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Consent Considerations

How often do you and your staff obtain a new written informed consent for treatment? State laws vary some, but let me throw this out there.... I frequently see dentists disciplined for not having signed consent when they should have had it. Conversely, I have never seen a dentist disciplined for having consent forms signed for every clinical procedure (or too many consents). When in doubt as to whether or not you need consent, err on the side of caution and get it!Some principles to remember about consent: Always get consent in writing Consent forms should give patients enough information to...

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Will Emergency Drugs Bite You in the Butt?

Many states require that Dentists (and even staff members) maintain current BLS, ACLS and/or PALS. Additionally, there are requirements that Dentists have and maintain suitable emergency oxygen and have emergency drugs "as a reasonable Dentist with your training and experience."As a State Board Investigator, I investigated patient deaths and hospitalizations. I saw the real life consequences for Dentists who were not prepared for Medical Emergencies in their practice. Not only do you have the legal and administrative hassles, the worst consequence is that you have to live with yourself. Medical Emergencies are real and being prepared is vital. It starts...

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Let Us Remember Those Who Courageously Gave Their Lives

Here are 7 things you may did not know about Memorial Day   1. It was originally known as Decoration Day   2. Memorial Day only became an official federal holiday in 1971, but it has been celebrated in some form since 1865 (the end of the Civil War)   3. At 3:00 PM (1500 hours) on Memorial Day there is a moment of remembrance (shhh!)   4. Waterloo, New York is the birthplace of Memorial Day (celebrated on May 5, 1866)   5. Some of the earliest organizers of Memorial Day commemorations were by freed slaves in Charleston, South Carolina...

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If You Are Buying a Dental Practice Beware of Caveat Emptor

I work with Private Equity firms as a partner in their due diligence processes. For my parts, office review and records audits, it is about identifying proficiencies and deficiencies (or what I call ‘opportunities’).

 Is the office compliant with OSHA, infection control, DEA regulations, radiation regulations, sedation safety/medical emergency preparedness, HIPAA, advertising/marketing, dental board rules/Dental Practice Act? What safety mechanisms are in place to ensure patient and employee safety? Does the practice code/bill properly? Using correct codes? Have adequate supporting clinical notes to support what is billed? Any overbilling or fraud issues? If so, are they isolated or systemic?

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Are You Ready for a Medical Emergency in Your Dental Practice?

911, What'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 every 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. This...

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