July 14, 2014
by Kahaliah Richards
Technology around the world has grown exponentially over the past century. From the invention of the automobile, to ATMs, and the World Wide Web, technology has made our lives more efficient and has made the information we need extremely accessible.
In the dental industry, we’ve seen our own technology grow by leaps and bounds. Instead of waiting a week or more to receive a crown back from a lab, dental offices can utilize CEREC and save their patient time by getting the crown back the same day. We use digital imaging for X-rays instead of film, and intraoral cameras instead of the naked eye. And let’s not forget the good old days, when patient information and appointments were set up on a peg board – now you can access it easily on an office’s Practice Management System.
Through all of this change, there are many people who actively resist new technology. They dig their heels into the ground, unwilling, and sometimes even frightened to embrace a new product. It’s easy to understand why; when technology goes wrong, the result can be embarrassing – sometimes even detrimental. For example, we’ve all laughed at a funny autocorrect, but we cringed when we read the story of the teenager in England who mistakenly invited over 20,000 people to her birthday party via Facebook. In the dental industry, there are valid worries concerning patient privacy, fraud, and HIPAA compliance. These concerns can unfortunately deter dental professionals from embracing software and tools that were specifically created to make their jobs and lives easier. When it involves sending data electronically, rather than on paper, there is a misconception that the data isn’t secure. In reality, paper data can be less secure than electronic data – things can get lost in the mail, filing cabinets can be disorganized, and sometimes your paper may just blow away in the wind. The ability to safely and securely store your data in a password protected environment that can only be accessed by the people who should be seeing it is a monumental step forward in patient safety and security.
In letting go of the fear of new technology, it’s crucial to change your perspective. The bell curve above represents the technology adoption lifecycle, and how the worldwide community adopts new technology. To become a thought leader within the dental industry, and have an up-to-date practice, staying within the early adopter/early majority portion of the bell curve will serve your practice best. When you add these new products to your practice, give yourself and others time to understand and learn how to use it, before tracking the progress it makes for your business. Use these devices, whether they are new dental tools, software, a new online marketing technique, and help your practice grow.
By: Megan King
To continue reading or for more information please visit: http://onemindhealth.com/brainsparksjuly2014/.
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