blog

Did I Encrypt That Email?

Posted August 13, 2018 by Natalie L.

We’ve all become accustomed to dashing off a quick email as we run to lunch or into a meeting. But, we all know there are hackers online, both here and internationally, who are watching and waiting for the opportunity to snatch your patients’ private information. This is a very dangerous problem for practices who don’t take security seriously. The fines for a HIPAA violation are quite steep. In fact, the average fine is currently $100-$50,000 per violation, with a cap on those charges currently set at a shocking $1.5 million.

Sometimes, we might think to ourselves, it’s okay if I send this just once; I’ve done it before and nothing bad ever happened. But, if you consider the loss of your patients’ trust because they no longer want your office handling their private data, the loss is much greater than the  violation alone. We’ve all probably witnessed instances in the dental community where negative reviews have spread like wildfire on social media, damaging a practice’s reputation and standing in the local community.

Dental-Software_SecureEmailWhy encrypt? When sending a standard email message, the text of the email is stored on an unprotected server for years. Anyone who gains access to those servers will be able to see the data you have sent. This is a serious risk when you consider all the emails sent with someone’s full name and address in them. Maybe they contained a social security number, x-rays, or even details of treatment.

There is a simple way to make sure that your patient’s personal data is protected all the way to its destination. SecureMail encrypts these emails, as well as encrypting any reply message that the recipient sends back to you! A quick-send button can be added to your Outlook email application making it no more time or effort to send securely than what you’re doing now. And, there’s another advantage. You may have had difficulty with large email file sizes containing x-rays, intraoral pictures, or periodontal charting. Sending them with SecureMail bypasses any limits set by your current service, and encrypts and protects all information attached.

Sending just one unprotected email to a colleague, patient, or lab is a risk your practice shouldn’t be taking. Just one email can be the difference between exposing trusted information or knowing you’ve done what you can to protect it.

Posted in: Dental Software, Dental Technology, Electronic Dental Records, Leave a comment/ No Comments »
Tagged : ,,,,

World Backup Day 2018

Posted March 26, 2018 by Nathan N.

It’s inevitable; one day you will lose your data. If you haven’t, that’s great! But in all reality, you probably just haven’t yet. Hardware failure, virus, ransomware, theft, fire, flood, accidental deletion, misuse, natural disaster. These are all determined to take precious photos, videos, documents, and critical business data away from you. As Murphy’s law says: Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong (and at the worst possible time!). It can be a painstaking and time-consuming process to rebuild what you’ve lost, and in some instances, there is no recreating what was lost.

This can be a scary thought, but it doesn’t have to be if you have a trusted backup solution.

I expect that most are familiar with what backups are and why they should be done. In my line of work as XLDent’s Technical Support, it’s shocking how many people I encounter that know this, but still aren’t backing up what’s most important to them. Imagine losing just one year of patients, appointments, history’s, x-rays, and clinical notes. Recently, this just happened. Contrary to our recommendation, this client hadn’t performed a backup for that long. One year. One day their server hard drive failed. Money was spent sending the drive to a data recovery company only to find out that none of the data was recoverable from the failed drive. With a good, responsive IT company and a daily backup, a practice can usually be up and fully operational the very next day with minimal loss. Unfortunately, for this practice, lack of a current backup led to an attempt to recover data from a bad drive, which was ultimately unsuccessful.

Dental_Software_XLDent_XLBackupTo honor World Backup Day, this is a reminder to take a look at your backup. Your business data is invaluable and we don’t want this scenario (or worse) to happen to you. If you aren’t confident in your current solution, contact us about our World Backup Day XLBackup promotion.

Posted in: Dental Practice Management Software, Dental Software, Dental Technology, Electronic Dental Records, Leave a comment/ No Comments »
Tagged : ,,,,,

A Look Back and Ahead, Part 2

Posted December 26, 2017 by Jennifer G

2017_2018In the first part of this blog, we discussed how XLDent helps Administrative staff gather year-end totals, review practice metrics, and maintain the patient database. These areas can demonstrate trends, and inspire new ideas for increasing loyalty from your patient base, and further engaging your office team in the everyday goals you lay out.

For the Clinical Team, we look at different factors: Patient acceptance of treatment plans and consistent hygiene production are good indicators of practice growth. The Treatment Plan report allows you to see all plans that were created for the year, and the current status of each case. Hygiene production on the Production Analysis report can be generated with a comparative date range, so you can see trends in production increase (or decrease). You will want to see how many new patients you attracted over the past year, and how many of them have become repeat customers. Looking forward, you can be thinking about how best to market your practice and attract more patients next year, using the Referral reports as guidance.

Perhaps you will note that there are unfavorable trends that point to changes needed to increase success in a particular area. Your case presentations can always be improved, on tablet pc’s, using XLDent’s patient-friendly clinical features. You can present a treatment plan to a patient, answer their questions, and have them sign their acceptance (and financial arrangements) right on the tablet.

Wondering how effective overall your team’s efforts were for the past year? The Clinic Production and Collection Report as a Summary totals production, collections, debits and credits for each month with grand totals when run for the year. It’s much easier to set goals for the new year when you have a clear, reliable picture of the overall successes and trends that occurred over the past twelve months.

If you really want to keep a finger on the pulse of your practice’s growth and progress, the brand new KPI Dashboard gives you an analysis of key practice areas, is compiled and presented in easy to read graphics, and is updated in real-time. This dashboard works with mobile devices, so you always have a window of access into the health of your Practice’s performance.

While taking a look back at 2017, now is the perfect time to think about the New Year that is upon us. What areas of your practice would you like to see improve? What goals did you meet that you want to continue into the New Year? XLDent has solutions to meet all needs; to help you be completely paperless, bring your patient experience to the next level, and tools to better understand and manage your practice performance. Here’s to a prosperous 2018!

Posted in: Dental Practice Management Software, Dental Software, Electronic Dental Records, XLDent Patient Experience, Leave a comment/ No Comments »
Tagged : ,,,,,,

A Look Back and Ahead, Part 1

Posted December 12, 2017 by Jennifer G

2017_2018Happy 2018! Well, almost! Are you ready for a fresh start, cleaning up your books, and setting new goals for the new year? There are so many features embedded right in XLDent that it’s the perfect place to start.

The Administrative Team can dig into wrapping up your year by running reports and reflecting on what worked. There are many tools in XLDent that help you analyze, clarify, and set new goals going forward. Which Marketing ventures were most successful? How many new patients did the practice gain each month? Which insurance plans are no longer in use? Which key demographic saw the most growth in your patient database?

Start this process by running the Production and Collection reports for the year. The XLDent Production and Collection Analysis Reports easily break out details for types of procedures completed, and serves as a comparison report for this year against the previous.

Thinking in terms of your ‘Patient Experience’, what improvements could be made for the new year? Almost every new patient who wants to come to your practice will start by calling for an appointment. Are they hearing dead silence or scratchy music when you put them on hold? XLHold could just be what you need to turn that around and create a better first impression on potential new patients. Pleasant music, information about your practice, team and services offered, or even advertising your new whitening special could make the difference of whether they stay on the line or drop off.

How paperless is your office? XLDent has paperless forms and digital treatment consent forms all in one easy to use system. And, we can digitize any custom form that your office currently uses. Start off 2018 right by eliminating your paper forms or old-school signature pads. Start streamlining treatment plan presentation and capture paper-free forms and signatures – all with one solution!

Perhaps you need to step-up your Accounts Receivable collections. XLDent has a patient web portal, which allows patients to access their account online, make payments, see treatment plans that need to be scheduled, and view the most recent statement they have received. You can offer a helping hand to busy people with this online access, right from your practice website. To top it off, the Doctor Portal is included free to give your doctor access to review patient records and appointment schedules on a mobile device, any time.

Is your patient database in need of some cleanup? Take a look at patients who should be inactivated. How long has it been since they’ve been seen? Have they responded to any of your recall efforts? Patient statuses can be quickly changed to inactive, or auxiliary (if they are still the subscriber for another patient’s insurance plan). This will help streamline your recall system, so you are focusing effort on patients who are engaged in their dental health.

If you want to learn more about XLDent or about turning on any of the eSolutions already embedded in your software, contact us today. Consider gathering your staff for a team building day of shared learning, and use the library of webinars to optimize and maximize XLDent’s powerful tools to give you a great start in 2018.

Posted in: Dental Practice Management Software, Dental Software, Electronic Dental Records, XLDent Patient Experience, Leave a comment/ No Comments »
Tagged : ,,,,,

Three Reasons Your Practice is at a Standstill

Posted October 5, 2017 by Natalie L.

One of the very first things you learn about the rhythm of a dental practice is how certain days are super busy, and others are a bit slower. There are frequently shifts that follow the change in seasons, weather, the economy and school holidays.

When there is a sudden production downshift in the practice though, it’s only natural for a wave of panic to come over an otherwise cheery group of team members. How does this happen? And, what are the best ways to weather the storm?

Office systems and processes

Inadequate or absent systems is a leading cause of stagnant practices. Establishing a process for every part of your practice, with clearly defined duties and responsibilities, helps it run like a well-oiled machine, and in turn provides greater patient satisfaction, stronger referral Sample of Dental Practice SOPrates and higher recall retention. A bit of data gathering and analysis will tell you where the gaps are, and suggest ways to create structure, or eliminate extraneous steps in the process. A well-documented process or SOP (Standard Operating Procedure) will be especially beneficial when bringing on a new team member or when review current processes for improvement. We understand the importance of establishing processes, so the XLDent new client experience includes a set of SOP templates to get the practice started.

New Patient Growth

Does your practice participate in Social Media? There’s no escaping the pervasiveness of social media and its ever-expanding reach into our lives. Your business will be missing out on the current word-of-mouth that brings in new patients every day, and helps you retain the ones you already have. How does it do that? By building your online presence, 24/7! Today’s consumer is more likely to choose your office if they can easily find you on social media, and get a sense of your style and see the reviews your current patients have posted.

Have you stopped taking certain insurance plans or are considering participating in new ones? One study showed that 42% of people would leave their current dentist if they were no longer in network with their insurance plan. In fact, 59% said that was the number one factor in whether or not they would make an appointment at a new dentist! The number two factor was the physical location/proximity to where they live and work.1 Be sure that everyone knows how close and convenient your office is for their needs.

Integration of new technologies

Don’t underestimate the importance of being on the cutting-edge! Especially to the millennial or younger group of patients, your first “technology” impression can make all the difference. Are you sending automated reminders to your patients? Do you have an online portal so that your patients can login anytime, anywhere, and verify appointments or make payments on their account? Go paperless as soon as possible (if you are not already). Do you still present needed treatment on paper, or can you show treatment right on a TV or Tablet PC, then email a copy to the patient? All these ideas add to your image as a modern, tech-savvy office, that meets their patients’ needs.

If you have more downtime right now, you can use it wisely by updating your software, attending educational courses, and allowing time for staff to become fully trained on your computer software, so they are ready to go when business rebounds and the schedule overflows again.

These may seem like minor changes, but in a practice facing sluggish times, they could make the difference between two or twenty new patients next month. When you see a few blanks in your schedule, look at them as opportunities to prepare for the next big wave.

Source:

1http://www.dds1800.com/whitepapers/What_Dental_Patients_Want/

Posted in: Dental Practice Management Software, Dental Software, Dental Technology, Electronic Dental Records, Leave a comment/ No Comments »
Tagged : ,,,