Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Thank you for scheduling with our office

One thing I would be asked after scheduling a patient for an appointment on a daily basis was, “Can you email that to me?” My answer always was, “Sure, I will do it right now.” Then I would open up my Microsoft Outlook and manually send the patient an email at his or her request. It was a time-consuming task, but my patients were happy. If we could somehow automate this task, we would have happy patients and happy teams, right? 

Well . . . Dentrix eCentral has made this a reality! When you schedule a new patient or an existing patient, the eCentral Communication will send out automated correspondence with all their appointment details. You have the option of sending out a customized email, text message, or postcard.  Since you have the option of customizing the email to make it personal for your practice, why not include a link where your new patients can click to be directed to the new patient forms?

These new features sends the Dentrix eCentral Communication manager into overdrive. It makes me excited to see all the new features making a huge impact on the daily lives of the front office team’s efficiency and giving our patients the tools they need to manage their appointments.
CLICK HERE for more information on these exciting new features.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Why do I need encrypted email?

Let’s picture a postcard. This mode of communication is perfect for documenting your latest trip laden with landmark pictures on the front and a simple “Wish you were here” written on the back. Anyone can flip over the postcard, read your sentiments. You’d never write anything too personal knowing this postcard can be an open book. No need to safeguard this innocent letter.

Now imagine if it has your social security number written on the back under your name. Not so innocent anymore! This is exactly what an email is. A regular email is open for anyone to view while in transit to its recipient. Now imagine a letter, duct taped and carried by an armored van to the recipient. This is an encrypted email.

As a Covered Entity, you are responsible, by HIPAA law, for safeguarding your patient’s data.

Anytime electronic Protected Health Information (ePHI) is being sent in an email, HIPAA recommends implementing procedures to ensure secure transmission and storage. The easiest way to do this is to utilize an encrypted email system.

Ideally, look for a provider that offers the option to send regular vs. encrypted mail. For example with Aspida Mail  it is triggered by a keyword, encrypt in the subject or body of an email. If that keyword is omitted, all emails flow as usual.

Additionally, if you are receiving ePHI to your email, verify you are implementing secure storage procedures. Typically, (free) Gmail, Aol & Yahoo Mail do not store securely.

Additional Tips:
  • Opening Emails
    • Use a mail solution that has antivirus and a robust spam filter enabled.
    • Inspect all email messages thoroughly, including the senders address.
    • Do not open any email that looks suspicious. If you do not know the sender, treat it as suspicious email.
  • Sending Emails
    • Confirm the email address with which you are sending information.  
    • Do not put any ePHI in the subject line of an encrypted email – this information is still transmitted through an unsecure environment.

By familiarizing yourself and your team about these email procedures, you’ve taken the first steps to protection. The next step would be to figure out what works best for your practice and come up with a plan for implementation. And don’t forget, documentation of all policies and procedures is key!
CLICK HERE for more info on Aspida email solutions

About the Author:
Laura Miller is Compliance Manager of Aspida, has quickly established itself as an industry leader in providing compliance security products and services for healthcare providers.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Top 5 things to bring the miracle of technology to life

During my 22 years in dentistry, I have been both the trainer and the trainee when it comes to implementing new technology in the dental practice. People who know me see me as kind of a computer geek.

The satisfaction of getting a new computer, network or piece of technology to work was the thrill of the hunt. It’s amazing sometimes that it all works together.

The miracle that all the technology works together is actually not a miracle at all—it takes planning and professional help. It doesn’t just happen. There are five critical things to consider when purchasing a new piece of technology, whether it is for the clinical or business side of your practice. These five things will not only help bring this miracle to life but also make sure your team is as efficient as it can be:
CLICK HERE to continue reading my full article on DPR

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Unused insurance benefits . . . it's now more than a once a year project

Since I have been writing the Dentrix Office Manager blog, I have posted up an article about this time of year reminding you to reach out to patients who have unscheduled treatment with remaining insurance benefits. This year is no different. However, I think that it might be a project you might want to tackle a couple of times each year depending on when the big employer groups start their benefit year. When I was working in my practice in Washington state, we had several groups that renewed at other times than January. Boeing, for example, renews in July and the school districts renew in October. 

If you decide to generate this lists of patients, you can filter the list by benefit renewal month. To generate the report, go to the Appointment Book > Treatment Manager > select the filters you want, including the benefit renewal month.


Since I have written on this topic every year, I am going to point you back to the articles so you don’t have to do a search.

               CLICKHERE to read “Don’t let unused insurance benefits go to waste.”

               CLICKHERE to read “Unscheduled treatment . . . the urgency is now.”

               CLICKHERE to read “Send letters that make an impact”