Your IQ Got You into Dental School, Doctor — But What is Your EQ?

By Dr. Rick Huot

The intelligence quotient (IQ) test was developed to measure individual intelligence more than one hundred years ago, and has been recognized as a good predictor of future academic success, while serving as a screening guide for teachers to allocate resources to students that exhibit less than average scores. Most dentists at an early age probably scored in the 130- to 160-point range — putting them in the “gifted” range — and given the rigors of a dental school education, this proved to be a valuable aid among others in predicting academic success.

There has been a lot of recent interest in the workplace to explore what individuals have for an emotional quotient (EQ), as emotional intelligence plays a critical role in higher productivity, job performance and overall satisfaction with an individual’s job description.

According to management experts, workers who display high emotional intelligence are more confident and capable in their work environment, and earn a large amount of respect from their colleagues at work. Further research reveals that in times of crisis in the management world, individuals with high EQs tend to stay calm, are flexible in the outcome and have the ability to stay focused on the problems causing the crisis.

Dentistry has become a “team sport” and requires more attention to detail and focus than ever before. As the leader of the dental team, it behooves dentists to learn how to develop a greater emotional intelligence to solve managerial problems found every day in any type of practice setting you may be in.

Due to the demand for courses on EQ, there are many companies who specialize in the development of work teams trained in the practice of increasing emotional intelligence. As teamwork and collaboration is highly emphasized in today’s managerial toolbox, a course taken by your entire dental staff would probably be extremely beneficial, and instructional in nature.

If you have been looking for a course for your dental team to teach your members to be more effective communicators, become more productive and work together more effectively, an emotional intelligence course may be just the thing you are looking for to revitalize your practice!

Dr. Huot is a general dentist in Vero Beach, where he also has a dental practice management consulting business. He is on the FDA Board of Trustees and can be reached at 

Do You Have Good Financial Controls to Protect Your Practice? (video)

Recently, the Florida Dental Association put together a video with the assistance of Thomas Howell Ferguson P.A. CPAs. The purpose of the video was to provide ways smaller associations (component and affiliate dental societies) could implement good financial controls. After reviewing the video, FDA leadership thought much of what was presented would be valuable for our members’ dental offices as well.

From Phone to Checkout

By Sarah Woods, Dental Marketing Consultant

Due to advances in technology, dental marketing has become a crucial element in the success of a dental practice. It is very easy to get overwhelmed and focused on the marketing, causing the fundamentals of a successful dental practice to get lost. If the fundamentals of a positive patient experience are not there, the marketing investment is wasted. Here are just a couple of small steps to help you and your staff get back to the basics.

When I was 19, I worked in a large dental practice in Virginia. My only role in the practice was to answer the 25-line phone system and check patients in. On my first day, I was given a mirror to hang in front of me. I was told that it was there to make sure I was smiling when I answered the phone. Every time I answered the phone, I watched myself in the mirror to make sure that I was smiling while I spoke. It worked so well and was especially helpful on days that I maybe didn’t automatically feel cheerful. Smiling really comes through the phone and people are much more receptive to a cheerful voice!

Personal Connection
Creating a connection and developing a relationship with patients is the most important aspect of treatment acceptance. Patients want to feel safe and secure in their decision to trust their dentist, and this occurs only if a connection and relationship is built. The simplest and easiest first step in creating this connection is to find some commonality between you and the patient. Building this bridge can be as easy as discussing children, a hobby, marriage or a favorite place. Learning this information beforehand also is an easy way to break the ice. Ask staff members to take the time to learn as much about the patient as they can, and record this information in documentation and disclose it to you in daily huddles.

Ms. Woods is a dental marketing consultant who works exclusively with dentists to develop strategies to increase production and profits. She has provided marketing in large and small practices all over the country, and has extensive experience that provides her a unique perspective with the practical knowledge necessary to successfully implement strategies. She can be reached at or 856.701.9135.

Could Your Practice’s Website Reveal Your HIPAA Non-compliance?

By Dr. Danika Brinda, CEO, Planet HIPAA

Did you know that your practice’s website can reveal to the world that you are out of compliance with HIPAA?

A quick look around your website could reveal to a HIPAA auditor that your practice is struggling with HIPAA compliance. Wondering what I am referring to? It’s the Notice of Privacy Practices! The regulations state that your practice must ensure that the most current version of your Notice of Privacy Practices is posted on the practice’s website (if one exists). Here is the specific language from the regulations:

CFR 164.520(c)(3)(i) – A covered entity that maintains a website that provides information about the covered entity’s customer services or benefits must prominently post its notice (of privacy practices) on their website and make the notice available electronically through their website.

Go ahead, give it a try. Head on out to your website (or another practice’s). Try and find the Notice of Privacy Practices. Were you successful or did you find something that is called Privacy Policy? If you look through the Privacy Policy, most of the time the language is something specific to the privacy policy of the website and not the Notice of Privacy Practices. Keep searching for the Notice of Privacy Practices. If you are unsuccessful at finding it, the basic elements of the regulations are not met. If you found the Notice of Privacy Practices – great work! You are compliant, right? NOT NECESSARILY!

Even with your Notice of Privacy Practices posted on your website, you must make sure that the document is your most current version and matches the one available in your office. You also must make sure it meets all the requirements that were defined in the 2013 HIPAA Privacy Regulations and the 2013 HIPAA Omnibus Rule. If any of the following three statements are true, your website revealed that you are out of compliance with HIPAA:

  1. Your Notice of Privacy Practices was not posted on your website.
  2. Your Notice of Privacy Practices was dated prior to Sept. 23, 2013.
  3. The Notice of Privacy Practices on your website isn’t the most up-to-date copy.

If you think the auditors will not be looking on your website to make sure your Notice of Privacy Practices is posted, think again. In the OCR 2016 HIPAA Desk Audit Guidance on Selected Protocol Elements, it states the covered entity must “upload the URL for the entity’s website and the URL for the posting of the entity’s notice.” In fact, the instructions for the HIPAA auditors state that they must:

“Determine whether the entity maintains a website. If so, observe the website to determine if the Notice of Privacy Practices is prominently displayed and available. An example of prominent posting of the notice would include a direct link from homepage with a clear description that the link is to the HIPAA Notice of Privacy Practices.”

Not only does it have to be posted on your website, but it must be in a location that is easy to find with an easy description!

The Notice of Privacy Practice is not a difficult area to comply with for the HIPAA regulations; however, it is a common area of non-compliance. To be compliant with this regulation, the following four items should be established:

  • Notice of Privacy Practices
  • Notice of Privacy Practices Policy and Procedure
  • Acknowledge Form of the Notice of Privacy Practices
  • Making the notice available on the practice’s website

The specific elements that need to be defined in the Notice of Privacy Practices are specifically defined in the regulations. More information can be found here.


Dr. Danika Brinda is the CEO of Planet HIPAA and has more than 12 years of experience in health care privacy and security practices. She also is a nationally recognized speaker on a variety of health care privacy and security topics, and specializes in helping dental organizations implement a HIPAA-compliance program.

This article was first published on Planet HIPAA on Sept. 5, 2016.