Thursday, June 27, 2019

Grays Harbor Community Hospital Forced to Initiate Protocol for Downtime of Electronic Health Record

 


As Technology Evangelist but also as a huge Nirvana fan, I was immediately drawn to this story.  It deals with Grays Harbor Community Hospital in the small town of Aberdeen, Washington.  For those of you not steeped in the lore of Nirvana, Kurt Cobain and bassist Krist Novoselic were both born and raised in Aberdeen.  Nirvana frontman Cobain was actually born the this hospital.

So this post deals with a couple of things I’m fond of which are Nirvana and Technology.

It seems that there have been some issues with Grays Harbor Community.  For reasons that have not been released to the public, the medical records systems in use are not communicating with one another.  The hospital itself is run by one Electronic Health Record system (EHR), while the Harbor Medical Group rural health and speciality clinics are run by a separate system.  Basically any information entered into the hospital’s EHR system are not being communicated to the Harbor Medical Group system.  Obviously this has the potential to create some serious bottlenecks or potential for errors.

As an example, the hospital is stating that lab work run on a blood sample is readily available in the hospital, but doctors outside the hospital have no way to access that data.

The situation has become serious enough that the administrative arm of the system has voluntarily entered into the EHR downtime protocol.  This move has forced clinicians and support staff to begin using paper health records when interacting with patients.  This has created a system where communication of things such as the lab results mentioned above are being given to offices via phone calls instead of secure HIPAA compliant electronic means.

This is one of the potential problems of dealing with technology, but the IT professionals are hard at work on a solution that they hope to implement this week.  This is also a good reason for keeping all IT systems under one provider.  Over the years I’ve warned against having one database for images, one for charting, one for 3D, etc.  For small entities such as dental offices this greatly simplifies IT issues as well as simplifying backup processes as well.  I’d much rather backup one database with all of my information than ensure I’ve got 3 or 4 all backed up securely with no corruption.

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

What is the Point of the Stickers, Anyway?

      


Sometimes life just throws things at you and you have too vent.  This post is about one of those things.

I recently had to upgrade my DDS Rescue system.  It’s a tremendous office backup system that uses both a local device that provides *constant* backups as well as a cloud component that stores a HIPAA secure backup of all my data in the cloud.  It really is the best of both worlds and I highly recommend using this service.  

As you can well imagine, we create a LOT of digital data in the office and my older DDS Rescue device was starting to fill up.  We simply had too much data and the hard drives in the smaller device were maxed out.

In order to fix the problem, the good folks at DDS Rescue sent me a new device.  While we continued to use our old device the company took our data from the cloud and copied it onto 2 brand spanking new hard drives.  The idea was,  instead of starting a backup from scratch which takes a while, we would simply put in hard drives that only needed to backup a few days of data.  That way things would quickly be back to normal.  The old system would continue to do the back-ups while the new system was catching up.  Once they were both mirror images of each other, we could disconnect the old system from the network and let the new system take its place.  That sounds easy right?

Actually is *was* easy.  However there were a few tense moments yesterday when the box with the hard drives arrived.  As you can see from the  pictures above, the concept of “Fragile” just didn’t seem to apply to this box.

The good news is that the drives suffered no damage.  We plugged them into the new DDS Rescue device and all was well.  However, it could have been a pain if the drives had been damaged.  Then we would have had to create all the data on new drives, ship the new ones in, and start all over.

So my point is, what good did the stickers do here?  Obviously this is not due to DDS Rescue, but instead, the responsibility rests on the shipping folks.  All I really want was just a little note attached saying “sorry, we messed up” or something like that.  I’m not that hard to get along with.  But just sending the box on through the system looking like that with “Fragile” all over it?  Seriously?

Thanks for letting me vent…  Back to more interesting topics tomorrow!

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

More Oral-Systemic Connection Evidence? Mouth Bacteria Found in Stroke Victim Brain Clots

 


I recently came across some truly interesting info and stats regarding the interconnection of the mouth, the organisms found there, and the impact they have on the rest of the body.  This area has come to be known as the “oral-systemic connection” with experts and researchers discovering more and greater links.

Now a Finnish research group has found that the brains of people who have had strokes have bacteria commonly found in the mouth inside the clots that caused the stroke.  The group has been investigating this possible link for over 10 years and have now published their findings in the May 23 issue of the Journal of the American Heart Association.  

The investigators examined the blockages of 75 patients who had suffered an ischemic stroke.  They discovered that 63 of the 75 patients (84%) had bacterial DNA in their clot.Among those, 59 had a stain of streptococci commonly in the mouth that can cause infections if they are released into the bloodstream.  These bacteria are the ones that can cause endocarditis which is a serious infection of the heart, including its valves, muscle, and lining.

This study is the "first to show common presence of [this] bacterial DNA in ischemic stroke patients,” according to the lead author of the study.

Obviously inflamed gum tissues can lead to bleeding which then can result in bacteria from the mouth entering the bloodstream.  It now appears possible that this bacterial loading of the bloodstream could very well contribute to the accumulation of plaque buildups in the walls of blood vessels.  This causes blood vessels to narrow which can lead to high blood pressure or, more seriously, can narrow the vessels to the point that the tissues they feed become starved of oxygen and nutrients which can lead to tissue death.  Narrowing and blockage of vessels in the heart is what causes a heart attack (myocardial infarction) or in the brain an ischemic stroke (which are around 87% of all strokes).

The data indicates this is one more link to the “oral-systemic connection” and could very well mean that healthier mouth and gums leads to overall greater health of the cardiovascular system.

Monday, June 24, 2019

Academy of Laser Dentistry Kicks-Off Webinar Series with “Dentistry’s New Secret Weapon: Photobiomodulation - Low Level Lasers”

 


The Academy of Laser Dentistry (ALD), the only independent and unbiased non-profit association dedicated to improving patient care with the proper use of laser technology, will be kicking-off a new CE webinar series under the theme, “Where Clinical Efficiency Meets Business Success.”
According to ALD Executive Director, Gail Siminovsky, CAE, “For more than 25 years, the ALD has been dedicated to providing its members with the tools they need for achieving clinical and business success in laser dentistry. Our new webinar series is the latest example. What’s more, these presentations will be available on-demand for convenient ALD member access throughout the world.”

The ALD CE Webinar Series is free to members, but non-members will be able to participate for $50.00 per session and receive 1 CEU. “We believe having the ability to access all our webinars as many times as you want is a valuable benefit of being an ALD member,” explains Siminovsky.
The ALD CE Webinar Series will kick-off on July 24th from 7-8 pm EDT with “Dentistry’s New Secret Weapon: Photobiomodulation - Low Level Lasers.” This session will demonstrate how the power of low-level lasers can be used to heal tissue quickly and reduce pain without the use of opioids.

The presenter, internationally-renown PBM expert Dr. Gerry Ross will also explain the underlying science behind PBM, proper PBM dosage, which lasers on the market are designed for PBM and the revenue-building benefits of adopting PBM in your practice.

Other webinars currently planned for the ALD CE Webinar Series include the following*:
• August: Advances in Sleep Apnea Diagnosis and Treatment
• September: Biofilm Control as an Adjunct to Soft Tissue Laser Treatment
• October: Improving Implant Outcomes with Laser Surgery
• November: Using Lasers Effectively for Treating Periodontal Disease
• December: Year-End & New Year Financial Planning Considerations
• January: The Laser-Equipped Hygienist
• February: Successfully Treating Tethered Oral Tissues (TOTs) with Lasers
• March: Asset Protection, Tax Savings and Lawsuit Prevention
* Final schedule subject to change. Presenters to be announced on the ALD CE Webinar Series web page.

To reserve your spot for the July 24th webinar “Dentistry’s New Secret Weapon: Low Lever Lasers,” click here: http://bit.ly/2MRVZzr. be sure to visit this page frequently for the latest confirmed webinar dates, times, topics and presenters.

About the Academy of Laser Dentistry:
The Academy of Laser Dentistry (ALD) is the only independent and unbiased non-profit association devoted to laser dentistry and includes clinicians, academicians and researchers in all laser wavelengths. The Academy is devoted to clinical education, research, and the development of standards and guidelines for the safe and effective use of dental laser technology. ALD was founded in 1993, with the merging of the International Academy of Laser Dentistry, the North American Academy of Laser Dentistry and the American Academy of Laser Dentistry. For more information, visit www.LaserDentistry.org.

Thursday, June 20, 2019

Cosmedent Continuing Education Course Fall 2019

 


Dr. Buddy Mopper will be presenting “The 3-P’s of Composite Bonding: Potential, Predictability and Profitability” at a new location, The University of Chicago’s Gleacher Center in downtown Chicago on September 27, 2019.

Dr. Mopper is one of the pioneers of direct resin bonding who has taught thousands of clinicians how to successfully incorporate direct resin bonding into their practices. In this 7 CE-credit course, you will understand how to utilize bonding in ways you never expected.

Join this class and discover how to treat more patients chairside. Learn all the composite dentistry that you may be missing in your practice and how doing more of it can benefit you financially and professionally. This full-day lecture will teach you how to make long-lasting, seamless and invisible restorations of all types. Learn an in-depth direct approach technique for Class III, Class IV, Class V, diastema closure, direct resin veneer, masking dark teeth, incisal reinforcement, repairs and more. From simple techniques to advanced techniques, this course covers it all.

Call Erika at 800-837-2321 or visit www.CEEchicago.com to register. Hurry, seating is limited, and this lecture will fill-up fast!

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

FDA Grapples with Artificial Intelligence & Machine Learning

 


It’s an interesting time to be alive, no doubt about it.  And it is *especially* an interesting time to be practicing in the healthcare arena.

The world is seeing an incredible increase in systems that are using Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning to take human beings out of the loop and increase the efficiency that computers bring to many processes that require pattern recognition.  For more than a year I’ve been working with a company called Parallel Dots that is working on a system called Dentistry A.I. that is bringing computer processing power to the realm of helping to read radiographs (x-rays).

The problem with these types of systems is to make sure they truly work as promised and that is the job of the FDA.  The federal agency reviews data and studies submitted by manufacturers and determines the safety and efficacy of them.  However, programs that learn and constantly change/update themselves are way different than a device used, for example, to deliver medications to a patient.

Due to this difference, the FDA is looking at ways to evaluate these new devices and programs that promise to greatly enhance and speed up diagnostics and other parts of the healthcare system.  Recently the FDA put a post on their website where the agency outlined some ideas on how they plan to approve these types of devices and systems.  The post states, in part, that:

Artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies have the potential to transform health care by deriving new and important insights from the vast amount of data generated during the delivery of health care every day. Medical device manufacturers are using these technologies to innovate their products to better assist health care providers and improve patient care. The FDA is considering a total product lifecycle-based regulatory framework for these technologies that would allow for modifications to be made from real-world learning and adaptation, while still ensuring that the safety and effectiveness of the software as a medical device is maintained.

The thoughts and points outlined in the post are interesting and forward thinking.  If you would like to read the entire post, follow this link.

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

What You Need to Know about Infection Control in a Digital World

 


At Dental Products Report, we often devote an issue to a certain topic and cover that topic from a variety of angles.  One of the recent topics we covered was infection control.  

Obviously in any healthcare environment, infection control is a key component.  However, with practices becoming more and more digital entities, I thought it was important to take a look at infection control in digital systems.  Here’s what I came up with:

In the years I’ve been in dentistry, we’ve seen phenomenal changes in infection control, both in hardware, delivery, materials, techniques and practically anything else that comes  into contact with the patient’s body.
As strange as it may seem to many of you reading this, there are a good number of doctors currently practicing who can remember providing treatment without wearing gloves.
The knowledge base that scientists and government organizations had should have been much more concerned about infection control and cross contamination in the late ‘70s and early '80s. Unfortunately, it took the tragedy of the AIDS epidemic to bring the focus of the CDC and OSHA to bear on both patient and employee safety. While there had been limited attempts to decrease possibilities of cross-contamination before, a serious threat created an incredible focus of resources on the problems.
Looking back on the idea of Universal Precautions with the hindsight of 30 years makes the practice obvious. However, at the time there was actually pushback from some individuals who thought loss of tactile sensation by using gloves would usher in a wave of subpar dentistry. Of course, those concerns seem almost silly now, but I can assure you, at the time those concerns were heard frequently.
Refocusing our concerns
As the Technology Evangelist, I’m now attempting to turn the profession’s eyes, ears and concerns in the direction of a different type of infection control. In 2006, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) began discussing the costs of healthcare as a percentage of GNP. The government was anticipating that by the year 2030, healthcare could potentially be 30 percent of the U.S. GNP. The concern? That any country spending that much on the health of its citizens can’t compete in the global economy.
That’s the reason there has been such a focus on the electronic health record (EHR) and other ways to increase the efficiency of healthcare delivery. The hope is that by increasing efficiency, costs can be decreased.
However, with the focus on using technology to increase efficiency, very few have stopped to consider the potential problems of digital security, or as I like to refer to it, “Digital Infection Control Engineering (DICE).”

You can’t get there from here
A brief history lesson is in order to put things in perspective. As the world became connected through the internet, organized crime saw huge potential profits through the use of spam email. There were many scams used, but the one that generated the most profits (and hence became the most popular with criminals) was the “online pharmacy.”
The fall of the Soviet Union left things highly unregulated as well as unmonitored. Many criminal enterprises sprung up in this “Wild West” environment driven by the desire for huge amounts of untaxed income.
They created tsunamis of spam that advertised “Canadian” pharmacies that sold medications below the prices available in America. Unknowing U.S. citizens, many of them senior citizens looking to save money on their prescriptions, ordered. They thought they were dealing with legitimate pharmacies, but instead, the drugs were manufactured in areas with little or no quality control. Russian criminals made obscene profits while patients were paying for medications that were not always 100 percent of what they were expecting.
The rest of the article can be found here…

Monday, June 17, 2019

Something that Could Reduce Opiate Necessity after Surgery or just a ‘Cool’ New Product?

 


A colleague just made me aware of this new product that looks really interesting and is used after surgery to reduce swelling and might just minimize dependency on pain killers. The new product is called Denta-Cool and is currently being used in the medical field for cancer patients after Chemo treatment with great results.  It’s a pretty simple concept - an icy mouthpiece you use after oral surgery. They have some kind of patented technology that makes it work. I’m going to evaluate it and let you know what I think.

There’s limited research on cryotherapy. Here’s what we know.

The first available report of oral cryotherapy is the use of ice to ease toothache, published in 1988. However, in the last decade, several individual research studies have reported the benefits of oral cryotherapy in treating dental conditions.
• A study in 2010 reported that the use of ice popsicles reduced discomfort and self-mutilation in children after dental treatment
A study in 2016 on 75 teeth undergoing single-visit root canal treatment showed that irrigation with cold (2–4 °C) saline after root canal treatment resulted in significantly lesser pain
• A similar study in 2017 reported pain reduction in root canal treatment of teeth with vital pulps
• A study in 2015 on extracted teeth found that a five-minute irrigation of 20 teeth with cold (2.5 °C) saline resulted in a 10 °C temperature reduction of root surfaces for four minutes
• In 2013, a study on 86 teeth reported the reduction of bacteria (Enterococcus faecalis) in root canals due to irrigation with a cryogenic fluid
• In addition, oral cryotherapy was shown to be a potentially useful treatment for inflammatory conditions of the mouth such as specific types of gingival hyperplasia. In this study, liquid nitrogen was sprayed directly onto the tooth surface after xylocaine administration. Six sessions each consisting of four 20–30-second applications followed by 30-second thawing were used and found to be effective

If you’ve every sprained your ankle or been stung by a bee, common sense tells us that cold therapy will reduce swelling. So, it stands to reason 30 minutes of cryotherapy will have some effect - the jury is still  out on how much it helps. But the game-changer is if it works well enough to reduce or even eliminate opioids which is a hot topic right now.

You can check it out here and get a free sample to see if it works for your patients. I’ve ordered one and will let you know my findings down the road.

Thursday, June 13, 2019

Ultradent’s VALO™ Curing Light and Gemini™ 810 + 980 Diode LaserWin 2019 Cellerant Best of Class Technology Awards

 


About 20 years ago I was approached by a friend, Dr. Lou Shuman, who at that time was president of the Pride Institute.  A huge percentage of Pride clients were asking their consultants to help them evaluate and determine the best high tech tools to invest in.  These practices understood the direction the profession was going in.  They wanted to ride the high tech wave into the land of efficiency and higher profitability, but they also wanted to be sure they were investing their resources in the right directions *and* the right vendors.  They were asking Pride to help provide guidance for this journey.

Lou reached out to me with a terrific idea.  He envisioned putting a panel of dentistry’s preeminent tech leaders together and having them discuss and vote on what they considered to be the “Best of Class”.  That way doctors could have access to an unbiased panel of experts who would provide a yearly update on their opinions of what tech was truly the best, most innovative, and most game changing for the practice looking for leading edge products and techniques.

Since the group’s inception all those years ago, we have spent countless hours researching the best options our profession has to choose from.  This is a job that we take very seriously and we work incredibly hard to create the and cull the list that becomes the “Best of Class” awards for each calendar year.  Now that the winners for 2019 have been announced, you’ll be seeing lots of information about the winning products and the braintrusts that form the companies behind those products.  As a Cellerant member, this is my favorite time of year.

Many companies manage to put one product into the list on occasion, but it is the best of the best that manage to get 2 products there.  It’s even MORE rare for that to happen more than one year in a row. That’s why I’m so impressed with the success of Ultradent.Their VALO curing light is truly the best of the best (a many multi-year winner) and their Gemini Laser has one 2 years in a row.  Read on for information on these amazing devices and then call your Ultradent rep and order them!  These are truly game changers for your practice!


Ultradent Products, Inc., is pleased to announce that the Gemini  810 + 980 diode laser and the VALO curing light family—which includes the VALO and VALO Grand corded and cordless curing lights—have been selected as 2019 winners of the Cellerant “Best of Class” Technology Award. This is the VALO curing light’s sixth win and the Gemini laser’s third win. Now in its 11th year, the Cellerant Best of Class Technology Award recognizes manufacturers and service providers for their innovations and is one of the most prestigious dental industry honors.

“We are entering a new era in dentistry—one that will change how we diagnose, treat, and manage our patients and practices,” said Dr. Lou Shuman, CEO of Cellerant and founder of the Best of Class Technology Awards. “This was a breakthrough year in product and services technologies. The panel spent hundreds of hours in close discussion reviewing and analyzing the corporate landscape. Pay close attention to our winners as they are truly leading the way to provide you what is best in today’s contemporary practice.”

Of the Best of Class Honors, Ultradent’s global brand manager of equipment, Oliver Brown, said, “The VALO curing light family (VALO and VALO Grand) continues to be a wonderful culmination of brilliant clinical direction that has led to unsurpassed durability and incredible engineering, all in a sleek design. The precision that goes into every aspect of each VALO curing light is proof of the quality and care we strive to provide for our customers with products made for dentists by dentists. The Gemini 810 + 980 diode laser is another product that demonstrates our continued commitment to cutting edge innovation in the products we sell. We’re very grateful for the praise and recognition for both products from the highly respected Best of Class voters and the amazing Cellerant Consultant Group. It is truly an honor.”

Each year, Best of Class winners are chosen by a panel comprised of leading voices in dental technology who come together to discuss, debate, and decide which products merit recognition. “If there isn’t a clear winner in a category, then we don’t select one,” said Chris Salierno, DDS, Cellerant Best of Class panel member. “This award is about letting the public know when a company has raised the bar.” John Flucke, DDS, another Cellerant panel member added, “Our goal is to help the doctor make the best decisions for their office, which, in the end, benefits the patients that we all serve. I’m honored to be able to help my peers with the decision-making process and help them wade through a plethora of high-tech products that can change offices and lives for the better.”

The 2019 Cellerant Best of Class Technology Award is selected by a panel of the most prominent technology leaders in the industry: Paul Feurstein, DMD, technology editor for Dentistry Today, John Flucke, DDS, technology editor for Dental Products Report, Marty Jablow, DMD, known as American’s technology coach, Pamela Maragliano-Muniz, DMD, editor-in-chief of Inside Dental Hygiene, Chris Salierno, DDS, editor-in-chief of Dental Economics, and Lou Shuman, DMD, BAGS, founder and creator of the Best of Class Technology Award.

About Ultradent Products, Inc.

Ultradent Products, Inc., is a leading global developer and manufacturer of high-tech dental materials, devices, and instruments. Founded in 1978 as a family-owned company, Ultradent’s vision remains to continue to improve oral health globally by creating better dental products that set new industry standards. Ultradent also aims to improve quality of live and the health of individuals through financial and charitable programs.

About The Cellerant “Best of Class” Technology Awards

Since the inaugural presentation in 2009, the Best of Class Technology Awards have grown to occupy a unique space in dentistry by creating awareness in the community of manufacturers that are driving the discussion as to how practices will operate now and in the future.

The selection process relies on an expert panel of dentists recognized as thought leaders and educators. It includes Dr. Paul Feuerstein, Dr. John Flucke, Dr. Marty Jablow, Dr. Pamela Maragliano-Muniz, Dr. Chris Salierno, and Dr. Lou Shuman. Over the course of each year, the panel members seek out and conduct research on potentially practice-changing technologies, with deliberations on nominees and final voting taking place in February. Panelists are precluded from voting in any category where they have consulting relationships. The entire selection process is conducted and managed on a not-for-profit basis.
For more information on the Cellerant Best of Class Awards and the 2019 Award Winners, go to cellerantconsulting.com/bestofclass.
About Cellerant Consulting Group
Founded and led by CEO Dr. Lou Shuman, DMD, CAGS, Cellerant provides strategic dental market insights, clinical expertise, implementation resources and support to accelerate growth for client dental companies. Cellerant services include new concept incubation, clinical product evaluation, product development, continuing education program development and CE sponsorship, strategic branding and marketing, online marketing, content marketing, and dental media relations management. As an orthodontist and former owner of a 10-doctor multi-specialty private group practice, Dr. Shuman guides clients to offer products that engage dental customers and provide sustained differentiation. Cellerant operates under a unique model that merges leading voices in clinical product evaluation and strategic partner companies to provide a menu of services from one easily accessible network.
Press Contact for Cellerant
Lauren Burns Krzyzostaniak
Executive Consultant
Cellerant Consulting Group
Phone: 800.884.5707x107
lauren@cellerantconsulting.com
www.cellerantconsulting.com

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Congratulations to Patient Prism - A Cellerant Best of Class Technology Winner!

 


As a member of the Cellerant panel I can tell you that we take the responsibility of the voting very, very seriously.  That’s why I’m proud to say that Patient Prism was a first time winner this year.  The company has a unique product that I feel can benefit *any* practice whether it is just starting or a mature practice simply wanting to provide better coaching and profitability.

Give their info here a read.  I think you’ll be impressed.  I certainly was.

Patient Prism announced today it won a 2019 Cellerant Best of Class Technology Award, one of the most prestigious awards in dentistry.
Patient Prism is a patented call-tracking and call-coaching program that analyzes every new patient phone call, identifies individuals who end the call without booking, and provides rapid call analysis and effective training designed to win back that potential patient – all within one hour.
“As dentists, many of us spend a significant amount of money on advertising to generate new patients to secure practice growth. What we may not know is that we may be losing potential clients even though they took the next step to call the office,” said Pamela Maragliano-Muniz, DMD, a Cellerant Best of Class panel member. “Patient Prism helps to limit lost clientele and will help to create an effective calling experience with your office. It’s a must for most offices.”
“We are entering a new era in dentistry — one that will change how we diagnose, treat, and manage our patients and practices," said Dr. Lou Shuman, CEO of Cellerant and founder of the Best of Class Technology Awards. "This was a breakthrough year in product and services technologies. The panel spent hundreds of hours in close discussion reviewing and analyzing the corporate landscape. Pay close attention to our winners as they are truly leading the way to provide you what is best in today's contemporary practice.”
The 2019 Cellerant Best of Class Technology Award is selected by a panel of the most prominent technology leaders in dentistry: Paul Feuerstein, DMD, technology editor for Dentistry Today, John Flucke, DDS, technology editor for Dental Products Report, Marty Jablow, DMD, known as America’s technology coach, Pamela Maragliano-Muniz, DMD, editor-in-chief of Inside Dental Hygiene, Chris Salierno, DDS, editor-in-chief of Dental Economics, and Lou Shuman, DMD, CAGS, founder and creator of the Best of Class Technology Award.
“We set out to solve a problem that affects almost every dental practice: how to turn more callers into booked appointments. It’s an honor to receive this recognition and we look forward to accepting the award at the American Dental Association FDI World Dental Congress in San Francisco,” said Amol Nirgudkar, CEO of Patient Prism.
About Patient Prism
Patient Prism is a call-tracking and call-coaching software designed exclusively for dental offices to improve new patient call conversions and increase dental office revenue. Its patented solutions provide business analytics, coaching tips, and actionable data for improving staff performance, call conversions, and recovered revenue. For more information, visit http://www.PatientPrism.com or call (800) 381-3638.
About the Cellerant Best of Class Technology Award
Since the inaugural presentation in 2009, the Best of Class Technology Awards have grown to occupy a unique space in dentistry by creating awareness in the community of manufacturers that are driving the discussion as to how practices will operate now and in the future.
The selection process relies on an expert panel of dentists recognized as thought leaders and educators. It includes Dr. Paul Feuerstein, Dr. John Flucke, Dr. Marty Jablow, Dr. Pamela Maragliano-Muniz, Dr. Chris Salierno, and Dr. Lou Shuman. Over the course of each year, the panel members seek out and conduct research on potentially practice-changing technologies, with deliberations on nominees and final voting taking place in February. Panelists are precluded from voting in any category where they have consulting relationships. The entire selection process is conducted and managed on a not-for-profit basis.
For more information on the Cellerant Best of Class Awards and the 2019 Award Winners, go to cellerantconsulting.com/bestofclass.
About Cellerant Consulting Group
Founded and led by CEO Dr. Lou Shuman, DMD, CAGS, Cellerant provides strategic dental market insights, clinical expertise, implementation resources and support to accelerate growth for client dental companies. Cellerant services include new concept incubation, clinical product evaluation, product development, continuing education program development and CE sponsorship, strategic branding and marketing, online marketing, content marketing and dental media relations management. As an orthodontist and former owner of a 10-doctor multi-specialty private group practice, Dr. Shuman guides clients to offer products that engage dental customers and provide sustained differentiation. Cellerant operates under a unique model that merges leading voices in clinical product evaluation and strategic partner companies to provide a menu of services from one easily accessible network.

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Thommen Medical USA Announces Leadership Changes To Drive New Market Position

 


Thommen Medical USA (www.thommenmedical.com), a leading Swiss manufacturer of dental implant solutions, announces that it has a new leadership team. These changes come at a critical time in the industry, setting the company up for future success and continued growth.

Scott Root has been appointed to the position of President. Mr. Root brings over 25 years of experience in building and leading organizations in the dental and medical device industries including several leading dental implant companies. He was a founder of Straumann USA where he spent 15 years helping transform the business into the second largest dental implant company in the industry. He also spent many years as President of Astra Tech North America, then Dentsply Implants North America following their acquisition. Most recently, he led APAC for Nobel Biocare and was the Country Manager for Australia and New Zealand. Mr. Root is excited to return to the United States and lead the team especially at this time with unlimited potential and a competitive environment that is in transition.

“In an environment where the primary implant companies have become large and bureaucratic, attempting to cover all areas of dentistry, Thommen is dedicated to being an expert in implant dentistry by providing one comprehensive implant system and respecting the human reality that people work with people. We believe in supporting our partners with a boutique experience, one that utilizes our 30-year heritage of Swiss precision craftsmanship, innovative design, personalized service and overall elegant simplicity,” stated Root. He continued, “We believe that we have the best untold story in the industry and now is the perfect time to share it. Thommen has evolved over the past 30 years and because of the unique size of our company and outside-in approach, we can offer customers a truly unique, personal experience.”

The company announced additional executive additions and changes affecting the finance, sales and marketing departments.

Joe Galea has joined as Chief Financial Officer, Vice President of Finance and Operations.  Mr. Galea has over 30 years of experience in finance, accounting and operations.  He has led the finance departments of divisions at Fortune 500 companies as well as small businesses. Mr. Galea was most recently the Corporate Controller of a durable medical equipment company in the Cleveland area, where he led finance, accounting, human resources and supply chain.

Edward Reilly has joined as Vice President of Sales. Mr. Reilly has over 15 years of sales management experience and 20 years of expertise in the dental industry. He has led successful sales teams at Dentsply Sirona Implants, Henry Schein and CAD BLU. Mr. Reilly has consistently exceeded quotas and successfully managed and led various sales teams throughout his career.
Kristina Donehew has joined the company as Vice President of Marketing. Mrs. Donehew has over 15 years of strategic, multi-faceted marketing experience with expertise in the dental industry. She has led marketing initiatives and teams with large and small companies, including Carbon, Straumann, Dentsply Sirona and Danaher.

Todd Fridrich, CDT, FNBC will continue in his role as Vice President of Product Management and Education. Mr. Fridrich has over 30 years of industry expertise and nearly 14 at the company. He has served as an instructor for the Graduate Prosthodontics Program at the University of Iowa as well as the Continuum on Implant Dentistry at the University of Florida.  He is immediate past President of the American Prosthodontic Society and has served on the editorial review board for The Journal of Prosthodontics and the Journal of Dental Technology.

About Thommen Medical
Thommen Medical is a Swiss designer and manufacturer of dental implant systems with a unique reputation for Swiss precision, innovation and functional design. We develop high quality solutions to satisfy our customers' high standards for safety, esthetics and sophistication. Thommen Medical’s global headquarters is located in Grenchen, Switzerland. Thommen Medical USA is located in Cleveland, Ohio.

Monday, June 10, 2019

Ultradent Unveils New Opalescence Go™ Whitening Packaging

 


Ultradent is pleased to unveil all-new premium packaging for its award-winning, professional take-home whitening system, Opalescence Go tooth whitening. The beautifully sleek redesign not only looks and feels more esthetic, modern, and luxe, but it also streamlines the entire unboxing experience. A new dispense feature allows patients to simply take off the box top, turn around the lid, and remove each individually wrapped tray with ease.

That’s not all. In addition to the newly designed boxes and easy, innovative dispense system, patients will now get the added bonus of a 1-oz tube of Opalescence™ Whitening Toothpaste in every full patient kit. Opalescence Go whitening patient kits contain 10 individually wrapped, disposable, prefilled upper and lower UltraFit™ trays that mold to the teeth for a custom-like fit and molar-to-molar coverage. Opalescence Go whitening is also available in mini kits, which contain four upper and lower individually wrapped UltraFit trays—perfect for whitening touch ups! Clinicians will also have the option of purchasing the new Opalescence Go whitening sample tower, which features the same new look, with 20 ready-to-go samples. Each sample contains a handy card that opens up to reveal full step-by-step instructions so the patient can apply the trays correctly at home without additional office staff instruction. This helps to ensure that every patient has a great experience with Opalescence Go whitening by using it correctly the first time. Opalescence Go whitening’s new design makes the entire whitening experience easy from start to finish for the dental practice and the patient!

Opalescence Go whitening comes in a 10% hydrogen peroxide concentration that can be worn for 30 to 60 minutes with delicious choices of Mint or Melon flavors. The 15% hydrogen peroxide concentration is available in the Mint flavor and allows for a 15- to 20-minute wear time, providing sparkling results. Additionally, Opalescence Go whitening contains PF (potassium nitrate and fluoride).

To learn more or to purchase Opalescence Go whitening, please visit ultradent.com or call us at 800.552.5512.

***
About Ultradent Products, Inc.
Ultradent Products, Inc. is a leading developer and manufacturer of high-tech dental materials, devices, and instruments worldwide. Ultradent’s vision is to improve oral health globally. Ultradent also works to improve the quality of life and health of individuals through financial and charitable programs. For more information about Ultradent, call 800.552.5512 or visit ultradent.com.

Thursday, June 6, 2019

UPDATED: KCU to Build College of Dental Medicine on Joplin Campus

 


Well *that* didn’t take long.  I knew the actual announcement  was going to happen soon, I just didn’t anticipate it happening this quickly.  Perhaps they decided to go ahead and make the announcement public due to the fact the news had already broken.  I had done a *some* searching online before breaking the news and I didn’t see any other discussion of this final announcement, but heck who knows with the way information flies around these days.

So, as you know, on Monday I shared a post that Kansas City University was going to build a new dental school in the Joplin, Missouri area.  Now the word is out with a confirming story in the Joplin Globe.

The new dental school will complement a medical school that KCU opened in Joplin in 2017.  The facility is estimated to cost $80 million to build.  The KCU board has agreed to provide $40 million to the project with the remaining $40 million coming from charitable donations that the organization is already well on its way to obtaining.  Dental schools require a significant capital outlay to get them up and running due to the fact that there are SO many specific infrastructure pieces that need to be in place to make sure everything performs as needed.

It’s interesting in the ups and downs of numbers in the profession.  Thirty years ago dental schools were being shuttered due to the fact that there was a surplus of practitioners.  Basically more dentists were being trained than there were patients to support their practices.  Now we are seeing an increase in class sizes for the existing schools as well as things like this project where brand new facilities are being created to help prevent a crises from shortage of trained practitioners.


The Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences will build an $80 million College of Dental Medicine on its Joplin campus, university officials announced Tuesday.
The new college, which aims to seat its first class of 80 students in 2022 after a planned groundbreaking next year, will help address the oral health needs of the region, KCU President Marc B. Hahn said. Nearly all counties within a 125-mile radius of Joplin qualify as a dental health professional shortage area by the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration, and more than 750 dentists would be needed within that area to remove that designation, he said.
"Poor oral health leads to poor overall health, and this shortage of dentists in this region is nothing short of a public health emergency," Hahn said. "That's why Kansas City University will build a College of Dental Medicine on the Joplin campus. This will be a dental school that builds upon the holistic foundation of our College of Osteopathic Medicine as well as the community-based philosophy for training our students."
The anticipated $80 million cost is twice what it cost to open the osteopathic medical school campus in Joplin in 2017. KCU has committed $40 million toward the project, and the rest will come from philanthropic efforts.
Approximately $20 million of the remaining amount has already been secured from donors including Harry Cornell, the Sunderland Foundation of Kansas City, Rudy Farber, the Farber Foundation and Larry McIntire.
Based on an economic impact study conducted by KCU, the dental school will generate a financial impact of an estimated $45 million annually and at least $1.7 million in state and local taxes, officials said. It will create or support more than 200 jobs.
There's a secondary economic impact as well, said Toby Teeter, president of the Joplin Area Chamber of Commerce — the ability to attract and retain young talent.
"We've reached a tipping point the last couple of years in this community where, as we are attracting more and more 20- and 30-somethings, we're changing the livability of this community," he said. "That's important to all of us. ... We're really shifting in becoming a center of urban life (and) we're adding diversity into our community. The pivot point has happened because of the medical school and now the dental school."
'How exciting'
KCU announced last year that it was pursuing a feasibility study on the possibility of bringing a dental school to the Joplin area. In the past 12 months, the university has completed that study to assess regional needs, identified funding sources and begun designs for the school.
The school also earlier this year hired James Koelbl as its vice provost for oral health initiatives. Koelbl has started to pursue accreditation for the program and is working to identify strategic partnerships.

"KCU has been successful in not only establishing a College of Osteopathic Medicine in Joplin, but continues to develop other programs that contribute to the overall health of the communities we serve," Hahn said in a statement. "Our track record, combined with significant population health data and strong support from our Joplin community, gives us the confidence to move forward with this transformative project."
McIntire, a Joplin physician who was instrumental in the effort to bring a medical school to Joplin, said a dental school will "add stature" to the medical school, fit well into the Joplin community and attract a variety of new students to the region.
"A dental school — how exciting is it?" he said.
Farber, the chairman of Community Bank and Trust who helped spearhead the fundraising initiative for the medical school, said the opportunity to invest in a dental school will be "great" for Joplin.
"This is not just for today; this is for tomorrow, for our children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren," he said. "We will be doing something here that will last well beyond us."

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

WannaCry Attacks Continue Despite Microsoft Patch

 


Two years ago, a group of hackers (or some think disgruntled spies) calling themselves The Shadow Brokers, released a hacking tool developed by the NSA to the Internet at large.  The script was called EternalBlue and was quickly grabbed, changed and adapted my crooks and foreign  powers.

Once word of the release of EternalBlue became known, Microsoft analyzed the malware and quickly developed a patch for it.  This should have been the end of the story, but instead it’s just a sad beginning.

That’s because the solution to the problem is to update your Windows computer and for some reason (perhaps some even legit reasons) human beings have a hard time updating their computers to the most secure versions available.  Sadly, people do not install recommended security patches.  Because of this, the disaster that is the WannaCry ransomware attack continues to affect (and infect) users on a daily basis.

The best advice I can give you is to quickly and efficiently install all security patches as soon as they are released.  WannaCry is still out there and it is *still* wreaking havoc.  Ransomware that encrypts your data can cause tons of lost productivity as well as permanently affecting your business.  Imagine, for a moment that every one of your patient records suddenly disappears.  How would your practice even function?

By using an effective backup protocol, you can simply reinstall your data from a good backup.  I highly recommend DDS Rescue for this.  Yet, the best defense is to never be infected by WannaCry in the first place.  That’s why keeping your systems up to date with the latest security patches is so critical.  I might seem to be a bit of a   pain and a time suck to keep updated, but the amount of time and money that is spent to recover from these situations is much, much worse.  

Tuesday, June 4, 2019

The Best and Coolest Announcements from Apple's World Wide Developer Conference

 


Even if you are not a fan of Apple, chances are your life is most likely highly affected by the company.  You may have an iPhone, Apple Watch, or an iPad or perhaps some type of a Mac computer system.  Maybe your home entertainment system is run by Apple TV.  No matter what you own or use, odds are that in some way your life is being impacted by an Apple product.

Because of the impact that Apple has on almost all of our lives, it pays to pay attention to what the company has to say when it makes announcements.  These announcements are especially critical during the WWDC (World Wide Developer’s Conference) where Apple communicates with its partners who are developing apps and other things in the Apple ecosystem.  The WWDC is frequently the place where you can find out the details of things that won’t happen for a while, but could very well be game changers when the arrive.

I’ve done a little online research and come up with somethings that I think are important for all of you to know:
  • Mac OS Update:  The newest version of the Mac computer operating system (OS) is Catalina.  The big thing about this?  iTunes is toast.  That’s right no more iTunes.  The cool new things?  You can control apps with your voice as well as use an iPad as a second monitor (even without a wired connection).
  • iPad OS:  For years it has seemed like the iPad is just a really handy giant iPhone and that’s probably because it sort of was.  That’s because they ran the same OS.  Now the iPad will get its very own OS called… wait for it… iPad OS.  The cool thing is that you can now have multiple apps show on the screen all at the same time.  You’ll also be able to connect SD cards as well as USB drives directly.
  • Apple WatchOS:  The Apple Watch just keeps getting cooler as it evolves and that boils down to the fact that Apple has done a really good job of making the device an extension of your other Apple products.  Soon you will be able to download apps directly to your watch as well as stream audio from the device.
  • iOS 13:  Of course, the real heart of all of Apple’s mobile product is its flagship, the iPhone.  The newest OS with have all kinds of new improvements.  There will be a “dark mode”, new Maps, new Reminders and host of new security features.  One that I really like is Apple will allow you, through the OS, to setup a new email address that is strictly designed to filter out SPAM you get when a company you sign up with sells your email addy.  Basically they will setup an email address that will then forward emails sent to you so that you don’t have to give any websites your actual email address.  You can then filter from this “intercepting email address” so that your own Inbox stays clear.

Of course there were lots of other things announced, but I thought these were important and interesting enough to pass along to all of you.  If you want more info, just search on Apple WWDC Announcements and you’ll most likely get more links to read than you have time for...

Monday, June 3, 2019

New Dental School Slated to be Destined for Joplin, Missouri

 


Sometimes I have information that I feel that I simply *must* share with those of you who are regular readers of the blog.  Today is one of those times.

As most of you probably know, I’m a facts based guy.  I love science and because of that, I tend to be very fact based.  When it comes to reporting or doing clinical trials, I try as hard as I can to dig up facts.  

However, what I’m about to tell you now, is based on unconfirmed, but incredibly reliable information.  I have this information courtesy of a very well placed and reliable source, however the source has requested anonymity for this story.  However, I will tell you that I would trust this source for this story.  Their record is impeccable.

Anyway, you’ll soon be hearing of a new dental school that will be setup in the city of Joplin, Missouri.  Now most of you will remember Joplin as the site of a monster EF-5 rated multiple vortex tornado that struck in the early evening of Sunday May 22, 2011.  It decimated the town of 51,000.

Since that fateful night, Joplin has bounced back and continued to grow.  Now, the city will be the site of the third dental school in the state of Missouri.  

The school will be a subsidiary of Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences.  About a year ago, I came across an article from the Joplin Globe where the potential of the school was discussed.  Here is what they had to say:

The Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences is trying to decide whether to create a College of Dental Medicine in the Joplin area to serve the oral health needs of residents in Southwest Missouri, Southeast Kansas, Northeast Oklahoma and Northwest Arkansas.
The university, which has campuses in Kansas City and Joplin, announced last week that it has undertaken a feasibility study for the project that will explore regional needs, possible funding sources and locations, accreditation options and potential partnerships.
Marc B. Hahn, president and CEO of KCU, said the decision to pursue a College of Dental Medicine stems from "significant" unmet oral health care needs in the region. According to information provided by KCU, most counties within a 125-mile radius of Joplin are designated as "dental health professional shortage areas" by the Health Resources and Services Administration.

"The region around Joplin is really underserved when it comes to oral health care and dental services," he said.
Hahn said KCU looks to build a full dental school with a four-year curriculum and approximately 100 students per class. Students who complete the program would be licensed dentists, he said.
"The curriculum that we're starting to explore is one of a community-based, rural health model — similar to our medical school model in Joplin where the training is in the community," he said. "Our hope would be we could recruit students from the region, educate them in the region and then return them to the region."
Hahn said he hopes to have the feasibility study completed within the upcoming academic year, with a decision made on whether to pursue the dental program in perhaps six to 12 months.
The College of Dental Medicine would be a new venture for KCU, which currently consists of a College of Biosciences and a College of Osteopathic Medicine. Hahn said the program would complement the two existing colleges.
"Oral health — and oral health problems — can worsen other medical problems," he said. "As we look at the need, we see it aligns very well with the medical school, especially with our focus toward rural health and access for the underserved."
MSSU dental school
It wasn't immediately clear how a College of Dental Medicine through KCU would impact plans for a satellite dental school on the campus of Missouri Southern State University, which would be operated jointly with the University of Missouri-Kansas City.
Talks toward a dental school at MSSU in partnership with UMKC have been going on since about 2010. The universities jointly requested state money for the project in fiscal year 2017, with MSSU receiving $2 million and UMKC receiving $1.5 million. Most of that funding was subsequently withheld — with no money was awarded in the current fiscal year — so the project was suspended.
But roughly 60 percent of MSSU's request for that project — about $1.2 million — is included in the university's 2019 budget, which was approved by the governing board on Thursday. The university has already completed the first of several phases to prepare for the installation of a satellite dental school, including freeing up some of the second floor of the Leon Health Sciences Building for the program.
Alan Marble, president of Missouri Southern, said he had heard KCU's announcement of the feasibility study, but he hadn't yet had time to hold conversations with those involved in the MSSU-UMKC project to determine how to proceed.

"I don't think we know yet" how the satellite dental school might be affected, he said.
Hahn said KCU is poised to bring a dental school to the Joplin area if state funding for the MSSU-UMKC project falls through.
"If the state of Missouri can identify the resources and our friends at MSSU and UMKC can come together to address the dental needs in the area, then we're certainly supportive of that. We're not interested in competing with them," he said. "However, if the state does balk again, we're going to be in a position to move forward because we believe the need is so significant in the community, and we believe we can address those needs."
Hahn said that if KCU decides to pursue the College of Dental Medicine, partnerships with community members would likely be explored.
"We would certainly be interested in collaborating with state institutions of higher education — MSSU or the UM System — to ascertain ways to better address the oral health needs of the community," he said.
Shortage of dentists
The Missouri Economic Research and Information Center projects an additional 780 dentists will be needed in the state by 2024, according to data provided by the Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences.

Now the school will become a reality.  I’m not sure of any dates, but expect to hear a formal announcement in the very near future...