Are you a user of social media? I am – and if you’re reading this – welcome to my blog! Ever since I was a child I can remember going to the dentist. I also remember the reason why I went to that particular dentist – because someone in my family knew that person. As a child, my parents knew the dentist back in my hometown. Currently, I have the pleasure of going to see my Aunt (from my wife’s side of the family).
With more people using social media both as way to communicate and connect or even educate – have you thought about how this might be a useful tool for your dental practice? How about any other medical practice as well?
Patty Skowronski is someone who I know and trust – and she is the President of the Central Region for the StateofDentistry.com website. The purpose of this website is to share valuable insights on marketing dental practices. Once you read the article (link below) you might find, as I have, that this insight is not only valuable for dental practices but others in the medical community as well. Think about how you can reach out to your audience – to get in touch and stay in touch!
Templates are a very common aspect of many conversations about EMR software. I’ve used templates in a many software applications – as they are not just for EMR systems. The great part about templates is that they can speed up your process by eliminating the need to ‘recreate the wheel’ every subsequent time.
So it seems great – all you have to do is create the templates for each type of encounter that you have in your practice. After all that work, it may seem like the meticulous part of the paper to electronic transition is done. Or is it? Software, EMR or otherwise, can be a great tool to help you be more effective. But at the end of the day all of the data in those templates is only as good as you have made it with your experience and review. Has an EMR vendor ever indicated to you how their software will ‘automate’ your process?
Whether you’re working on a plan to make the transition to EMR or you’ve been through the ‘go-live’ the process is not as automated as one might think. In fact, the process of proper documentation in your entire process does still depend heavily on smart people in your practice – even with this slick new EMR software. I’ve had the pleasure of talking with several folks at Karen Zupko & Associates, Inc. Here is an article that some members of their team put together to shed some light on the pitfalls of assuming automation with an EMR system.
Whether you’re considering a purchase of an EMR system or you already have one in place – make sure you understand the terms of the agreement with your vendor. I’ve met professionals, both within the medical community and other industries, who made a purchasing decision without understanding the terms of the agreement that they just signed. I also know that it can be a painful process to try to undo this kind of agreement because the outcome wasn’t what you expected.
Making this purchasing decision can be an expensive one – and it can be a real pitfall to think that making this initial leap is the last one for your practice to go electronic with your clinical process. The most painful part for people who have shared their story with me is the time and even more money that they spent trying to get their original money back and break the agreement. This decision is the beginning of a long-term relationship – so look into the ongoing costs and benefits of things like training, support, maintenance and upgrades.
Don't overlook the key legal issues when making that big leap. I would also recommend talking with peers who have been through this process – it’s amazing sometimes what you realize you didn’t even know to ask at the beginning of a process like this one!
Here is a link to a great overview written by an attorney who I know and trust, Andrés Gallegos. He has taken a real advocacy approach to both "looking a gift horse in the mouth" for a donation of an EMR system from institutions such as hospitals and understanding the key components of the EMR software license agreement.
GPS is everywhere these days. It is a wonderful technology that helps with many simple things and it can add a lot of value. For example, on many smartphones you can pull up Google and do a search and the search will be localized via GPS. So if you search for Thai food, the results that come up are near your current location. In my opinion that is pretty cool and elegantly helpful.
Something I never thought about was the information that can be gathered when people use their GPS. I read an interesting article about GPS navigation that details some of the metrics. See the link below for full details, but the data shows that Walmart is the company people navigate to the most, the top food choice is pizza, and the top state using GPS is Maryland. I just wonder what the Google metrics are with their GPS and searching abilities.
Other recent GPS integration areas I’ve noticed is with music. On my smartphone (Verizon Droid) I downloaded an application called Tunewiki. This app allows you to connect to the internet and show the song lyrics while a song is playing. There is also another feature called Music Maps that pulls up a Google-like map and shows you the location of people around you using the program and what song they are currently listening to. (No details on the people, just their location). I did find it interesting that someone down the street from me was listing to the same eclectic 80’s band I was.
Good thing I’ve got nothing to hide or I would be paranoid….
I’ve had quite a few people lately ask me if I still like my Droid. My response has been a consistent “absolutely” and I still recommend the device to anyone who is looking for a smartphone with a large touch screen and some iPhone like qualities. To date, this is the only smartphone that I continue to really enjoy using and continue to find it extremely useful after months of use.
As a company we support all makes and models of smartphones. Because of this, we are in a constant flow of using all of the new devices that hit the market and can gauge how we like them and how our clients like and use them. I remember not too long ago when the Motorola Q came out and everyone was clamoring for the new toy. It looked great, but quickly people got overwhelmed by the mediocrity of the performance and features so they traded them in for a Blackberry. I used a Q for a while for testing and after a couple of days, hit the wall and ran back to my old device. This seems to be a similar experience with most smartphones, but not with some of the recent ones like the iPhone and Droid.
General Droid comments
- Durability – This device is built like a tank and has the extra heft to feel like it as well. I’ve dropped the phone on the street screen down and watched it slide a few feet in horror. After 5 months the screen is still perfect, without a scratch, and only a few nicks on the black metal sides of the device.
- Keyboard – it ain’t the greatest, but it gets the job done and I got used to it quickly enough.
- Apps – There seems to be an application for everything I need and more coming online every day. The built-in Android operating system has had 2 updates with each one providing more functionality and improvements.
- Battery – so far the battery is going strong. Much better than my old Windows device that would die after about a half a day. The Droid is still going strong by the end of the day with plenty of juice to keep going.
- Phone/Data – the phone calls have always been loud and crisp so no complaints there. The data connectivity has been great. When I have a good signal I can get more than 1 mg up/down which is plenty of speed.
My previous Droid blog articles can be found here:
ooVoo – www.oovoo.com. This is an app for doing videoconferencing that I mentioned a while back. It works well and allows for high resolution video. I use the program to do video chats with my out of town family. Another to try is Tokbox (http://www.tokbox.com/ ). I think it allows you to do multi party calls, is free, and there is no client since you just need to access the website and have an account. I have not had a chance to fully test it though.
Backups! – Recently I had someone tell me that they didn’t have time to get a Mozy (http://www.mozy.com) or Carbonite (http://www.carbonite.com/) account setup for backups. I told him he was a dope since it takes just 5 minutes, only costs $60 a year, and it's not worth losing his digital pictures and suffering the wrath of his wife if something happens. I have about 100 gigs of video and pictures backed up with Mozy. To all - Don’t be a dope and get some offsite backups in place.
ZumoDrive - http://www.zumodrive.com. This service lets you store your documents, audio files, pictures, etc. in the cloud. The system then lets you access those file from pretty much any device or from the web and even stores a cached copy locally on your PC. This type of setup will also protect you if your machine fails since the files reside in the cloud so you inherently have a backup copy offsite.
Disney World Apps - For spring break we did a family trip to Disney World so I decided to leverage my Verizon Droid and bring along some Disney apps. Both of these apps are also available for the iPhone.
- WDW Lines - This application and service by Touring Plans (http://www.touringplans.com/) allows you to pull up a Disney park and view the wait for the ride times, fast pass times, historical wait times for the rides, among a host of other features. It worked very well and came in handy since we could look up the attraction we wanted to go to and get an idea of how long the line may be. This helped a lot to avoid us walking to an attraction to just find out the line was too long.
- WDW Maps Box Set - This application is from U Pinpoint (http://www.upinpoint.com/) and allows you to pull up maps of the parks with labels for all of the attractions, eateries, restrooms, and other information about the park. You could even find a restaurant and pull up the menu with pricing to see if it is worth going to. It had the ability to leverage GPS and show where you were on the map, although it did not allow you to put in an attraction and navigate you to that site. Overall, it worked great.