Next big security threat: UPnP

It seems that nearly every month there's a new security threat to a company's networks and computer systems, it really never ends does it?. A lot of the recent threats have taken advantage of software bugs or glitches, but a recent warning from numerous security institutions takes aim at hardware found in every office and home.

Lucky Number 7 – What Operating System should I use with my Dental Software

As most of you have noticed we are slow to adopt new operating systems. Dental software tends to be about six months to a year behind the consumer and small business market software when it comes to being fully compatible with the latest operating systems. That being said Windows 7 and the consumer pc market have made a switch to 64 bit operating systems. The nice thing about the new 64 bit OS is that you can utilize more hardware in the PC. Windows 32 bit systems max out at roughly 3.5 gigabytes of ram. Ram is cheap and more is always better, and the newer processors are all optimized for the new 64 bit operating systems. You are probably saying “That’s great Clay but what does that have to do with me?” Most practice management software is now 64 bit ready. The caveat is there may be updates that need to be done to your system to “prepare” for the latest systems. Many of you have already gone through this process but if you haven’t here is a short list: PracticeWorks needs the latest version of Pervasive and PracticeWorks Software, Dentrix needs to be G4 with Productivity pack 7 and Eaglesoft needs to be version 16. There are specific updates for all of the smaller software programs and accessories as well. The good news is that once your office is over the 64 bit hurdle, you can use the best computers for the price and protect your investment by assuring your computers do not become obsolete before their time!

What are QR Codes & how can your Dental Practice profit from them?

You may  have seen one of those small, digital-looking images in your favorite magazine, or at your local sandwich shop and you are wondering…What is it? It’s called a  “Quick Response” code or QR code for short. A QR code is a specific matrix barcode (or two-dimensional code), readable only by dedicated QR barcode readers and camera phones. The code consists of black modules arranged in a square pattern on a white background. The information encoded can be text, URL or other data. QR codes have been largely adopted by advertisers to target the new smart phone users. QR codes can be used to display text to the user, to add a vCard contact to the user’s device, to open a URL or to compose an e-mail or text message. Users can also generate and print their own QR codes for others to scan and use by visiting one of several free QR code generating sites. So how could your practice profit from this? Many companies are using this technology to drive sales by allowing people to to buy much faster than these types of media originally offered. Others are putting QR codes on permanent coupons or on their business cards to allow would-be prospects an instant way to get more information about a business. You can get a free QR code by going to http://qrcode.kaywa.com. Some practical uses: • The back or front of your business card • Your brochure or marketing materials • Appointment Reminders • Signs – inside or out

Digital Panorex – Which one is Right for My Practice?

The end of the film panorex is finally upon us.  Most panorex manufacturers no longer sell film pans and aside from retrofits and phosphor plate systems the film panorex has reached the end of its product life cycle.  The digital panorex has finally reached full maturity and has taken over the market based on its lower operational costs and increased diagnostic quality.  The market has broken roughly into three categories.  The entry level panorex, the mid-level and the 3D upgradeable units. Typically the entry level doesn’t have the ability to add feature such as Ceph arms, TMJ, Tomographic and 3D capabilities.  The mid-level will add the ability to make more custom settings for items like TMJ, sinus and bite-wings within the Pan’s interface.  Most mid-level Pans also give the ability to add Ceph arms.  The highest level pans allow for sensor upgrades to full 3d CBCT acquisition. Of course this all varies by brand and each manufacturer has slightly different configurations and options.   I tend to like the brands that have been around for a long time, like Planmeca, Sirona, and Sordex/Instrumentarium to name a few.  These units tend to be more reliable and have a tradition of customer service and parts availability that make them very easy to troubleshoot and fix.  I also see most R&D in these companies both in 2D and 3D imaging.  This assures that if you are looking at an upgrade path that these units will have a higher probability of being upgradable in the future. Digital Pans have proven to be one of the best investments both from a financial and diagnostic standpoint.  A digital panorex can really change the work flow of an office to give a more complete radiographic exam with a pan and four bite-wings.  The increased resolution and sensitivity of modern digital panorex far exceeds the quality of older film units.  This along with their almost negligible marginal cost of operation makes them a very valuable tool in almost any dental office.  I typically look at these purchases with a 20 year time frame.  Because the capital expense will be spread over such a long time a small difference in price from one manufacturer to the next is really less important as getting the features and quality that you desire.  I truly believe there should be a digital panorex in every dental practice.

Savannah HIPAA – HITECH Meeting in October

Every year changes are made to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). It is important to keep current with these often-overlooked changes to protect your patients, your practice and to avoid penalties. We are inviting dentist in the Savannah area to join us at this informational seminar where VIP guest speaker, Linda Harvey, will be discussing how important it is to regularly update your HIPAA privacy policy to reflect all the new HIPAA regulations and changes. Clay will also discuss how to apply these policies to your current technology systems. Space is limited, so don’t wait! Sign up today

Prescription Pad Regulations

We have had many questions from clients regarding the counterfeit proof prescription pads.  Here is an article released by the State Surgeon General regarding a suspension on the requirement of these pads for 60 days. STATE SURGEON GENERAL STATEMENT Also here is a link to Frequently Asked Questions regarding these pads from the Florida Department of Health Recently one of our preferred vendors let us know about the 60 day suspension as well as the fact that these pads do NOT have to be used for EVERY prescription written by your office.  Only for controlled substances as listed here  which can help many General Dentist offices keep costs down because they don’t write as many of these types of prescriptions.

Does your computer browse the internet slower than usual?

Does your computer browse the internet slower than usual?  Are there new icons and search buttons mysteriously making their way onto your Internet Explorer browser?  Does Internet Explorer shut down unexpectedly?  Then you may have an internet browser full of unnecessary toolbars and add-ons.  Give it a few hours and after surfing the internet you may unknowingly download a toolbar or add-on onto your Internet Explorer.  These items will forever be reloaded into your Internet Explorer every time you browse the internet.  Toolbars like The Weather Channel or AOL seem convenient but they bring instability to Internet Explorer.  Microsoft themselves have stated that the reason Internet Explorer may become instable is from all of the toolbars and add-ons that other parties have developed to promote products. Removing these toolbars and add-ons will clean up your Internet Explorer browser and speed up your Internet Browsing experience.   To do this, click on Tools located on the menu bar.  Then at the bottom of the Tools window, click on Internet Options.  Click on the Advanced tab in the upper right hand corner.  Then click on the Reset button at the bottom right hand corner.  Check the box to delete personal settings, then click Reset.  If you have saved passwords to certain websites in Internet Explorer, leave this box unchecked and click Reset.  You will have to close and re open Internet Explorer to complete the clean up.  This will reset Internet Explorer to its default settings by removing cookies, clearing your history, and temporary files that slow down Internet Explorer’s performance.

Let Potential Patients Tour your Office with Google Maps

Google Maps already allows you to add pictures of the outside of your office building as well as other information that is great to provide to potential patients and is free of charge.  If you haven’t already updated your local listing, we suggest you do that before any other SEO.   Google just released that starting next week they will allow “Business Photos” which allows any business to invite a Google photographer onsite to take photos of the interior of the office.  It will be interested to see how this turns out, but I think it will be a great add on to the already helpful local listing.If you need help setting that up give us a call .

Security!!

There are several benefits to having an internal security camera system in your office.  Of course they help with theft prevention and prosecution of burglary and/or misuse of controlled substances.  Security cameras also give you the ability to follow not only your staff’s location, but also your patients’.  This really helps with work flow and being aware of people waiting or in need of assistance.  They are especially beneficial in larger offices where the doctor may not realize that a room is ready, or a patient/staff member is waiting.  These systems consist of cameras placed throughout the office.  Depending on the layout, you may have them in operatories or in halls and some offices also included exterior cameras for the parking lot and/or the front/back door.  These cameras are wired to a central computer that records all the video to a hard drive.  This computer is accessible through the Internet so you can monitor the office when you are not there.  There is software that you can load on any computers in your office so that you can view the camera images from any station.  Wiring requirements usually necessitate a power supply and cable runs to the cameras.  There are wireless systems available but an electrician will have to provide power to each location.  We recommend you always consult a certified installer to assure your installation will meet code.