categories. They are a practice, which avoids this approach completely, thereby missing a potential marketing opportunity.

Or, they make the effort, but their inability to feel confident and relaxed with this approach has some unfortunate and not always realized consequences. Firstly, the practice can come across as looking a little desperate for new patients. Secondly, the asker’s insecurity does not inspire confidence. As confidence is the No. 1 thing patients are buying from a dentist, this less-than-confident approach may well not inspire the patient to actively refer.

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