Has this ever happened to you? I know I am not the only one! As a pediatric dentist, this is one area where I use to be nervous and concerned, but I know is an opportunity for my office to shine. I integrated an all-tissue laser into my pediatric practice five years ago and it has been a game changer for my patients and my office.
This case is of a 5-year-old child who has a mucocele, a ruptured salivary gland that has formed a cyst of saliva that persists or gets larger. Fig. 1 is before treatment and Fig. 2 is two weeks post-treatment. These lesions are almost always caused by trauma and are quite common in early childhood. Kids of this age are not known for leaving things alone and they tend to bite and suck on these swellings, which makes them worse. The traditional surgical treatment involves a scalpel, lots of gauze to control hemorrhage and sutures to close the surgical site. Well, that sounds terrifying on a 5-year-old child! Not fun, right?
Then comes the all-tissue laser and changes everything! With an all-tissue laser, we can provide a more minimally invasive surgical approach with minimal bleeding, no sutures and excellent healing … and dare I say, fun for me as the doctor! Could this be a win-win situation for both the patient and the doctor? Yes! I have been able to help countless patients who have these oral pathology lesions with the all-tissue laser in a simple in-office procedure that takes me less than 10 minutes. This procedure has become my most favorite pediatric procedure to preform, and it is all do to the all-tissue lasers help!
Dr. Miguel Ortiz is a well-known prosthodontist, lecturer and photographer in the dental world. He created a book to complement the courses he teaches regarding dental photography. In the age of social media, dental photography plays a crucial role if dental practitioners want to expand their practice. What makes this textbook valuable is the knowledge Dr. Ortiz brings with his experience as a previous lab technician, dental clinician and having established a well-known social media presence.
“Lit” is broken down into simplified analogies with visual representations to better explain the concepts in the book. The author organizes the first section of the book into five concepts associated with photography that can be adjusted to produce the photos desired: exposure, aperture, shutter speed, depth of field and white balance.
By Robert McDermott, President and CEO, iCoreConnect
Cybersecurity is about more than just keeping your patients’ data safe. It’s about securing your practice and its future while building and maintaining patient trust. Data breaches can be costly, not just financially but also to your reputation. Those impacts can be far reaching and long lasting with significant consequences for your practice. Protecting your patient data is about the survival of your business.
One of the most important, and perhaps obvious, reasons cybersecurity is essential for your dental practice is HIPAA compliance. The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) requires that insurers as well as medical and dental practices and providers put measures in place to ensure the safety and security of personal and private information as it relates to healthcare data.
Common Cybersecurity Dangers in Your Dental Practice
Understanding what cybersecurity threats exist is fundamental in being able to protect your practice and patient data. Two of the bigger threats include:
Fake emails and fake websites are designed to fool individuals into providing data to what they believe is a trusted source, such as a business or person with whom they are familiar. With the recent rise of “spearphishing,” cybercriminals have begun targeting specific individuals by name, title and other personal details by pulling from social media accounts and other online sources.
Perhaps the most dangerous threat to healthcare right now is ransomware. Ransomware is designed to lock your systems or encrypt your data, which prevents your organization from accessing and using it until a ransom is paid.
Ransomware, and the groups that utilize it, usually enter through end user access. This may include phishing attacks to get login credentials or by taking advantage of virtual work and bring your own device (BYOD) policies. In this way, they gain access to your system with the ultimate goal of controlling it.
5 Tips for Improving Cybersecurity in Your Dental Practice
Given the threats that currently exist and their ability to evolve quickly, understanding how you can take control of your cybersecurity stance is essential.
1. Train your team
Cybercriminals capitalize on human action, so training your team is among the most important cybersecurity steps you can take. Often, your team is the front line of defense in recognizing problems, from a slow response to web applications, complaints from patients regarding issues with the website, or recognizing malicious attempts to access data or login credentials.
2. Use encrypted email
Protected Health Information should not travel in or out of your general email inbox (Gmail, Yahoo!, etc.). Nearly all data trusted to your organization should be encrypted. HIPAA encrypted email can protect your accounts from unsolicited emails, which means malicious messages will never make it to your inboxes.
3. Limit Cybercrime Access Points
The safest HIPAA-compliant email meets all five required HIPAA Safeguards, transmits across a private encrypted network and encrypts email in transit and ‘at rest’ in your inbox.
4. Be in control of your inbox
Any HIPAA-compliant email that requires you to initiate first email communication to those outside your network is the most secure way to know you will be receiving email from a trusted source.
5. Work with partners who provide and clearly prioritize strong security
As with any business partner, you want to do your due diligence. Consider their reliability and security, their expertise, and do your research. A failure on their part to secure data is, ultimately, a failure on your part.
There are a lot of measures you can take to ensure the safety and security of your dental practice and the sensitive data contained within. While no measure is foolproof, implementing risk mitigation efforts is required not just by law, but through your commitment to your patients, your team, and your practice.
FDA endorses iCoreExchange HIPAA-compliant email. iCoreExchange not only meets or exceeds every compliance and security requirement, it also allows you to attach as many large files as you want to any single email. Speed up your workflow, protect patients and your practice. Check out this convenient and compliant service at iCoreConnect.com or call 888.810.7706. FDA members receive a substantial discount on iCoreExchange.
Generally, I am not a fan of an infomercial and a great deal of this book revolves around how to use a proprietary device, the Smile Light MDP, with your own cell phone to make dental photographs.
That knee-jerk reaction out of the way, it is possible there is no device similar to the Smile Light MDP available and the book does a fair-handed job of comparing dental photography using a conventional digital camera and all of its attendant gear to making those photographs with your cell phone, the MDP device and a few other pieces of kit, the mirrors and retractors needed for either type means of capturing the images.