Blog Posts

Questions to Ask When Interviewing an IT Company to Serve Your Practice

Thursday, July 15th, 2021

Everyone knows that having the right IT company to serve your practice is acutely important, but how do you choose the right one? Asking the right questions will clarify whether or not the IT company you’re interviewing will meet your needs in the ever-advancing world of technology and security threats. Let’s explore some questions that you can use as your framework.

Does OSHA’s New COVID-19 Workplace Regulations Apply to Your Practice?

Wednesday, June 16th, 2021

OSHA published the COVID-19 Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) on June 10th. See Emergency Temporary Standard here: https://www.osha.gov/coronavirus/safework

This standard generally does NOT apply to your dental office IF you meet ALL of the following conditions:

Are patients asking you if you had the COVID-19 vaccine? How are you responding?

Tuesday, May 25th, 2021

According to CDC, 39.3% of the U.S. population is fully vaccinated. The good news is that 74% of the population 65 years or older are fully vaccinated.

Our office is receiving numerous support calls about patients asking staff if they are fully vaccinated against COVID-19. How do you respond to this question?

Most dental offices are operating with a voluntary COVID-19 vaccine program. There are those who decline the vaccine due to religious beliefs and those who decline due to medical reasons. There are also those who decline simply because they are not confident in the vaccine at this current time.

How to Respond to Negative Reviews

Monday, May 17th, 2021

In this age, to say that a business’ online presence is important would be a gross understatement. Whoever handles the practice’s media accounts is in effect managing the business’ reputation and how the practice communicates their objectives to both current and potential patients. Research shows that a whopping 79% of consumers go online to find medical / dental services, so it is vital to handle this facet of your business wisely.

Exceed The Time and Pay The Dime! Right to Access Law

Friday, February 12th, 2021

Failure to provide access to one patient’s request of access to his/her medical records can lead to a hefty penalty for Health Care Providers (Covered Entities). The Office for Civil Rights settles their 16th case of the Right to Access Initiative enforcement that went into effect at the end of 2019. Sharp Health Care had to pay a $70,000 penalty for failure to take timely action in response to a patient’s records access request.

Are Employees Refusing the COVID-19 Vaccine?

Tuesday, January 5th, 2021

With the COVID-19 vaccine available to healthcare workers, we are receiving numerous support calls and messages about employees refusing the vaccine.

Everyone is asking whether they can require employees to get vaccinated against COVID-19.

As employers, we must take into consideration the guidance issued by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). Employers may wish to require or at least encourage COVID-19 vaccinations. However, policies must comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and other workplace laws.

OSHA Violations During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Tuesday, December 8th, 2020

Since the start of the coronavirus pandemic through November 19th, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) proposed penalties in the amount of $3,301,932.00.(1) This public document included three dental practices. Many of the citations related to failure to implement a written respiratory protection program, provide a medical evaluation, respirator fit test, and training.

What’s the Routine if We Must Quarantine?

Monday, November 9th, 2020

Give it fourteen if you must quarantine. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provides guidance for the general public and health care settings.

CDC published Interim U.S. Guidance for Risk Assessment and Work Restrictions for Healthcare Personnel with Potential Exposure to COVID-19 https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/guidance-risk-assesment-hcp.html. The following guidance applies to healthcare personnel with potential exposure in a healthcare setting to patients, visitors, or other healthcare personnel with confirmed COVID-19.

Employee Temperature Checks and Privacy Concerns

Monday, November 9th, 2020

COVID-19 has presented numerous challenges in the workplace. During the period of shut down, numerous dental employees were either furloughed, laid off, or working virtually from their homes. Dentists received Guidance for Dental Settings published by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
(CDC). The return to work brought many changes.

TN Business Associate Pays $2.3 Million in HIPAA Violations

Monday, October 12th, 2020

Ouch! $2.3 million penalties assessed against a TN Business Associate, CHSPSC LLC.  The breach occurred in 2014 when the attackers were able to get into systems through a VPN (Virtual Private Network) using compromised admin credentials. The investigation is now complete, and penalties have
now been assessed by the Office for Civil Rights.   These were the 5 major HIPAA violations:

Workforce Privacy & Security Policies

Monday, October 12th, 2020

Has your Practice implemented Workforce Security policies and procedures to determine whether a particular user has the right to access ePHI (electronic protected health information) based on his/her particular job duties and responsibilities? Some workforce members may require different levels of access based on his/her job function or role within your Practice. Do you have a technical system in place to monitor inappropriate access such as log in monitoring or other technical safeguards?

Laptops and Other Media Devices

Thursday, July 30th, 2020

Are you utilizing laptops within your Practice that are being transported out of the office?  Do you have staff that are telecommuting with the use of laptops?  Are laptops being transported to multiple satellite locations?

It is highly recommended to encrypt all media devices that may contain electronic protected health information (ePHI) and to implement a written Device & Media Control Policy.  Practices should consider implementing the reasonable and appropriate safeguards for the protection of ePHI such as encryption.

Does OSHA regulate dentists?

Friday, May 15th, 2020

Olivia Wann joined the Dental Guys to discuss what exactly determines how we practice when we go back to work? Recently, OSHA has weighed in with guidelines for dental practices to protect our workers. How much of the federal OSHA guidelines will apply to your state? Can this conflict with other authorities who say it is okay to return to work and what do we do about it? Olivia Wann, attorney and dental OSHA compliance expert of Modern Practice Solutions joins us to discuss this and also to help us make more sense about the rollercoaster ride we have been on in our state just today with these very issues.

Department of Labor Common Questions

Tuesday, March 31st, 2020

If you elect to take paid sick leave, your employer must continue your health coverage. Under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), an employer cannot establish a rule for eligibility or set any individual’s premium or contribution rate based on whether an individual is actively at work (including whether an individual is continuously employed), unless absence from work due to any health factor (such as being absent from work on sick leave) is treated, for purposes of the plan or health insurance coverage, as being actively at work.

Recommended Protocol If You’re Suspending or Limiting Care

Friday, March 20th, 2020

First off, thank you for taking great care of your patients. Infection prevention has never been so highlighted, but we know so many of you stay dedicated to the CDC’s recommendations every day.

Second, many offices are reaching out with questions regarding waterline maintenance given that many offices are moving to limited or postponed care. We’ve coordinated with a few other manufacturers to help you know how to mitigate the rapid biofilm development to be expected within your DUWL during limited care.

Coronavirus Results in Layoffs

Friday, March 20th, 2020

COVID-19 and HIPAA

Friday, March 20th, 2020

COVID-19 Mask Shortage

Friday, March 20th, 2020

Is your amalgam separator running? Then you better go catch it!

Monday, March 16th, 2020

As a dental hygienist, I never had to think about amalgam. I would mention a bluish stain along my patient’s gingival margin and ask her about her other tattoos. I would marvel at the amalgamator while dusting the unused equipment in the lab (aka “the land where time forgot”). I had requirements in hygiene school to polish them until they blinded the instructor, using Brownies and Greenies, and you know that I had a memory device for the order: “Tree trunks are Brownie, and they grow first. Greenie leaves grow last.” I certainly didn’t worry about where amalgam ended up when the dentist replaced it with composite.