Pros and Cons of Using Charting Templates

Every day more dentists make the inevitable transition to electronic dental records (EDR) and use of charting templates. There are some definite pros and cons to using charting templates. Let’s take a quick look at each:   Pro’s •Help you quickly document a ton of pertinent negative findings and other information (i.e. documentation of medical necessity) that is reported for most patients•Provide for uniform formatting, minimized spelling/ grammatical errors•Makes charting so simple your assistants can do much of it•Is easier to read than your handwriting•Provides for timely documentation Con’s •They need to be modified from patient to patient to account...

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HIPAA Policies (a must read and a MUST have)

HIPAA Compliance means having written policies and enforcing them! You should have employee medical records, no not dental records, medical records. OSHA medical records include information about work-related exposures, illnesses, and injuries. These records also include hepatitis B vaccination records. These records are not protected under HIPAA and, as such, are not Protected Health Information. Another term you should know is ‘Workforce’. Your workforce is your employees, volunteers, trainees, and other persons whose conduct, in the performance of work for a covered entity, is under the direct control of such entity, whether or not they are paid by the covered entity....

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Are You Ready for Your Emergency?

911, Where’s Your Emergency? It is not a matter of ‘if’, but which (and how severe) a medical emergency will occur in your dental office. People, your patients, are sick as they have ever been. Even without sedation in the equation you never know when it will be someone’s time to have an emergency. When it occurs in your office you have to be able to competently deal with it to ensure the best patient outcome. In many states, dentists are required to have a written medical emergency plan, written medical emergency policies/procedures/protocols, and medical emergency training for their staff....

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Does a Patient Have a Right to Their Clinical Notes?

I received a REALLY good question recently. I find this is something many dental offices struggle to answer correctly, so I thought I’d share the answer with you… Hey Tink, We had a parent request “records” from our office. Our doctor wanted me to check with you about verbiage to use for our response.  We always offer to send films and the ledger, but we don’t send clinical notes.  Is this the standard? Hey Rosalie, your practice’s response is typical. However, depending on what information the patient (or, in this case, parent) is requesting, may or may not be a lawful...

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Data Dumpster Diving

What is Data Dumpster Diving? Data dumpster diving is a common tactic used by hackers and thieves. They sift through the trash of others in hopes of discovering confidential personal and corporate information. This tactic is often the first used in a serious intrusion because going through the trash is a simple process compared to penetrating a firewall, deploying Trojans, stealing passwords, etc… to get the same information. Hackers know that people are the weakest link in the security chain and it only takes one person to improperly and illegally dump sensitive documents in the trash to hand over a...

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