Monday, January 28, 2013

2013 BC and PBC Fee Guide Update

As of February 1, 2013 the new BC College and Pacific Blue Cross fees will be in effect. As a result we have created this newsletter which will provide you with step-by-step instructions on how to update your office with the latest fee guides. In order to ensure that the transition of updating your ClearDent with the latest fee guides is a smooth one please keep the following suggestions in mind:
  • Try following the instructions in this newsletter first before calling ClearDent Technical Support.
  • Even though the new fees are not in effect until February 1, 2013 you may update your office to the new fee guide prior to this date if your dentist is OK with charging patients at the new rates a few days ahead.
  • Try following the first few steps in the instructions a couple of days before February 1, 2013 to see if you are comfortable with self update. In fact you can go through step 1 to 15 first before February 1, 2013 to save some time. Feel free to call us if you are stuck in the process.
  • If you do require further assistance updating the fee guide and need to call ClearDent Technical Support, expect a higher than usual call volume on January 30, 31 and February 1. Please kindly leave a message and we will get back to you as soon as possible.
Steps for Manually Updating Fee Schedules:
1. Right-Click on the following link below and select the “Save Target As” option
http://www.cleardent.com/ClearDentUpdate/FeeGuides/2013/BC/ProcedureCode.xml
2. The Save As window will open up. Click on My Computer on the left, then double click Local Disk (C:), Program Files, Prococious Technology Inc, ClearDent and lastly Fee Schedule. Press the Save button.


3. Select the Applicable Guide for your office from below and repeat step 2:
2013 Pacific Blue Cross Fee Guide
http://www.cleardent.com/ClearDentUpdate/FeeGuides/2013/BC/2013+PBC.xml
2013 BC College Fee Guide
http://www.cleardent.com/ClearDentUpdate/FeeGuides/2013/BC/2013 BC ADSCBC GP.xml
2013 Fee Guide for Geriatric Patients Requiring Out of Office Care
http://www.cleardent.com/ClearDentUpdate/FeeGuides/2013/BC/BC 2013 Gpooc.xml
2013 Fee Guide for Specialists in Pediatrics
http://www.cleardent.com/ClearDentUpdate/FeeGuides/2013/BC/BC 2013 Pedo.xml
2013 Fee Guide for Specialists in Periodontics
http://www.cleardent.com/ClearDentUpdate/FeeGuides/2013/BC/BC 2013 Perio.xml

4. Open ClearDent, login and go to System->Configurations->Procedure Codes.


5. In the lower left hand corner click on the Import button and then Procedure Codes.


6. The Import from window should open already in the folder C:\Program Files\Prococious Technology Inc\ClearDent\Fee Schedule. Select the file named Procedure Code.xml that was saved in step 2 and press the Open button.


7. A question will confirm that you want to import any new codes. Press Yes and an informational window will display any new codes that were added to the system. Press Ok and close the Manage Procedure Codes window.



8. Go to System->Configurations->Fee Schedules.


9. Press the Import button on the lower left hand corner. A window to choose which file to import will load.  Select the applicable fee guide you downloaded in Step 3.
image

10. Click the Update button (as shown above).  In the From drop down field select the old guide that is to be updated. (Ex. 2012 GP Schedule).  In the To drop down select the new guide that was recently imported. (Ex. 2013 GP Schedule) and press the Update button. A warning making sure you want to make this change will appear, press Ok. All policies that were previously using the 2012 GP Schedule will have been updated to use the 2013 Schedule. Press the Close button.



To Set All Providers to Use a Particular Schedule

11. Highlight the new guide that your providers will bill from by default (eg. 2013 BC ADSC GP) and press the Apply ->To All Providers. A warning will ask if you want to make this change. Press Ok. All Providers will now be billing out of the new schedule.

Creating a Custom Schedule Based on the College Schedule
12. If your practice uses a Custom schedule based on the current college schedule (Ie. College schedule plus 10%) then you will need to use the Add button under System->Configurations->Fee Schedules to make a new schedule based on the latest schedule.

13. The Create Fee Schedule window will open. In the Based on Fee Schedule dropdown select the new guide (Ex. 2013 GP Schedule).

14. Enter a name for the custom schedule (Ex. Dr’s Name Custom Schedule 2013)

15. On the right hand side adjustments can be applied, such as a percentage increase on all fees, as well as rounding. After ‘Applying’ the adjustments press Ok to save the guide.



 

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Friday, January 18, 2013

Upcoming Events in Vancouver

We will be holding the Advanced User Training and a workshop on dental business entrepreneurship in Vancouver.

Let's Build a Smarter Practice - Practices New to ClearDent



Thursday, February 21st, 2012
6:30pm - 8:30pm
898 West Broadway
Vancouver BC

Tuition: $19.95 plus HST
2 CE Credits
Meal and Refreshments Provided

A dental professional is both a healthcare provider and an entrepreneur.

Acquiring and balancing business knowledge, tools, and skills, alongside clinical excellence is the key to a successful dental practice. Find out More...

Advanced User Training - Practices Already Using ClearDent


Thursday, February 21st, 2012
1:30pm - 5:30pm
898 West Broadway
Vancouver BC


Tuition: $150.00 plus HST
4 CE Credits
Meal and Refreshments Provided

 Join Brandi Eckstein and Eric Grice, your local ClearDent Certified Trainer and Account Manager, for an afternoon focused on:
  • Treatment Planning
  • Scheduler + Lab Tracking
  • KIOSK Mode
  • Electronic Charting
  • Digital Imaging
  • Email
Attendees will receive 4 CE credits and gain in-depth knowledge of the ClearDent software. You will also receive a free one-hour online session with a ClearDent trainer to discuss individually, or as a group, how to apply the course topics directly in your specific practice. This course is designed for ClearDent users that have a minimum 6 months of experience. Find out more...
Can't attend? Check out our upcoming online training webinars!

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Thursday, January 17, 2013

Alberta Onsite Events in February

Team ClearDent will be in Alberta next month! We look forward to meeting both customers and offices interested in ClearDent.

  • Edmonton: February 11th - 13th, 2013
  • Calgary: February 14th - 15th, 2013
  • Where: Your office
  • Contact Randal at 1-866-883-8932 or email
 

Let's Build a Smarter Practice In Office Session - Users of Other Software

Successfully Paperless
ClearDent’s ongoing commitment is to ensure our customers achieve the goals they outlined when they partnered with us. In short, we want  dentists to be successfully paperless with ClearDent because a paperless practice is a smart practice.

We put our words into action and we do regular visits, which we call ClearDent Health Checkups. This ensures our clients are getting the features they want, the service they need, and the digital x-rays and workflow are always tip-top.

It’s these kind of services that make Alberta dental practices big and small rely on and trust ClearDent.  Practices like:
  • Deer Valley Dental Care, Calgary
  • Belmont & Associates, Edmonton
  • And many more
Let’s Have a Chat (And Get FREE CE Credits, Too):
As we kick off 2013 with a ClearDent Health Checkup for our clients in Alberta in early February, we’re offering a no obligation meeting with us while we’re in your area.

At this meeting, you will receive:
  • A $50 gift card for the entire office to spend.
  • Information on email and text message appointment confirmations and recall reminders.
  • Information on patient interaction using an iPad or other types of tablets in your office.
  • Honest discussion on digital dentistry and paperless.
  • Discussion about backup done the right away (hint: automated and in the cloud).
  • Information on the importance of practice management software,taking assignment correctly, tracking A/R accurately, and complying withSterilization and College Record Keeping guidelines.

Cross Country Checkup in February - For ClearDent Users

 Start 2013 off by maximizing your return on investment with ClearDent’s free Health Checkup. This no cost, one hour session is our gift to you.

What will happen in this FREE one hour session:
  • Help us learn your practice goals and recommend best practices for using ClearDent to achieve your goals.
  • Ensure that you know about the new features that you have requested in the past and are using them correctly.
  • Discuss assignment efficiency tools – taking assignment is a growing trend in Alberta and ClearDent has vast analytic to handle it efficiently.
  • Learn how to track treatment record electronically in compliance with the Sterilization Act.
Hurry, the session must be booked before February 6th, 2013.

Contact:

Randal Anderson-Hill
1-866-883-8932

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Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Expert Dentists = Healthcare Professionals + Amazing Entrepreneurs

A technology and business focused session 



In partnership with Vancouver & District Dental Society (VDDS), ClearDent proudly presents “Smart Practice: Successfully Paperless,” a course on modern dental practice software. The session is held in conjunction with the Endodontics Forum at Morris J Wosk Centre for Dialogue (SFU Downtown) on February 18th, 2013 from 4pm to 5pm. 

Registration is FREE and participants will receive 1 additional CE credit. The content of the session is similar to the acclaimed course held in Las Vegas last November, and is suitable for both traditional and digital practices. 

The modern dental practice 

Starting and managing a dental practice requires the dentist to know more than just dentistry. Specifically, a dentist will need to diversify his/her understanding of business management, financial stewardship, and technology adoption. 

According to Dr. Gradeless (Source Dental Economics), dentists today need to adapt to an entrepreneurial model of dentistry, where clinical excellence and quality of care to patients must be balanced with profitability and business growth. 

In fact, in an IISTE Journal, it says: 
A successful entrepreneur in healthcare is essentially someone who is willing to risk their finances, understand the healthcare market inside out, has a clear vision about the future of his/her business and work hard for a lengthy amount of time to succeed. 
In other words, a modern and successful dental practice is achieved by gaining a better understanding of the healthcare market, managing it with sound business management skills, and incorporating appropriate technologies to improve the delivery and quality of dental treatments to patients. And the end result? You receive more loyal and satisfied patients and an increase to your bottom line. 

Why attend? 

ClearDent is a well respected developer of dental practice management software. We incorporate technologies that streamline workflow in a dental practice, facilitate efficient practice management, and are well known for providing the top notch service to ensure long term success in our partnership with you. 

Over the last 10 years, we have not only been a successful pioneer in bridging the divide between digital technology and dentistry, but also have learnt and observed invaluable financial and management principles that truly make a difference in dental practices of all sizes. 

We want to share with you the knowledge we’ve gained in helping thousands of dentists realize their aspirations. 

We sincerely invite you to attend the session to see our vision, share our passion, and learn something that will help you navigate the business and management side of your practice, both day to day and long-term. 

Join ClearDent and VDDS on February 18th, 2013 and Let's Build a Smarter Practice! 

More info/To Register: 

Call Eric at: 604-879-8872 x 234 
Toll-free at: 1-866-253-2748 x 234 
By Email: egrice@cleardent.com  
Register Online

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Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Software is Key to a Good Digital X-ray

Understanding how a digital x-ray is produced
X-ray is invisible to the human eye.  So how does it become an image of teeth that we can see and diagnose on the screen?

The physics involved and the electrical engineering achievement behind a dental digital x-ray sensor are very interesting, but for the purpose of the discussion, we’ll focus on the high-level schematics.

First, x-rays behave similar to light so it can be directional and will scatter when hitting materials that can reflect or block x-rays.

Just like regular digital photography where you need sufficient lighting and a proper focus to capture a clear image, you need sufficient x-ray dosage (intensity) and position the x-ray generator at a proper distance that meets the focal point of the specific x-ray generator you are using to capture a clear image.

A good digital camera has good optical lens and a good sensor inside to produce a clear and hi-resolution image.  The same principle applies to dental digital x-rays.  The difference, of course, is that what is optic lens to a camera is a pair of scintillator and optic lens for a sensor.

Below is the typical construction of a dental digital x-ray sensor.


Figure 1: the anatomy of a digital x-ray sensor
(credits: left – Carestream Dental RVG sensor; right – DEXIS sensor)


The scintillator is coated with Caesium Iodide (CsI).  This chemical compound, in the simplest form of explanation, will light up and create a "substrate of light" when the x-ray hits it.  The optics right behind the scintillator will concentrate and enhance the “substrate of light” from the x-ray exposure and direct it to the CMOS sensor that’s next in line.  In fact, the CMOS sensor used here is basically a special make for small area imaging, but the technology is no different from the same sensor inside a regular digital camera.  After this process, the x-ray is now in the visible light spectrum and can be displayed by the computer.

NOTE: dental extraoral digital x-rays, such as a Pan or a Ceph, is quite different in terms of construction of the equipment, but the principle of how the equipment operates to acquire an x-ray is almost identical to an intraoral sensor.  Thus, to simplify the discussion, we are basing this article entirely on dental intraoral digital x-rays.

How imaging software can make a difference in quality
Because converting the invisible x-ray to visible light using the processed illustrated above happens very fast, and the “substrate of light” fades very quickly, the post-processing of the captured image to first negate it (the substrate is practically a negative image of what you see), enhance clarity, and improve diagnostic quality is always done by the computer.  This is where it seems mysterious to the dentists why the same sensor, same x-ray head, can produce completely different images in different software.  Let’s break down the factors, and see why good imaging software and a knowledgeable technical team behind the software will ensure good image quality.

Bit Level
All dental digital x-ray sensors are capable of producing 8, 12, 14, or 16-bit greyscale.  As soon as the bit level is 12 or above, the difference in quality becomes minor because unlike medical x-rays, dental x-ray exposure time and intensity (except 3D CBCT) are much shorter and lighter so there are usually not that many bits to capture to begin with.  However, 8-bit sensors are on other hand noticeable lacking in details.  Therefore, selecting a sensor that is able to produce 12 or more “true” bit level on the hardware side is important.  Although it’s quite rare to see an 8-bit sensor as of 2013, it is important that you verify with the manufacturer or inquire with us that the bit-level is produced at the hardware level, not emulated by the software.  A higher bit level will always be better, but visual difference will become difficult to notice after 12-bit, which sometimes the cost associated in getting a sensor with a higher bit level doesn’t justify.

NOTE: all dental digital x-rays will be stored in a 16-bit greyscale image file format regardless of whether the sensor produces the image in 8, 12, 14, or 16-bit greyscales.

You probably have heard that electronic displays cannot show more than 8-bit greyscale (256 shades of grey), which is a fact, and makes perfect sense as human eyes cannot distinguish more than 72 shades of grey.  However, good imaging software will accept a 16-bit greyscale image, process it, and then downscale it to 8-bit using a technique called Window Leveling at the last minute before displaying it.

It is during the processing, when there are 16 “bits” of greyscales (216 of different greys, which is equivalent to 65,536 shades of grey), the software can do precise computations to bring out the subtle details and show them in the final down-sampled image to you that may have otherwise be lost.

Driver Processing vs. Software Processing
The post-processing and down-sampling of a 16-bit image file into an 8-bit image display can either be done by the driver (a piece of software supplied by the manufacturer), or by an imaging software system such as ClearDent.

Typically, the manufacturers process their own images well so most imaging software, including ClearDent, simply let the manufacturer process the images with its own driver, and just add a small amount of gamma correction to adjust brightness and contrast as a polish.  In fact, some dental digital x-ray manufacturers only recommend image processing using their own drivers and the imaging software should simply adjust the gamma to avoid over-processing that actually can make the image look worse.

However, some manufacturers recommend software processing.  Take a look at the Gendex GXS-700 example comparison images below:


Figure 2: X-ray comparison
(left – original; right – ClearDent enhanced)

As you can see, ClearDent greatly enhances the original Gendex images.
In other words, to bring out the best in a dental digital x-ray, you need not just a good software system, but also a knowledgeable team.  The ClearDent team, through its years of experience, is able to know when it’s best to setup ClearDent Imaging to automatically adjust images slightly (leave the heavy lifting with manufacturer’s driver) or significantly (does its processing to greatly enhance clarity).

Final thoughts – best image is the image that can be presented easily and effectively
We’ve spent quite a bit of time in demystifying the schematics, technologies, and the relationship between the hardware and the software on dental digital x-rays.  They are very interesting and represent a milestone in dental technological advancement.  Further, digital x-ray system is an integral component in a successful paperless dental practice.

But here is something that we’d like to share from our years of experience: imaging software not fully integrated with your practice management and digital dental record software won’t do you any good in the long term regardless of how well the images may look.

We’ve seen quite a number of dental practices that had the imaging system separate from the rest, and then only to realize a few years down the road that it became difficult to match up or cross reference patient’s x-rays with charts, time consuming to incorporate digital x-rays in an email or a letter to another dental professionals, convoluted and overly complex backup requirement, and so on.  They eventually turned to us for help but there is no silver bullet in data cleanup.  We can only reduce the amount of manual work required to clean up the duplicates and re-establish links between a patient chart and the x-rays using clever programming tricks, but it's never 100%.  Ultimately, dental practices in this situation still have to do some manual work afterwards.

The good news is, of course, there usually are not that much left to do after we’ve done the electronic conversion.  Thus, a word of advice to avoid the hassle 100% – whatever solution you chose, make sure you have the practice management, digital dental record (charting, documents, audits, etc.), and your dental imaging software all integrated.

On the other hand, we recognize that integration and ease of use not only ensure there is no grey area in the management of data, but also improves the ease of use in the software.  Therefore, we have built the following as the foundation of ClearDent Imaging to support a paperless dental practice using our solution:
1. Charts, Notes, and Images are integrated and can be accessed and viewed in one place, on one screen.  


Figure 3: Full integrated Imaging, Charting, and Notes
2. Letters and images are integrated and tracked in the audit for legal record keeping purpose.


Figure 4: Fully integrated Imaging and Document creation, management, and tracking. 

3. All letters and images emailed can be encrypted to comply with privacy legislation.


4. Easy to capture, easy to present: ClearDent implements auto-capture and auto-labelling functions to help streamline the workflow for image acquisition.  Better yet, we also provide you the ability to use a touch screen monitor or a tablet to present the x-rays to your patients.
Figure 5: ClearDent Imaging in touch screen presentation mode

5. Open: ClearDent will work with any digital x-ray systems – you’re not locked in.  Further, if you have special needs, ClearDent has opened its platform to allow premiere imaging system such as those with functions for specialists to integrate with us.  Bringing you the best of both worlds.


Would like to know more?

To find out more about how we bring together digital x-ray, electronic charting, legal record keeping, and practice management together into a paperless dental practice, feel free to visit our website or simply send us an email.  We will be very delighted to have a candid discussion with you about your needs and share our knowledge and experience of successful implementations with you.







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