Dentists and Specialists Can Reduce Their Liability with Web Based Dental Software by Experience Dentistry

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Dentists and Specialists can reduce their liability with Experience Dentistry’s recently released ED 3.0 web based dental software.

Dentists and Specialists can reduce their liability with Experience Dentistry’s recently released ED 3.0 web based dental software.

Whether you’re a licensed medical professional, office administrator or patient there are rules in place to protect records and the rights of patients. Dental professionals and their patients are at risk when sending records via unencrypted email.

The American Dental Associations ‘Dental Records’ publication published in 2010 by the Council on Dental Practice and the Division of Legal Affairs states the following regarding Record Management on page 6:

“The recording of accurate patient information is essential to dentistry. The dental record, also referred to as the patient chart, is the official office document that records all diagnostic information, clinical notes, treatment performed and patient-related communications that occur in the dental office, including instructions for home care and consent to treatment.

"Protecting health information—and diligent and complete record keeping—is extremely important for many reasons.”

Regarding record communication and malpractice the publication states:

“Records also provide a means of communication between the treating dentist and any other doctor who will care for that patient. Complete and accurate records contain enough information to allow another provider who has no prior knowledge of the patient to know the patient’s dental experience in your office.

"Beyond providing patient care, the dental record is important because it may be used in a court of law to establish the diagnostic information that was obtained and the treatment that was rendered to the patient. It can be used in defense of allegations of malpractice.”

The ‘Dental Records’ publication goes on to specifically identify risks when “Communicating with Patients by E-mail” on page 18:

“It is difficult to ensure confidentiality and to confirm the identity of the person when communicating via unsecured e-mail. E-mail could be misdirected in error, or forwarded to an unknown third party without proper controls.”

Liability can be minimized if a better system for keeping complete records is in place. Not only writing down what was performed, but writing down what was said (inform). A patient record is more than a billing statement. Details informing patients about why treatment is needed, alternatives to care and giving them the opportunity to ask questions and get answers are critical to maintaining thorough records and improving care. If this is done ahead of time, misunderstandings leading to lawsuits can be avoided. In addition, if accusations are made, written records are the providers best defense.

Aside from routine hygiene cleaning, the complexity of dentistry today highlights the need for collaborative care between dental providers and their patients. A thorough treatment summary, specialist referrals and informing patients so they can understand their options, ask questions and approve treatment can take substantial time and require multiple resources. Sounds like a difficult task, but Experience Dentistry's recently released ED 3.0 has addressed all of these issues and more in an efficient and secure application catered to dental professionals online.

Experience Dentistry’s web-based dental software was designed specifically for dental professionals to communicate with their colleagues and patients. Dentists can purchase Experience Dentistry’s Software as a Service (SaaS) to compliment existing client-based practice management software for remote file transfer or use it independently as web based dental software. Experience Dentistry Subscribers communicate with their patients and colleagues remotely by uploading digital records to the cloud application and sharing the secure access; thus saving time, costs and miscommunication. Premium subscribers easily add, upload, save and share patient data including: treatment summary, digital x-rays, digital photographs, estimates, appointment information and referral introductions. Administrators may assign file access to a referral office and add appointments for patients. The dental software caters to treatments requiring referral, patient follow up and collaboration from multiple parties as an alternative to several in-house visits. While providing a digital record for all parties involved, the data is backed up, encrypted, time and date stamped. Additionally, patients and practitioners can exchange secure and private correspondence within Experience Dentistry’s Network DDS direct messaging system.

Experience Dentistry is the web based dental software that speaks to all parties involved in patient care in an efficient and secure manner. It is possible to follow Federal HIPAA and American Dental Association recommendations. There is no excuse for noncompliance. Everyone wins with Experience Dentistry.

Acknowledgements:

The ‘Dental Records’ publication referenced was developed by the Council on Dental Practice and the Division of Legal Affairs. The American Dental Association, Council on Dental Practice and Division of Legal Fairs are in no way affiliated with Experience Dentistry. Read the ‘Dental Records’ publication in full here: http://www.ada.org/sections/professionalResources/pdfs/dentalpractice_dental_records.pdf

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