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Is there a Migration of Patients to Paper-Based Dentists?

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Paper Medical Records Become Popular Again?

[By Kellus Pruitt DDS]

1-darrellpruitt

Starting long ago, I warned that as more dental patients are notified of data breaches – some more than once – we are likely to witness an event mandate stakeholders said would never happen: A migration of patients to paper-based dentists.

Now, because of the rapidly escalating costs and liabilities, defiant, slow adopters of electronic dental records [EDRs] can not only expect to provide dental care at a lower cost than “paperless practices,” but patients are on course to learn that some dentists do not put their patients at risk of medical identity theft by putting identities on computers.

Just sit back and watch!

The Ponemon Institute

In February, the Ponemon Institute published  their “Fifth Annual Study on Medical Identity Theft.”

 “Consumers expect healthcare providers to be proactive in preventing and detecting medical identity theft. Although many respondents are not confident in the security practices of their healthcare provider, 79 percent of respondents say it is important for healthcare providers to ensure the privacy of their health records. Forty-eight percent say they would consider changing healthcare providers if their medical records were lost or stolen. If such a breach occurred, 40 percent say prompt notification by the organization responsible for safeguarding this information is important.”

The Paper-Gold Standard? 

So if your patients start asking you not to put their identities – including medical records – on your computers, what will you do, Doc?

Since encryption is a non-starter in dentistry for solid, business reasons, and will make paperless practices even less competitive with paper-based, would you consider employing staff which knows how to use pegboard, ledger cards and lots of carbon paper (The gold standard of security)?

Or, would you prefer not to give up computerization, yet keep your patients safe?

*** paper

***

More:

Assessment

De-identification of primary electronic dental records is sounding better all the time. Am I right? If patients’ identities are not available, they cannot be hacked.

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Conclusion

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Are Dentists Satisfied with their EDRs?

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Major Discontent With EHR Adoption

[By D. Kellus Pruitt DDS]

1-darrellpruittUnlike physicians, dentists never complain. That means they are probably 100% satisfied with their electronic dental records.

What do you think, Doc?

MarketWatch 

Recently, the Wall Street Journal’s MarketWatch posted a press release titled, “Physicians Cite Major Discontent With Adoption And Use of Electronic Health Record Systems, Despite Government’s $27 Billion Incentive Program”

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/physicians-cite-major-discontent-with-adoption-and-use-of-electronic-health-record-systems-despite-governments-27-billion-incentive-program-2014-02-07

“CLEVELAND, Feb. 7, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — The $27 billion government experiment to incentivize physicians to convert to electronic health records (EHRs) has not been worth it, according to nearly 70% of physicians surveyed.

Medical Economics 

***

In fact, a national [Medical Economics] survey of nearly 1,000 physicians, set for release on February 10, 2014, shows widespread dissatisfaction related to the functionality and cost of these patient record systems. About 45% of physicians believe patient care is actually worse as a result of adopting EHR technology, two-thirds would not purchase their current EHR system again, and 43% of physicians say these systems have resulted in significant financial losses.

In addition, the current state of technology has not improved the coordination of care with hospitals, physicians say.”

***

It is probably better for HHS that very few dentists were able to participate in the ARRA stimulus giveaway. Otherwise, tax-paying citizens might have learned about the wastefulness of Meaningful Use requirements for dentists – which nobody has the guts to reveal. That pretty much rules out brilliant Meaningful Use ideas.

Those who might patriotically defend the benefits of the tasks would do so, if they were idiots.

So how do dentists feel about their electronic dental records? It’s hard to tell. Over 96% of them are HIPAA-covered entities, making them vulnerable to audits, which can be “random” now. As one can imagine, very few dentists openly discuss EDRs. Do you think the silence is more likely to improve or harm patient care?

doc

Even though thousands of physicians have participated in dozens of national surveys like Medical Economics’ over the last few years, as far as I know, not one survey of dentists’ opinions has ever been published. Perhaps someone can prove me wrong. I doubt it.

The Survey

The results from the Medical Economics survey include:

  • 67% say that system functionality influences their decisions to purchase or switch systems.
  • 48% say that cost is influencing their decisions to purchase or switch systems.
  • Nearly half of physicians say that implementation of EHR systems has made the quality of patient care worse.
  • 69% of respondents say that coordination of care with hospitals has not improved.
  • 45% say they have spent more than $100,000 on an EHR
  • 77% of the largest practices (more than 10 physicians) spent more than $200,000 on an EHR.
  • 38% doubt their systems will still be viable in 5 years.

Assessment

Not long ago, Wisconsin became the first state to outlaw paper dental records, which are both cheaper and safer than digital.

So, is it still too soon for dentists and patients demand more transparency in dentistry? When costs and danger are hidden in dental care, it is always the last in line who suffer the most – clueless, trusting dental patients.

Am I right, Doc?

More:

  1. Sales of Dental Equipment and eDRs Down
  2. Military Electronic Dental Records [eDRs]
  3. Dr. Pruitt Invites Dr. Cohen to Discuss eDRs
  4. Cyber Insurance for Dentists

Conclusion

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