Chew on This!

Introducing “Chew on This! 32 Questions.” Filmed in a single shot, the FDA asks intriguing people what they like, what they don’t and that fascinating middle ground that defines them.

For our first edition, we visited Dr. Brittney Craig’s practice in Tallahassee. Dr. Craig won the 2016 FDA New Dental Leader Award. She graduated from both FSU and UF … click below to see which team she roots for.

32 Questions with Dr. Brittney Craig from Florida Dental Association on Vimeo.

The 3 Primary Ways You Are Abusing Your Email Inbox

By Randy Dean, MBA, The “Totally Obsessed” Time Management Tech Guy

As a time and productivity management speaker and author, I see it all the time. People just don’t use their inboxes properly. And these mistakes lead to significant distraction, lost time and rework. Most people use their email inbox in four specific ways, and only one of those ways is correct:

1. (The Correct Use): Receive and process new messages. The key reason you have an inbox is to receive new items in that inbox. Your goal is to quickly and efficiently figure out what those items are, and then properly process them. If you’ve ever attended one of my courses, you know that you handle the quick ones immediately, and you put the longer items on either your task list or your calendar, thus allowing you to plan and prioritize. After you either get them “done” or “tasked,” you can either delete those messages or file them for later reference. And if you don’t have a good place to file them, you make one and put it there. This is really the only way to use an inbox.

2. As your de facto, yet highly disorganized daily task list. So many people use their email inbox as their default task list. It isn’t at all built for that. It is hard to prioritize individual items in an inbox, so you end up looking at the same items multiple times, trying to figure out which ones are important and/or urgent, and which ones aren’t. Most tasking programs, including tools like MS Outlook, Toodledo and Google Tasks, allow you to see your tasks in priority order by either date or by project (I teach courses on this!). Very quickly, you can figure out what is either most urgent or important. (Even a properly designed paper task list can do this!) Thus, you can understand why I’m trying to get people out of the habit of “inbox tasking” and into the habit of building a smarter daily task list using an appropriate task tool each and every day.

3. As your de facto, yet highly disorganized general file box. The other thing people are doing with their inbox is using it to store everything — or nearly everything — with no consistent filing or organizational strategy. Most people have made a few folders, but they rarely file everything they should in the folders they have already created. And they leave literally hundreds of emails, many that have already been attended to, just sitting in their inbox for no good reason. The two big problems with leaving read emails in your inbox: 1) You’ll likely read them again, even if you’ve already dealt with them — a pure waste of time. 2) As you continue to add more and more emails into this inbox, you will lose more and more efficiency. You will “slog” to a halt. How about this instead: Once that email is “done,” put it away. If you can’t do it now, add it to your task list or calendar. Then, put it away — or delete it! It isn’t rocket science.

4. Final mistake: Checking that inbox far too often. A recent study I read found that somewhere between 20-25 percent of working professionals check their email 20 or more times per day! That’s every few minutes if you do the math! How can you possibly maintain any productivity or focus when you are literally distracting yourself every few minutes? Studies have shown that incessantly checking your email and other electronic inputs literally makes you stupid. You have to get off of these “crazy trains” or you will literally lose YEARS of productivity through these abusive inbox activities.

Here’s how:

  1. When checking email, process them the first time you look at them. If they are something you can handle quickly, do them now. If not, add them to your calendar or task list. Make decisions from your calendar and task list — NOT your inbox.
  2. Once you have that email either done or tasked, file it if you might need it for later reference, or delete it. And if there is no good place to file it, MAKE ONE and put it there.
  3. And, stop checking email so often! Get on some form of a regimen that balances your needs to be responsive with your needs to get things done.

This isn’t rocket science, but it does require some discipline, process management and a few new habits. With these new habits, you can get off the email “crazy train” and end your inbox abuse!

 

Randy Dean, MBA, The “Totally Obsessed” Time Management Technology Guy has been one of the most popular expert speakers on the conference, corporate, and university training and speaking circuit for several years. The author of the recent Amazon email bestseller, “Taming the Email Beast,” Randy is a popular and engaging time, email and technology management speaker and trainer. He brings 22 years of speaking and training experience to his programs, and has been popular with programs, including “Taming the Email Beast,” “Finding an Extra Hour Every Day,” “Optimizing Your Outlook,” “Time Management in ‘The Cloud’ Using Google and Other Online Apps,” and “Smart Phone Success and Terrific Tablets.” Learn more at http://www.randalldean.com.

Mr. Dean is an FDC2018 speaker, and will be presenting two courses on Saturday, June 23, 2018. “Smart Phone Success and Terrific Tablets: Finding More Productivity with Your Devices” will be at 9:30 a.m., and “Taming the Email Beast Using MS Outlook and/or Gmail: Key Strategies for Managing Your Email Overload” will be at 2 p.m.

An Early Bite with Dr. John Paul: “What Candy is Good for Teeth?”

By Dr. John Paul, FDA Editor

One of my favorite patients was preparing for the holidays and since Halloween was yesterday, she called with a serious question. “My grandchildren got a bunch of candy trick-or-treating last night. What candy can they eat that will be good for their teeth?”

I said, “Now Mrs. Gruntbuns, there is no candy that anyone should have unlimited access to. No candy is good for your teeth, but what’s the point of having teeth if you don’t get to eat things that you enjoy?

“So, let the kids, young and old, enjoy the bounty they collected on All Hallows’ Eve — in moderation — but clean their teeth regularly. Clean both the parts they can see and in between where you have to make an effort to reach.

“Your teeth are supposed to last your whole life so until your dying day, far in the future, you can eat something you enjoy.”

Have a question you have a tough time answering? Send it to Dr. Paul at jpaul@bot.floridadental.org.

Is Your Patient a Victim of Human Trafficking?

By Amy Wasdin, RN, CPHRM, Patient Safety Risk Manager II, The Doctors Company

Most health care providers are aware of their role and responsibility to identify and report victims of child abuse, elder neglect and domestic violence. However, there is another type of abuse that is on the rise and reported in every state throughout the nation. In 2016, human trafficking cases reported in the United States rose by more than 36 percent from 2015, according to the National Human Trafficking Hotline statistics.

Human trafficking occurs when a trafficker exploits another individual with force, fraud or coercion to make him or her perform labor or sexual acts. Victims can be any age (adults or minors), any gender, and from any cultural or ethnic group. The trafficker, or abuser, might be a stranger, family member or friend. This criminal industry is extremely profitable, generating billions of dollars worldwide. Lack of awareness and misconceptions by health care providers allow opportunities for identification of the victims to go unnoticed and unreported.

Victims of abuse rarely find opportunities to interact with other persons without approval from the abuser. A visit to a physician or dental practice may provide a rare opportunity for a patient to receive the help that he or she desperately needs. Research published in the Annals of Health Law in 2014 revealed that 87.8 percent of trafficking survivors reported that they were seen by a health care provider during their trafficking situation.

Human trafficking victims commonly are seen in medical and dental practices with the following conditions:

  • trauma such as broken bones, bruises, scars, burn marks or missing teeth
  • poor dental hygiene
  • pregnancy
  • gynecological trauma or multiple sexually transmitted infections (STIs)
  • anxiety, depression or insomnia

Victims usually are afraid to seek help for a variety of reasons that usually stem from fear, shame or language barriers. Health care providers and their staff should be trained to recognize the signs of human trafficking and know what steps to take.

Red flags to look for from the victim include:

  • fearful demeanor
  • depressed or flat affect
  • submissive to his or her partner or relative
  • poor physical health
  • suspicious tattoos or branding
  • lack of control with personal identification or finances
  • not allowed to speak for himself/herself
  • reluctant or unable to verify address or contact information
  • inconsistency with any information provided (medical, social, family, etc.)

Victims may be fearful and untrusting of their environment, so it is best not to directly ask an individual if they are a victim of human trafficking. Instead, the Department of Health and Human Services recommend questions such as the following:

  • Has anyone threatened you or your family?
  • Can you leave your job or home if you want to?
  • Are there locks on your doors and windows to keep you from leaving?
  • Do you have to get permission to eat, sleep or use the restroom?
  • Has someone taken your personal documents or identification?

Human trafficking is a federal crime and violators who are prosecuted receive prison sentences. The Trafficking Victims Protection Act was enacted in 2000 and provides tools to address human trafficking on a national and worldwide level. Many states also have laws and penalties for human trafficking.

If you suspect that a patient is a victim of human trafficking, please call the National Human Trafficking Hotline at 888.373.7888 or go to https://humantraffickinghotline.org/report-trafficking to report online. The hotline is not a law enforcement or investigative agency, but will take any possible steps to aid the victim and could result in a report to law enforcement.

Health care providers should follow state laws regarding mandatory reporting to provide notification of patient abuse or neglect situations. Unless calling the authorities is mandatory, it is recommended that you do not do so without the patient’s permission.

For resources and information on assessment tools, go to the National Human Trafficking Hotline’s Resources for Service Providers or Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

 

Reprinted with permission. ©2017 The Doctors Company. For more patient safety articles and practice tips, visit www.thedoctors.com/patientsafety.

The guidelines suggested here are not rules, do not constitute legal advice, and do not ensure a successful outcome. The ultimate decision regarding the appropriateness of any treatment must be made by each health care provider in light of all circumstances prevailing in the individual situation and in accordance with the laws of the jurisdiction in which the care is rendered.