Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Response to Ghost

Hey all,

My wife and I went to the doctor yesterday to get an ultrasound. Everything went great. We are officially 33.7 weeks. The baby is 4 lbs and 12 oz. I asked a whole bunch of questions and this time the woman talked to us.
I asked about some of the things the baby could have. Spina Bifida, Downs and things like this. She said that you can tell about 50% of the time if the baby is Down's on an ultrasound. She said a lot of times in a baby with Down's the heart does not show all four chambers.
Our baby has all four chambers and looks great. Just very hairy. But we knew this. So we were tickled pink yesterday.
This baby is going to be so celebrated at the Gammichia house. We have waited a long time for little David Victor to be part of this family. Yes, we picked his name so we can pray for him by name.
David, a name from the Bible. A king in the Old Testament who "A man after God's own heart." Victor is my father's name and I want my dad to pay for lil' David's college.
I told my father it is like The US Airlines Arena. US Airlines had to come up with some dough to have its name on the arena. Once the 10 year contract is up, I told my dad, we can change his name. I mean it is only his middle name. I told my dad if the college fund is not what we need in ten years then who knows what we will call him in middle school.

I am just finishing up BlackBird. It got better at the end. I still didn't think it was very good. But it was a cliff hanger. So you are a bit intriqued on what happens to this girl who's mother died and then her father remarries and then dies. And then the step-mother,who is a wack job, tries to raise four children by herself. Then after two years gives up this girl to the grandparents.
That is where the story ends. When she is 11. And the book pushes the second book, "Her riveting (now that is a stretch) story continues...."
I was giving the book The Power of One and I heard this was a great book. I will start tonight.

Topic de jour.

I have talked about REALITY before on this blog. I am a big fan. For you new to this REALITY is an organization that rates all dental products. For a dentist it is really hard to know what is out there and if to believe the hype or not about a certain product.
So when I have heard about a product I go to and find out what they say. They are an independent company that does not have any hands in their pockets to influence them. What I mean is that I think they are very fair.
Okay, so lets think about there business model for a second. Dentist pay to hear what they say.
They use to put a book out every year with all rated products and another book to talk about technique.
I think there were levels of membership. If you just wanted the book you got in on the bottom floor. But I think the GOLD membership allowed you to call and talk to someone on the phone and ask any question you wanted.
I don't know if they lost market share but they stopped printing the book and just went to the online stuff. I think this was an effort to save money.
Since then have gone back to the book but still kept the website. They have a forum and a Just Rated section so you don't have to wait for the book.

Okay. Do you think this is a profitable venture? I don't know. I think the membership is $350.
Here is what got me thinking. I wanted to buy a product called the Dental Rat. This, if you don't already know, is a perio charting foot pedal. At our office we do a lot of perio charting. So when a hygienist is going to do charting she usually calls on our phone system that she needs some help. Well if we have three hygienists going and we probe every year. You kind of need a full time employee to chart. So I thought about the Dental Rat. So it is a wireless that sinks with any dental management system. It has buttons you press with your foot and the numbers come up on the screen. Pretty cool huh?

Well before I buy stuff I usually check with REALITY. Well they haven't rated this product.

Let me show you our dialogue about it.

Gatordmd writes

What do you know about the dental rat? Have you tried it? Does it work?

Thanks john

REALITY writes

We are aware of this product, but we have not received it for evaluation.

Gatordmd writes

This begs the question, then why do you wait to receive the product? I am the consumer and I count on you and your company to evaluate products. I count on your ratings to help me practice. I say go and buy the thing and tell me how you like it. I know you have always waited to receive products from the manufacturer but how does that help me the consumer. It seems to only hurt me. If the company is afraid of your rating or evaluation...too bad.



REALITY writes

Your membership fee is based on an economic model where companies provide the items without our having to purchase them. If we purchased all the products we evaluated, membership costs would be astronomical. Many companies today are struggling with the economy being what it is, so their providing enough samples for a full evaluation can create a hardship for them. On the other hand, if we reduced the number of evaluators, the depth of the evaluation could be compromised. Therefore, we peruse as many products as we can, but no evaluation service can cover every new product on the market. If there is sufficient interest in this product among the evaluators (at least 5 need to volunteer to use and evaluate it), then we will request the requisite quantity of samples from the manufacturer.

So what do you think?

They don't rate products unless the company sends them the product. I talked to the people at REALITY (don't think I am all that. All I did was ask on the forum which anyone can do.) and they said they have close to 10,000 members. So they have about a $4,000,000 budget.
Why can't they buy the products? I mean how many NEW items are there every year. I get that it could get expensive but....okay charge the member $100 more and then your budget will be 1 million more.

So then I called the Dental Rat people and they said they have never heard of REALITY. So now the and you...are not properly informed before we buy something.

I just don't buy the response REALITY gave me. I don't buy that they can't buy the product. I don't know what CRA does but I find it very hard to believe that they wait around for a company to send them he product. And if so, why can CRA rate all these products and REALITY doesn't?

This is getting long. I want to gather my thoughts on this one. And I would like some feedback from you. Do you use REALITY? Do you use CRA? If not, what do you use to evaluate your products? Would you pay more to get more products evaluated? Let me know.

Have a great Wednesday.



Anonymous said...

Congrats and good news with the baby!!!

I just read the journals and message boards. I gave up my CRA a while back it was getting pretty repetative and costly. Plus I really only change something if it needs improvement. You would go broke trying to use every new thing that came out. The true test is really for you to try it for yourself. Most companies will let you return something if you really don't like it.

Anonymous said...

I’ve been in practice 30 years. I started to “join” Reality several years ago but I didn’t like their tiered membership. Also most of the recommendations appeared to me to be heavily biased. I have used CRA most of my career and have found the evaluations to be very close to my own experiences with the products I use. You do have to pay for CRA as well as Reality.
I actually remember when CRA was just beginning around my first year (1976) of my practice and were looking for evaluators. I contacted them to see if I could participate but my short time in practice was not sufficient enough experience, as I recall, so I didn’t get to do it. That kind of bothered me then, but in hindsight, I appreciate their (CRA’s) selectivity in choosing advisors. I will say, however, that there have been occasions in the past year or so that it appears even Christian has been swayed on occasion by corporate influences.
All in all, I trust CRA evaluations and I will usually at least take a look at a product that as high Reality rating. My best sources remain colleagues and quality CE course.

By the way, as long as your dad is sponsoring the college education, you should hit him up for a giant screen “baby monitor”. I enjoy your blogs.

Cosmetic Dentistry Melbourne said...

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