3 Ways Using Video Tools Benefit Your Practice

Video is more than just a promotion tool.

Has your dental practice made any videos in the past? Do you currently record videos for patients, or does your office have a YouTube channel? Even posting videos on platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, or TikTok can be effective in building an online presence.  

Whether your practice posts videos or not, it is helpful to know the potential impact videos can have on both your dental office and your patients. Understanding the outcomes that may come from creating a few videos is the first step in deciding whether or not to produce some video content, and also deciding whether it is worth it for your office, or not. In this blog post, we are going to cover some of the ways you can use videos as a dental clinic, such as: 

  1. To promote your practice online 
  1. To strengthen patient-provider relationships, even with prospective patients 
  1. To make oral healthcare information such as aftercare instructions more accessible for patients (and the general public) 

Using video for online advertising 

Person opening Youtube on a smartphone

When comparing text-based promotions to video ads, the latter boasts better results. The facts and statistics speak for themselves: using video content is far more effective than text-based content. If your dental practice needs some website content or you are looking to establish an online presence, consider using video.

If your office already uses Google Ads, using YouTube for video content may be a promising choice. YouTube, which is owned by Google, seamlessly integrates with other Google products (such as Google Ads), which can help make your promotion process easier; for example, you can promote videos as an ad if you want to reach more prospective patients and expand your practice.

Using video for strengthening patient-provider relationships 

Patient-provider relationships are one of the main pillars of dentistry, being the driving cause for fostering healthy relationships and keeping patients coming back for routine treatment. Videos offer a chance for you to personify your clinic’s online presence, making it easier to foster patient-provider relationships online by having a positive first impression. 

Videos are one of the more empathetic media forms, giving viewers a chance to emotionally connect with the person on-screen. Moreover, videos can build trust for the viewer, depending on the content. Even if your video does not show a person at all, (e.g. it may only contain text or pictures to explain a concept), video is far more engaging than text or images, allowing viewers to focus on your content for longer. 

Some examples of videos that practices post are: 

  • Virtual office tour – beneficial for prospective patients to learn what your clinic looks like beforehand, and gives you a chance to demonstrate any safety or hygiene precautions your practice may be taking 
  • Post-operative instructions – we will talk more about this in the next section (below) 
  • Announcements – for example, holiday hours or new team members 
  • Team introductions – shows that your office cares about prioritizing patient-provider relationships by offering a good first impression to any prospects 

There are hundreds of potential videos your office could make, depending on the needs you are trying to meet by using this format. 

Using video as a form of teledentistry – making oral health information accessible online 

Dentist on laptop screen

When utilized in certain ways, videos can qualify as telehealth, such as promoting good hygiene habits for patients when out of office, or providing relevant information to your patients. According to RCDSO, sharing a recorded video is a form of asynchronous teledentistry, as long as the material is being used to help evaluate a patient’s condition, or assist in treating a patient outside of a real-time interaction. In other words, sending a patient a video of aftercare instructions counts as teledentistry, which can be a useful tool in ensuring patients follow instructions correctly.  

For more information on teledentistry in Ontario, check out RCDSO’s informational page on the topic. 

Video creation is not as much work as you may think 

The great thing about using video as a medium in 2021 is that the process has become accessible for nearly anyone with a smartphone. Ultimately, video creation does not have to be high-effort or high-cost. Utilizing this medium can be as simple as recording a short video on your smartphone, and either uploading directly or using a cost-effective (or even free) editing tool.  

There are various platforms and tools that your office can use to create and enhance video content, some specifically geared towards people who do not have any video editing experience (e.g. CanvaVimeo, etc.) You can even utilize smartphone applications if you just need to do some simple enhancements to your videos, such as adding text or images to your projects. 

If your office is interested in producing video content for patients and prospective patients, setting up a process with an administrative associate may be required to produce quality videos. For example, few planning steps are always required before jumping into creating video content. As an oral healthcare provider, you may not have time to produce such content with your schedule full of patients. For this reason, we encourage having a pre-established process with team members, or maybe even a group outside of your regular dental team. Perhaps your clinic wants to opt for a few pre-recorded post-operative instructions to send to patients after their oral surgeries. There are various options for all types of practices, it’s just a matter of putting the time into crafting something that can be used time and again. 

Simplified Charting in ABELDent CS and LS+

A comprehensive charting system is a necessity for your dental office. While practice management systems offer the same range of charting mechanisms, ABELDent provides you with simplified systems for clinical charting such as templated clinical chart notes for quick and easy record-keeping with no compromises. ABELDent comes with clinical note presets that you can edit or change to fit your practice’s needs. These fast templated notes mean your team spends more time focusing on providing top-quality treatment without sacrificing detailed records. Other benefits much like templated clinical notes are what makes ABELDent such a useful tool for dental professionals. In this blog post, we are going to go in-depth about some of ABELDent CS and LS+’s charting features.

Charting Existing Conditions

Even new hires can easily adapt to working in your practice by utilizing ABELDent’s simplified workflows. 

All your team needs to do is use the buttons on the left side of the clinical chart to mark existing conditions and treatments quickly and efficiently.  

Quick Tip: 

To add an existing condition to your patient’s chart, click the tooth with the condition, then press  the button for the condition you want to apply. For example, below, the patient’s 18 is marked as ‘missing’.  

Tooth 18 is marked as ‘missing’ in the patient’s clinical chart.

To mark an existing condition on more than one tooth, hold down the button for that condition until it turns blue. Then click on all of the teeth that you want to post that condition to. This simple shortcut can save to time and effort each day. 

Watch the video below to see how simple and efficient charting conditions on multiple teeth is in ABELDent. 

Charting New Treatment 

When adding today’s treatment, or creating treatment plan(s) for a patient, ABELDent gives you the option to filter procedure codes so you can quickly select the most common treatments or codes. For example, when charting a restorative procedure, simply select the tooth surface(s) that need to be restored, and ABELDent will display the appropriate procedure code for you to choose from.

Another time-saver is the ability to record treatment provided to a patient by one or more providers. If two or more different providers see the same patient on a specific day, you can easily change the provider without closing out of the chart. This keeps provider production separate. Additionally, deleting codes is as simple as clicking the code you want deleted, then navigating to the trash-can button below the chart. 

Intuitive charting is just one of the various benefits ABELDent CS and LS+ provides its users. To learn more about how ABELDent can make practice management easier, contact us today!

Here’s why Dentists are opting for an all-in-one practice management solution

How many different software platforms does your dental practice use daily? 

Dental offices have a growing number of technologies available to meet practice specific practice needs. Some practices use more of these than others, trying to get the most benefit from each. This approach can sometimes get complicated.  For instance, if one or more of the solutions have difficulties, it can lead to having to spend time on the phone with multiple companies while at the same time trying to work through the issues created in the office. Most of all, having many different types of software can result in new problems when one of the solutions is updated without a corresponding change in other software.  

A more comprehensive dental software can help to minimize these issues, and often save you money at the same time. 

A computer screen with ABELDent open on the screen, showing a patient's clinical chart. There are 3 icons showing a tooth with a checkmark, a calendar, and a smartphone.

While there are cases where using different software solutions can be useful, the benefits a practice receives from smoothly integrated, consistent software can surpass the benefit of using various platforms in your practice. The more complexity in your overall software environment, the more likely that redundancy and inefficiency will creep in, result in each solution providing less than optimal benefit.   

ABELDent offers multiple capabilities for dental practitioners, including but not limited to easy patient messaging, simplified scheduling, templated clinical notes, detailed clinical charting, and extensive financial workflows. Let’s dig deeper to discuss why ABELDent is the all-in-one software your practice just might be looking for. 

Benefit from regular updates, and opt for auto-updates for simplicity 

Regular updates ensure your software runs as smoothly and as securely as it possibly can. As time goes on, cybercriminals adapt to new security measures and begin to pose as threats again,  which is why keeping any software up-to-date is essential. In addition to refined security, software updates ensure that your programs run smoother. ABELDent CS and LS+ users benefit from regular automatic updates, which means there is no work on the practice’s end to manually download recommended updates. 

Software that extends beyond charting and scheduling 

Using platforms from multiple vendors may result in weak integration, or declining levels of integration over time.  This can result in manual effort or data redundancy for your team, with each platform providing less than optimal benefits.  ABELDent benefits your practice with built in features such as patient messaging and patient-facing digital forms (see video below) that integrate seamlessly with existing patient charts. For instance, if a patient indicates a new medication or allergy on a health history form, all your team has to do is insert the new information into their patient file which then displays alerts on various screens throughout the program. That way, when your team and scheduling or preparing to treat the patient, the information to treat the patient effectively will be top of mind.  

Our video tutorial on using our completely secure, digital, touchless patient intake forms.

Practice management software that has multiple capabilities is a staple when you are searching for a new solution. (Read: Clinical Charting Features to Look For). Instead of worrying whether a scheduling software integrates with a separate clinical software, which also integrates with a patient communication platform, try a comprehensive solution with these basic necessities built in. Not only is doing this more cost effective, but also easier to manage. 

Avoid vulnerabilities with compliance 

As trusted healthcare providers, dentists have professional responsibilities to meet regulations related to patients and their secure data. ABELDent stays up-to-date with regulation changes that impact communication with patients, such as CASL, PHIPA, HIPAA, and PIPEDA. Incoming mandatory changes to governmental privacy regulations may affect ongoing routines and require new data be stored to ensure practice compliance. We provide the tools that allow your practice to easily comply with these regulations, regardless of your province or state. 

ABELDent makes practice management easier for you by offering benefits such as detailed periodontal and oral charting, seamlessly integrated touchless forms, and templated clinical notes that save your team’s valuable time. If you are interested in switching to software that is simple and easy to use, while continuing to expand the needs that can be met by a practice management software, contact us today. 

Practice Protection: How to spot a phishing scam

Internet-based crime has been steadily rising in frequency each year. Ransomware is becoming more common, notably at the same time as the pandemic’s height in North America. We have addressed the rise of online criminal activity in recent blogs, such as our February blog post discussing why cybercrime has become more prevalent.   

With the digitization of much of our everyday tasks, ransomware poses as huge risk to companies, healthcare providers, and even governments. COVID-19 resulted in even more digitization, and therefore a higher occurrence of cyberattacks. In this post we are expanding on our blog post from April 2020 to provide you with some updated advice on protecting your practice from ransomware.  

While over half of the cyberattacks occurred via Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) servers, hackers gained access to servers via phishing (29%). Since dentistry is largely an in-person profession (aside from teledentistry), phishing is the most common way for hackers to access a practice’s data. These attacks can grant hackers access to your practice’s network, which makes your office extremely vulnerable to ransomware.  

Key point: be wary of links and strange voice messages  

Phishing and vishing are common attempts hackers make to gain access to your practice’s network. Both methods can be seen in a variety of ways – for example, hackers may impersonate someone you know to gain a password, account, or request you send them money directly. Cybercriminals also may appear to be from a government or financial institution, accusing you of being in trouble, or that you owe money. Any unrecognizable message from an unverified source should raise suspicions.   

If you suspect you or your office may have received a phishing email, there are multiple tells that you can look for:  

  • An urgent email from an unknown source – for example, someone you know contacting you claiming to be from a “different email or phone”)  
  • Emails requesting instant action, such as sending your password or confidential information immediately, or sending money right away. 
  • Links that don’t match what they are displayed as: if you are considering clicking a link in an email, always hover over the link before opening it. If the destination does not match the displayed link, do not click. 

There are more signs to look for, which are detailed in this PDF. If you want more information on ransomware in relation to dentistry, ADA has an informative post on ransomware and cyberattacks, and provides details on how you can avoid losing your practice’s data.  

We are always looking for ways to help your practice grow and succeed. Securing your office’s data is the foundation of a flourishing dental office. If your office requires backup services, consider ABEL RBS for your office’s security. 

Guiding Your Patients: How To Minimize Disinformation From Online Sources

One of the crucial roles of a healthcare provider is to ensure patient understanding, whether by dissipating false information for patients, or educating and explaining topics to patients. As of 2021, we are growing increasingly reliant on social media platforms and various websites for our social interactions, news consumption, and other major facets of our lives. While our growing connectedness via the Internet fosters an age of understanding, there are also more opportunities for spreading disinformation. Some statistics, tricks, tips, or other forms of media that may initially be harmless can be altered, or flat-out harmful practices can be shared. Some examples of this include skewed statistics, or “dental DIY” tricks that can cause repercussions.  

A concerning number of patients get their health-related news from scrolling through social media. Based on findings from Referral MD, 90% of surveyed individuals between the ages of 18 – 24 indicated they trust health information shared on social media platforms.  

COVID-19 has resulted in a lot of misinformation and confused masses. Different municipalities, locations, and sources have varying regulations and protocols, and many people are unsure of what is safe and unsafe anymore. Fortunately, your dental practice’s team can work to minimize confusion in your patients by utilizing emails, social media platforms, and in-person appointments. Keep reading to find out how to utilize these three methods to benefit your patients. 

Opportunities to educate your patient-base: 

1. Emails  

Photo by Torsten Dettlaff on Pexels.com
  • Use emails to your office’s advantage by reminding patients of what they can expect when they come to their appointments. For example, if your waiting area is closed, remind your patients to wait in their car, or be prepared to wait outside. Remind patients of necessary pre-appointment duties, such as filling out a pre-screening form, and wearing a mask. 
  • If your office participates in patient newsletters, consider adding a portion dedicated to sharing accurate information and facts for relevant topics.  
  • Using a messaging software that lets you send automated emails with areas for personalization is a great way to connect to patients on a large scale, while also remaining time efficient. 

2. Social media 

Photo by Cristian Dina on Pexels.com
  • We have touched on the ways you can use social media in previous blogs, such as encouraging healthy habits, and keeping up patient relations during lockdowns. 
  • Using social media prevents can help prevent harmful trends from occurring in your patients, depending on your practice’s following. Keeping on top of “dental DIY” trends and similar patterns can help your practice make relevant social media posts, as well as guide followers, and your patient base, in the right direction. 
  • Ensure that any information you post is appropriate and truthful. This may go without saying, but sometimes, unclear information can be misinterpreted, which can result in further confusion. 
  • Try to keep any posts simple, clear, and most importantly, trustworthy. Getting your information from reputable sources (such as collegiate institutes, trusted healthcare providers, government websites, etc.), or using your own knowledge as a dental professional, are good practices for ensuring you are doing your best to mitigate disinformation. 
  • Share useful information from trusted sources (examples above) as resource hubs for your patients.  

3. Appointments 

  • Encourage your patients to be aware of ongoing dental trends that tend to pop up every few years – for example, at-home whitening, at-home “braces”, etc. In addition to just being aware, patients should also know the dangers associated with participating in these trends, and the damage they could cause to their mouth and overall health. 
  • Be aware that younger patients may feel inclined to try these trends more than older patients, generally. Younger patients may not know these trends are as harmful as they seem. 
  • Answer any questions your patient may have, and if they indicate that they are interested in specific cosmetics (I.e., bleaching treatments), be sure to educate your patients on the dangers of at-home treatments. Any way you can educate your patients about the best practices for continuing their oral hygiene at home is valuable and will help mitigate disinformation. 

Why Cyberattacks Have Risen During COVID-19, and How to Protect Your Practice

As mentioned in previous posts, the COVID-19 pandemic opened the door for increased cyberattacks of all kinds. With many of our interpersonal communications moving online, hackers and criminals are continuously finding new ways to compromise our cybersecurity, and by extension, access our personal information. This problem goes beyond our personal devices, however, as healthcare-providers are a major target due to the valuable information that is kept on file. With countless breaches, ransomware attacks, and lost data, healthcare providers are turning to off-site backup services to ensure their patient and office data is safeguarded from threats.  

Dan Lohrmann wrote an insightful blog post covering the various topics under the umbrella of cybersecurity amidst COVID-19. Lohrmann summarizes that as much of the workforce shifted to a remote, virtual mindset, cyber criminals began taking advantage of the shift while most people remained in an adjustment period. In April 2020, WHO reported a higher number of cyberattacks on the organization’s staff, for example, via email scams. Lohrmann lists the many news articles that connect the vulnerability that the pandemic brought, with the increase in online criminal activity

While we have largely become used to regularly using virtual means for work, education, and socialization, cyberattacks still pose a massive risk to us. 

What does this mean for dentists? 

Your dental practice’s information is highly valuable to a hacker. Patient information, financial records, or even staff records can be used for malicious purposes in the wrong hands. While most of your work is done in-person, your computers can be compromised by something as innocent-seeming as an email. To ensure your data is safe from cyberattacks going into the future, ensure your team members are properly trained in cybersecurity. Social engineering, phishing, and vishing are all terms that your front-desk staff should be aware of. In addition to this, it is best practice to review and update this training at least yearly, and when there are staff changes or other major changes in your practice or more often if needed. Cyberattacks evolve as new technologies become implemented, meaning that your team needs to know what to look out for as hackers adjust their tactics. 

Another way you can protect your practice’s data is by keeping all computer systems, platforms, and software that your practice uses up to date with the latest versions. We spoke more in-depth on this in a previous blog post, but to summarize, software and system updates patch any insecurities that hackers may have found in between updates. These updates also are ever-improving security measures, so keep cybercriminals at bay by making sure your systems are not out-of-date. 

In addition to making sure hackers can’t cause any damage from the start, always have a backup plan in case of the worst possible scenario. If your office lost data, your practice could be significantly impacted for days, maybe even weeks, or even permanently, depending on the type and severity of the attack. Make sure your practice data is regularly backed up, either locally or in a cloud server. All practice data should be backed up, including all patient records, financial information, schedules, etc. Having a backup ready in case your office experiences the worst-case scenario saves you hours of distress in trying to get that data back or dealing with the repercussions if it is lost for good. 

In summary, prioritize your practice’s data security by: 

  1. Ensure your staff has up-to-date cybersecurity training regularly. 
  1. Keep your software, computer system, and all platforms up-to-date. 
  1. Back up your practice data regularly – either remotely (such as ABEL RBS, a remote backup service using cloud technology), or locally. 

Why Should You Use Patient-Facing Features in Your Practice?

What is ‘patient-facing’?  

Patient-facing systems are tools that provide patients with the opportunity to actively engage with their healthcare practitioners virtually. The dental industry has been evolving towards patient-facing solutions in recent years by implementing auto-scheduling, downloadable forms, and live chatting functionalities. The demand for these systems and methods have escalated as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.  

Practices are incorporating patient-facing solutions because patients can easily interact with dental providers or access resources online. Patient-facing systems are accessible, simple solutions that prove useful for a variety of reasons. For instance, the touchless aspect of online solutions reduces face-to-face interaction and the sharing of paper, pens, or devices, thereby minimizing COVID-19 related health concerns.  

Makes open communication between dentist and patient easier, faster, and more accessible 

Clear communication is a crucial aspect of dentistry. Ensuring patient understanding, as referenced by CDA, results in increased patient satisfaction, increased procedure efficiency, and fewer negative experiences and reviews.  

Patient-facing features provide patients with the opportunity to share information more easily via online resources to learn about their treatment. This also allows patients to actively participate in virtual care. Some examples include patients filling out consent forms prior to treatment, completing health history and COVID-19 screening forms, updating their standing patient form, and prefacing appointments with video consultations. These features ensure patients can gain a deeper understanding of their treatment prior to their physical appointment without having to be physically present in your office. Providing an online format for these tasks rather than in-person is convenient for patients, reduces COVID-19 concerns, and saves your practice a spare operatory. 

Provides a good opportunity for easing anxious patients 

Additional benefits of patient-facing features include the accommodation of safe (touchless), convenient, and fast communication between provider and patient to preface appointments. In addition to quick communication, virtual care allows the use of visuals the same way you would be able to show patients in your operatory how a procedure will go. Screen-sharing capabilities that are included in most video conferencing tools allow this, limiting the setbacks that an online consultation would have in comparison to a physical consultation. 

Pre-treatment appointments can be beneficial for patients who are apprehensive, as you can suggest patient calming techniques, discuss whether nitrous oxide is a viable solution for their needs, or discuss other options that may help to calm anxieties. Doing all this in an online setting benefits your practice and the patient, and helps strengthen the practice-patient relationship. 

Lightens the workload for your team and minimizes chances of manual errors 

Forms that are hard to read, faxed, or scanned to your office, or rushed can often result in team members interpreting information wrong and inserting incorrect information in a patient’s chart. Allowing patients to fill out their forms online eliminates these potential errors on your office’s end. Patients may still make a typo or fill in an area incorrectly, but these errors can easily be fixed in your office by editing the file. Removing the chances of your team members getting information wrong is a step in the right direction towards great recordkeeping. Additionally, allowing patients to submit their forms online allows your team members to be more productive with their time. 

Overall, patient-facing solutions are a great practical tool to have in your office, not just during health crises, but long-term. Many patients and practices, having been introduced to the benefit of these methods, will come to prefer and expect them.  

The various benefits mentioned throughout this blog post are reasons for investing in online solutions, which will prepare your practice for the upcoming decade when virtual care and patient-facing systems will be the norm. 

If you are interested in finding out more about ABELDent’s touchless patient-facing forms, we are available 24/7. Feel free to fill out our contact form below, or give us a call at the phone number mentioned below. 

Resources: 

Jensen, R. E., Gummerson, S. P., & Chung, A. E. (2016). Overview of Patient-Facing Systems in Patient-Reported Outcomes Collection: Focus and Design in Cancer Care. Journal of oncology practice, 12(10), 873–875. https://doi.org/10.1200/JOP.2016.015685 

3 Simple, Necessary Steps to Take for Data Security

Security professionals, financial advisors, and even government agencies suggest that in 2020, cyberattacks can be more devastating on a business than a natural disaster. If your office faced a cyberattack today, would you have a plan to follow to recover your valuable data? 

As dental software providers, one of our ongoing goals is to ensure dentists keep their practice data safe and secure, regardless of which software they use. Healthcare practitioners, such as dental providers, are always targets for cyberattacks because of each practice’s valuable information and records. While paperless recordkeeping boasts increased security for your practice records, it is crucial to keep in mind that data needs to always be safeguarded from potential threats. In this blog post, we have four simple steps that you can follow to ensure your dental practice’s data is sufficiently secured in the event of a cyberattack. 

Step 1: Keep your software and computers up to date 

Whether you store your dental records on an all-in-one practice management software or you use other options, chances are that the software you use rolls out regular software updates. Our first simple step to data security is keep your software updated. We have discussed the importance of keeping your software up to date in previous blog posts. To summarize, software updates provide users with the latest security to counteract potential threats, which are continually evolving. Additionally, these software updates fix bugs that could potentially lead to unprotected data.  

Along with software updates, ensure your computer platforms and operating systems are regularly updated as well. Updated computers and operating systems incorporate advanced security measures and bug fixes that are necessary to prevent the latest threats. For example, as of January 2020, Microsoft no longer supports outdated platforms such as SQL 2008, Windows Server 2008, and Windows 7. Since these platforms are no longer supported, the software no longer receives security fixes in automated updates, leaving the system vulnerable to viruses, spyware, ransomware, and other malicious threats. Although you may require a periodic investment to keep your system up to date, it is best to always make sure you are using supported versions of the technologies used in your practice.  

Step 2: Maintain proper user credentials 

In addition to keeping up with software updates, make sure your workstations’ passwords are private and strong enough to minimize threats. News stories, statistics, and testimonies can attest to the issues bad passwords can create for a businesses. For instance, 81% of hacking-related security breaches are caused by insufficient passwords. As shown through multiple studies, weak passwords can be the downfall of an entire organization. Not only can an outsider easily access your valuable practice data but, with poor passwords, a team member could access something they are not supposed to. 

How can you strengthen your password security? For starters, if you can, ensure each team member has their own secure login information to eliminate the risk of password-sharing and similar problems. Additionally, ensure all passwords are unique and strong; everyone should avoid using personal information in their passwords, such as their name or birthday, as these could be easy to identify for a potential hacker. General phrases such as “password” should always be avoided. Password specifications vary from source to source, but universally, almost everyone agrees on these general principles: 

  1. Keep your password long (recommendations vary, but generally 8-16 characters) 
  2. Use a mix of capitalized and lower-case letters 
  3. Integrate numbers and symbols into your password 
  4. Ensure passwords are periodically changed 

Lastly, to keep your workstations as secure as possible, passwords should change every few months. The passwords should also not recycle any words or patterns as a precaution. If you or your team members struggle to remember multiple unique passwords, consider using a password manager to keep track of everything. For more tips on how to create a strong password, read this article. 

Step 3: Backup your practice’s data 

Our third simple step for protecting your practice’s valuable data is backing up your data regularly. While you can do everything possible to protect your data in the event of a cyberattack, some things are uncontrollable. For example, natural disasters can cause devastating and irreversible damage to your practice’s servers if they are kept in your office. To ensure your practice data is as secure as possible, look into secure Cloud backups. Doing regular data backups not only prevents significant data loss if a cyberattack struck your office but also ensures your practice’s data is secured off-site. Microsoft Azure is an example of a Cloud solution, and it is the one ABELDent uses for Remote Backup Services. 

By checking off these three simple steps, you are taking the necessary actions towards securing your practice data.  

3 Reasons to Leverage Web Analytics as a Dental Practice

How well is your website contributing to your practice goals? Is there someone in your practice gathering information and taking action to improve your web presence? Who in your office has time to check data analytics? How would it benefit your dental practice? 

While there is a learning curve associated with navigating web analytics software, using this such a measurement tool can be very worthwhile for your practice. Once someone in your practice understands the basics of navigating and interpreting the information shown, you can make your marketing strategies and SEO more efficient and cost-effective. 

Web analysis software measures various aspects of your website, such as the number of unique visitors, pages within a website that are popular, and the length of time a visitor spends on a page. Analysis software also often collects data via cookies to form demographic reports about website visitors.  

Office administrators, dentists, or delegated team members can do regular upkeep on website data by using tools such as Google Analytics. Google Analytics is a popular choice because it is free. There are various alternatives to Google Analytics, as well. Once someone knows how to navigate and interpret the information that the data analysis tool collects, it can be a very efficient and worthwhile process for improving the impact of your online presence. Streamlining web keywords and SEO can save your office time when deciphering the presented data. 

If you are interested in using web and data analysis to position your practice for growth, read below to find out three compelling reasons for using these systems in your office. 

1. Pinpoint your prospective patients 

Having web analysis software attached to your website can help you learn more about who is visiting your website. Google Analytics, for instance, gathers demographic information about visitors on your website. In reports, you find out the age, gender, and interests of your visitors. Knowing who visits your website can help you understand where your practice is positioned online, and if you are marketing to your desired demographic.  

2. Have better plans for marketing your practice online 

Understanding which media are effective for your practice allows you to get the most value out of your advertising budget. Analytics software displays detailed reports of how people arrive at your website, how long they stay on a certain webpage, and whether visitors clicked specific buttons on your webpages. Understanding how you acquire website views signals the methods that are effective for your practice. For instance, if you get a lot of direct traffic (meaning people insert your website into their web browser on their own), your print media and other resources are likely effective at directing people to your page. If you acquire a lot of visitors from search engines, however, it may signal that using sponsored ads such as Google AdWords is more effective for your practice. 

Analytics software also allows you to see the breakdown of devices used to view your website. If your website displays strangely on mobile, and majority of your visitors are on your website from a mobile device, you may need to plan to revisit your web design. Seeing how long visitors stay on your webpage also tells a lot about how effective your design is and signals what visitors want to learn from your website by which webpages are most visited.  

3. Web analytics help you evaluate your practice’s online performance 

When you are conducting an evaluation on your practice via SWOT analysisPMBO, or another method, your website’s metrics are a great indicator of how your online presence is doing. Interpreting certain patterns in website visitors can suggest where your strengths and weaknesses are in terms of marketing your practice online. This can also provide useful insight into the techniques your practice utilizes the best from a business perspective. Lastly, the ability to catalogue and document this information into reports is an especially useful tool when measuring online growth and ad efficiency. Spending some time learning data analytics can help your practice if you are looking to get more out of online marketing. 

4 Reasons for Attending Dental Conventions

Dental conferences and trade shows are among the longest-standing traditions in the industry. Dental professionals, stakeholders, exhibitors, and various other guests attend conferences and trade shows commonly held in convention centres or hotels.  

The reasons for attending are different for everyone; some attendees may go for the continuing education (CE) courses; some want to expand their professional network, some for the social opportunities, while others may want to go for the experience. Depending on the location, these conventions often attract dental professionals from all over the world and foster connections between people associated with the industry. 

This year, several trade shows and conferences are being taken online due to health and safety measures. This unique format has been used in the last few months to facilitate connections while also prioritizing social distancing and public health. ADA’s Florida Dental Conference, for instance, is operating virtually this year. While this format eliminates the aspect of travelling to a new place, having a virtual conference creates an opportunity for attendees that otherwise may not have been able or willing to attend a physical exhibition. Additionally, scientists have found that in many cases, virtual conferences allow for better experiences for attendees and stakeholders due to more control for moderated discussions, more attendees, reduced carbon emissions, and lower travel expenses.  

This week’s blog outlines five reasons to attend dental conferences and trade shows, whether virtual or physical.  

1. Opportunity for CE credits 

As a known requirement for dental professionals, continuing education credits are often available from educational sessions or modules at conferences or trade shows. If you are looking for potential CE credits, be sure to do research on the sessions you sign up for to see if they are offered with the module.  

2. Outside insights & networking

Attending trade shows and connecting with new individuals allows you to learn about how other industry practices operate, which is useful in comparing your differences. Comparing your current practice’s business model with other dentists in the community is a great starting point when conducting a SWOT analysis of your practice. You can also learn why other professionals in the field may favour certain technologies or methods over others, providing you with a new perspective and ongoing appreciation of the industry. 

In addition to gaining outside perspectives, attending virtual and physical conferences provides an opportunity for networking with other professionals in the field. Along with meeting new people, new opportunities arise for potential practice changes, partnerships, retirement plans, and other chances to improve your practice in ways you may not have thought of before.  

3. Go for the experience

If you haven’t been to a conference in any capacity, attending one for your first time may not be what you expect. While physical trade shows in the past have been quite busy, with many having thousands of visitors, virtual conferences are a new ballpark. Despite this, there are still many reasons to attend an online trade show. For example, many vendors you may have inquiries for are set up for easy access with minimal wait times. Often, you may have an opportunity to privately message or reach out to a speaker that you have questions for. Lastly, if you missed a specific session or livestream, there are usually recordings (especially for sessions that you register for), whereas at a physical conference or trade show recordings may be limited. Of course, attending a physical trade show can be an exciting experience for the first time, to say the least. There are countless things to do, many vendors to talk to, and hundreds of potential new connections.  

4. Learn what is new in the ever-changing field of dentistry. 

The exhibit hall is a world of opportunity for conference attendees. Perhaps there has been a technology or vendor you have been interested in incorporating into your practice prior to attending the show. Whether virtual or physical, attending a conference is a great opportunity to talk to the companies that you think are interesting and may benefit your practice. There may be special pricing or additional benefits by seeking vendors out at these shows. Interactions with vendors at their booths tend to be more valuable, personal, and informative by giving you the chance to ask anything you may be wondering about the vendor.