Never a Worry with ABELDent Updates

I recently wrote about software vendors who have taken up the practice of encrypting Dental Practice data during a conversion, and later demanding a release fee.

That’s right… upwards of $3,500 for an encryption key to unlock their own data!

Customers disillusioned with their new software program and wanting to make a quick switch to another vendor went from dissatisfied to furious.

But it’s not only conversions that are a big red flag. These software vendors are now applying the same ploy to version updates. Under the guise of a free update – or even a routine update that you pay for –  vendors can be encrypting your practice data with the intention of charging a release fee.

This may never become a problem for you, as long as you keep using their program. It is a huge issue, however, when you decide to upgrade your software by moving to a new vendor – or if your vendor goes out of business! Not exactly the kind of loyalty program I can recommend!

I will repeat that robust, hack-proof encryption of your backed-up practice data is extremely important. It is a standard security measure that we take very seriously. But we would never, ever charge a release fee for you to have access to your own data.

Be prepared to ask your suppliers pointed questions about this, and get a no-release-fee promise in a written agreement.

Data Backup and Recovery Planning

In today’s digital world, the issues of data integrity and data protection impact every practice. It’s crucial to understand your responsibilities and liabilities and to have a contingency plan. Here are some best practices to follow: Data Backup and Recovery Planning

Ten Commandments for Effective Leadership

Following are ten points that resonate as a golden rule for leaders and aspiring leaders in all fields, including dentistry. Adapted from Physician Leader’s 10 Commandments by James Paskert, MD, published in the May/June 2014 issue of Physician Executive Journal, the points outline sage advice that can help build more meaningful relationships in every aspect of your professional life.

  1. “People may not remember what you say, but they always remember how you made them feel.” (Wisdom borrowed from the work of author Maya Angelou.)
  2. Happiness exists in the ‘gray zone’. The middle gray zone is where collegiality and teamwork flourish, not in the ‘black-and-white’ area.
  3. Think ‘and’ instead of ‘or’ for the win. It is critical for dental professionals to learn to craft win-win solutions.
  4. Fifty-one percent is not enough to build consensus. A simple majority will rarely provide the support you need.
  5. Be an attentive listener. Don’t interrupt, finish others’ sentences or talk over people.
  6. Build a goodwill bank account with other dentists. Get to know as many colleagues and healthcare specialists in your workplace as possible. Attach a face and a personality to each individual.
  7. Never let your boss be surprised. Manage up. Period.
  8. Clinicians, with business training, can be great administrators. They are concerned with quality and patient safety.
  9. Above all, maintain transparency in all communications. Be timely, include all necessary content and follow up promptly.
  10. Use email respectfully and cautiously. The phone is often still the wisest and safest choice.

Mother Nature can be brutal

A dramatic wind storm took out the power in most parts of the city. The blackout lasted for several hours. When the staff at an inner city clinic reported for duty the next morning, the power had been restored, but their server would not reboot.

Neither their in-house technical specialist nor the external IT consultant could salvage the computer or the resident data. They immediately purchased a new server and started the install and configuration. “Where’s your data back-up?” they wanted to know. “On the server” was the answer.

Ouch.

A very basic lesson learned the hard way: It doesn’t matter how small your practice is. Your data must be reliably backed up and securely stored off-site. Not only is it good business practice, in most states and provinces, it’s the law.

Talk to your practice management software supplier today. If you’re an ABELDent user, look into our Remote Backup and Disaster Recovery services ASAP. Being prepared is the best defence.