Media Monday

Texting patients: does it violate HIPAA?

In the midst of busy day where there’s no time to chat, sending a text message to communicate is a quick, convenient option we often use to keep our messages brief and to the point. But, how many people actually prefer texting over talking on the phone? According to a 2011 report by the Pew Research Center, approximately 83% of Americans own cell phones and of these, 73% use the text messaging function. Additionally, a 2016 survey conducted by OpenMarket found that 75% of millennials “chose texting over talking,” often citing the convenience of communicating on their own schedule. As students, we often text our family, friends and classmates to coordinate our daily lives, but many of us may also text our patients to confirm appointments and address questions. While texting might seem to be a convenient way to contact patients, it’s important to remember that this action raises many important implications for patient privacy.

Is the media making dentists look bad?

newspapers-tabletThis article originally appeared in the Fall 2014 issue of Mouth. At the time, Stephanie Mazariegos, LECOM ’15, was the trustee from District 5. To read more from Mouth, click here.

For every headline that indicates dentists rank high among “most trusted professions,” there’s another condemning a dentist for fraud or patient mistreatment. As you enter a profession that relies on public trust, consider that the actions you take are a reflection on both you and the profession itself.

Is the media making dentists look bad?

Ethical terms such as nonmaleficence, autonomy and beneficence stand at the forefront of quality patient care…

Typography in the dental office

typographyTimes New Roman. Helvetica. Comic Sans. Most of us are familiar with these fonts due to their prolific use in media we see daily. But, have you ever stopped to consider how font choice, size and style can impact your choices, especially in the context of a dental office?

Typography is defined as the style, arrangement or appearance of printed letters on a page. However, it encompasses more than just being able to change the color of letters or bolding important words. Read more about how typography applies to dentistry in today’s post!

Try Snapchat to “snap up” patients

snapchatAs millennials, many of us are quite familiar with the app Snapchat. Whether we’re face-swapping with our dogs, or using it as a great way to embarrass that classmate who fell asleep in class again, the growing popularity of this mobile appl has enabled us to connect effortlessly with our friends, family and even some celebrities. But could Snapchat also be a powerful, untapped marketing tool for health care professionals?

In a market that is moving towards increased commoditization of professional services, dentists must make a difficult choice: sell “affordability” by cutting fees or sell the experience that your practice offers. We want patients to focus less on purely seeking the lowest fees and focus more on the unique traits that make each provider different because we understand that patient needs can vary greatly. So how can we stand out?

Dental informatics help make informed decisions

computer technologyImagine if all the patient information you record could be seen with interactive charts. Do you think patients would be better educated about their disease progression if they could see computer renderings of their bone receding over time? Could interpreting pocket depth measurements graphically help with diagnosis or patient education?

Dentists are meticulous, analyzing and recording patient information and perfecting our preparations to the millimeter. Yet there is a general lack of awareness regarding dental informatics, a spectrum of dentistry dedicated to data collection, analysis and interpretation of what we practice regularly.

All I really needed to know I learned in Mr. Winchell’s class

Larsen_feat_FINAL A few weeks ago, I went back to my hometown for my little brother’s graduation. While there, I ran into one of my favorite high school teachers, Mr. Winchell. I didn’t get a chance to talk to him or even say hi because he was so busy running the whole audio/visual set up of the entire graduation. Although he knew that what he was doing was important to graduation that day, I don’t really think he knew how important it would be to his students for years to come.

Dental school takes a toll on body image

Pair of female feet on a bathroom scaleAccording to the American Psychological Association the average person our age spends 6.5 hours each day with mass media and views approximately 3,000 advertisements. Often these images depict men and women as unnaturally flawless and have led to a beauty standard that is both unrealistic and unobtainable. What’s worse is that studies have proven that constant exposure to these beauty “ideals” cause internalization of damaging standards that could lead to eating disorders, anxiety and depression.