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Thursday, 12 September 2013 08:07

Will Your Staff Become ‘Dental Technology Mavens’ in the Near Future? Featured

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post60 picI can see it already.  “Dental practice seeking Office Manager.  Skills must include 5 years of being a dental technology maven.”

Maven.  Interesting word.  Speaking for myself, I was unfamiliar with the true meaning of the word, so like many others, I looked it up on Google.  

The word ‘maven’ means a trusted expert in a particular field, who seeks to pass knowledge on to others. 

The term has been used in Malcolm Gladwell’s book "The Tipping Point" to describe those who gather information, and so are the first to pick up on new or nascent trends. 

 

Mavens are “information specialists”, or “people we rely upon to connect us with new information”.   Does this sound like anyone in your practice?  If it doesn’t right now, it will in your future.

The future landscape of technology is changing, and changing rapidly.  Technology is advancing at a pace that many offices feel like they cannot keep themselves or their staff trained without putting a strain on the practice. 

People are being bombarded with marketing from Best Buy, Fry’s, and the like to buy gadgets and devices ideal for personal use that promises applicable use by anyone, with any level of experience. 

Although they may be ideal for personal or home use, such devices are not designed for business use and can open the door to technology issues in the dental practice.  Most everyone wants to use devices that they are familiar with and have already gained experience on, that they trust will work. 

This factor alone limits the need to be a technology maven since one is choosing to go with familiarity rather than the best suited technology for the practice.  But following this route is a rocky road that could have a costly dead end for you and your business.

Although costs increase by purchasing technology that is designed for business use, the value of the trust in your network, digital products, support and services far surpasses the expense. 

But what happens following the purchase of the technology, when training courses are done and the installers and trainers leave your practice?  Who is faced with the challenges of understanding how all the pieces of your technology work together to form the digital landscape of your practice?  Who do you turn to when your screen is staring blankly back at you and you have a patient in your chair?  

With the use of many technology products in dental practices, and those only increasing in numbers, you can anticipate that your staff will need to understand the digital and “behind the scenes” functions of your office technologies

Think back to when your office first began with digital films, new software, or going paperless.  It felt a lot like jumping off of a high dive into a pool below, not sure how cold the water was going to be when you hit it, or how graceful of a diver you had become. 

Many offices already have CAD CAM, diagnostic tools, digital marketing, e-services, mobile access, etc.  But even with your existing products comes an understanding of Wi-Fi connections, domains vs. workgroups, network security, data storage, cloud services, etc.  

Soon in our future will be the integration of the electronic health record and the sharing of patient information with the patient, as well as other caregivers.  This will open another door of opportunity to understand the technology in your practice and how the information is securely shared outside of your office, expanding much further than just insurance claims clearing houses.  

With the movement of dental technology advancement, will also come a movement in the skills needed to manage workflows and address issues within your dental practice on a daily basis. 

This need can be fulfilled by investing in the future of your practice by providing technical training for your staff, as well as yourself. 

By having a dental technology ‘maven’ and someone on hand that is both knowledgeable and willing to share the most updated information regarding your dental technology, will be a right click.

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