Monday, June 2, 2014

Celebrating Health

I love the children’s shoes that light up when they walk. They are so much fun to watch and delightful in the dark. Why they make these shoes for kids is obvious. But I want to wear them too! Why don’t they make light up running shoes for adults? I am sure they would sell like hotcakes! Although, I am not sure how well hotcakes sell…

Celebrating health. We all do it in our practices in one way or another. The most common way is the Cavity-Free board. When kids in our practice are cavity-free, we celebrate with a picture on a bulletin board of photos to show off to all of our other patients. We also have them on websites and Facebook pages. These boards are filled primarily with kids, but also the occasional adult who wants to feel like a kid.

Why don’t we celebrate health with our adult patients, too? Why don’t we do something special for them when they show up with no cavities and no periodontal infection?

The concept of the ideal day for a general dentist is one patient in the morning and one in the afternoon, performing a lot of dentistry on each person. It’s pretty stress free (unless you find full arch and full mouth treatments stressful) and very profitable.

Me? I love to talk. Just ask my team. My ideal day is to do exams on hygiene recall/recare patients who have no cavities and no periodontal infections. They show up regularly, repeat and refer, and our work with them is stress free. For every patient who comes in our door, when the treatment is complete (whatever that treatment may be), I thank them for taking the time to come to our office and let us treat them that day. And if they are healthy, I also tell them that healthy patients lead to stress free dentistry, and then I thank them for helping to create my ideal stress free day.

Celebrating health. It’s one of the reasons I became a dentist. I know I will always have work to do, but the growing numbers of healthy patients in my practice is very satisfying indeed.

Now if I could only find a way to convince a shoe manufacturer to make light up shoes for adults.

Enjoy your daily grind.

Warm regards,

Larry Stanleigh, DDS


Ed Paul, DDS said...

Just attended a local HIPAA compliance lecture. Not allowed (if you follow the regs) to post, in public, photos or names of any patients for any reason. If you want to congratulate a patient for something, they can only be referred to by a number, like, "Great job, patient #579." No, I don't make this stuff up.

Dr. Lawrence M. said...

Ed, thanks for your comments. Although HIPPA applies to the US (I live in Canada), it's goal is to protect people's identities, not to enact a McCarthy era style witch hunt.
It is my opinion that the person presenting the lecture you just attended was intending to put the fear of the wrath of the government on you, and they succeeded. But the details of how it will be policed has yet to be challenged in the courts.
Reasonable heads will prevail. You can congratulate people online. You can say positive things about people, as people. Just don't share specific health care information.
And much of HIPPA will be complaint based. Will someone complain, if you ask permission first, to say something nice about them?
Lots to ponder.
warm regards, Larry Stanleigh

Bob Oro DMD Magd said...

We do recognition from the opposite end of the spectrum.
We are a one patient prep and impression both arches kind of restorative practice.
We recognize our patients commitment to long term overall health with a full page ad in the T_____ Lifestyle Magazine and on our website.
We agree with Larry that what your patients say about you is of the utmost importance to us as dentists and for our practices.
Enjoy the Journey,

Dr. Lawrence M. said...

I agree and thanks for the comments.
with HIPPA, and State and Provincial variations on interpretations of Codes of Ethics (believe it or not, but Alberta Dental Association and College are stating that testimonials on our websites are unethical) make this topic timely and important to be discussed.
I applaud your efforts to thank your patients for being great people.
warm regards, Larry

Unknown said...

Celebrating Health and Cavity-Free should be observed everyday. Not only for kids, but also for adults. Above all things, let us prioritize our health. Remember, Health is wealth.


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