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Best Mobile Apps for Your Dentistry in 2019

Mobile apps make our lives so much easier.

There are apps that tell us the weather, apps that let us pay our bills, apps that help us find our significant others, and there are now apps that allow medical professionals to better communicate with their patients.

Because we now live in a technology-based world, it’s smart for dentistries to keep up with the times when it comes to best serving the patient. Below are five apps can help your practice help its patients through more efficient and effective communication.

dcStory

Available on Android, iOs and Blackberry devices, dcStory is a free tool used by dentists to educate and motivate their patients with easy explanations of complex dental procedures and multi-step treatments. With the app on an iPad, dentists and hygienists can sit right next to their patients an narrate a customized treatment plan with the help of high-quality 3D animations. The included X-Ray Plan module allows easy tab and touch functionality to select and move illustrated objects onto a patient x-ray. It also provides explanations of treatments and alternative treatments according to each patient’s dental needs. This information can easily be stored in individual patient folders for future use.

DDS GP

DDS GP (Dental Demo Suite General Practice) is an app that helps dentists communicate dental conditions and treatment plans more effectively to their patients. With more than 200 illustrated demonstrations, dentists can show their patients the progression of conditions and diseases and treatment steps. The app, which is $399.99, allows dentists to add their own photos, draw on the screen with their finger, and create customized treatment plans for their patients, which can be printed and emailed. It is available on Android, iOS and Blackberry devices.

Dental Manager

Dental Manager focuses more on the business side of the dentist/patient relationship. This free app has a cost calculator and treatment plan construction, and a way to send that information to the patient via email or text. Dentists can use this app to create a database of all their patients and share it with their co-workers to get everyone on the same page.

Dental Anywhere

Dental Anywhere works with individual dentistries to create customized apps for their specific needs. The app is available for general dentists, orthodontists, pediatric dentists and oral surgeons, and is comes in three versions: lite, premier and rewards. Lite, the most basic version, comes with a way for patients to contact the dentistry, a map, an appointment request button, sharing pre/post op notes, an emergency screener and a PayPal integration. Pricing starts at $69 a month.

Mavro

Mavro allows dentists to communicate technical and medical terms and concepts with their Spanish-speaking patients. This free app has audio capabilities that clearly and deliberately pronounces Spanish, which dentists can either use to communicate to the patient or they can repeat the phrase themselves. The app comes with a bookmarking, so dentists can save frequently used information and questions for easy access. It also has flashcards with an audio pronunciation component for dentists to practice and learn Spanish.

13 things that will happen when you ‘level-up’ as a person

Personal growth is kind of like hiking up a mountain.

In both growth and hiking, you push yourself as you climb steadily upward, eventually reaching a plateau where you’re met with easy footing. You start to become more comfortable.  

Upon reaching the plateau, you have to make a decision: stay where it’s comfortable, or keep pressing on.

If you decide to keep going, it’s inevitable that you’d continue to feel discomfort before reaching another level place.

In hiking, if you continue up the mountain, you’re able to take the experience you had before reaching the flat ground and apply it to the rest of the hike. The path is relatively similar, and you can confidently continue on your hike.

But when you continue to level-up—a term for personal growth—everything is different.

Before reaching the next level in personal growth you face new challenges that require new skillsets. While it may seem like you need to relearn everything, it’s not true.

In his Ladders article “13 things that will happen when you ‘level-up’ as a person, Benjamin P. Hardy writes that your life becomes very difficult for a short period of time.

“You may have mastered algebra, but now you’re in a calculus class and feel completely disoriented,” Hardy writes. “Despite having a firm foundation, you feel like you’re standing on nothing, and that everything around you is falling apart.”

But Hardy says not to worry. It’s not permanent.

“Now things are feeling rough,” he writes. “But it won’t be long until you get your stride back. But this time, you’ll be more evolved. More able. The stakes will be higher. You’ll have more help and support. Everything will mean more.”

Click on the link below to read about the 13 things and find out if you’ve recently leveled-up.

https://www.theladders.com/career-advice/13-things-that-will-happen-when-you-level-up-as-a-person

Are They An Independent Contractor or an Employee?

Updated: 3/25/2019

1099 is more than a number, and we’re going to talk about why.

First, do you own or manage a dental practice?

If so: 1. Do you have a separate bank account to manage your income? 2. Do you invoice the dentist for your services as an independent contractor? 3. Do you classify dental professionals who come to work in your office as independent contractors?

And second, are you an independent contractor?

If you fall into one of the two categories mentioned above, this blog is for you.

Familiarize yourself with Form 1099

dental-1099

It’s in the best interest of both the business owner and the independent contractor–dentist, dental hygienist, dental assistant, business assistant and receptionist–to be informed and take ownership of the facts as they relate to the employment relationship when it comes to payments and taxes. Form 1099 is an IRS tax form that is used to report payments to independent contractors, the category in which temp workers fall under.

Correctly using this form continues to be a big issue in the dentistry profession.

To cut costs, many dentists pay hygienists and dental assistants via conditions of the 1099 so they don’t have claim them as employees. For employees, the employers must withhold taxes, withhold and pay Social Security and Medicare taxes, and pay unemployment tax on the wages paid to an employee. If the worker is an independent contractor, employers generally do not have to comply with any of these regulations, which saves the practice time and money.

Because this issue spans across all profession, the IRS developed specific criteria to determine whether or not a person is a true independent contractor. 

The following 20 questions to determine whether you have an independent contractor or an employee working for you (the responses an employer would have for an independent contractor appear in parenthesis following each question).

    1. Are you required to comply with instructions about the details of your job tasks? (No.)
    2. Does the dentist provide you with training specific to his or her practice? (No.)
    3. Are the services you provide integrated into the owners business operation? (No.)
    4. Must the services be rendered by you personally? (No.)
    5. Do you have the capability to hire others to help you perform the services you’re contracted to do? (Yes.)
    6. Is the relationship between you and the business owner a continuing relationship? (No.)
    7. Who sets the hours of work? (You do.)
    8. Are you required to devote your full time to this business? (No.)
    9. Do you perform the work at the place of business of the potential employer? (No.)
    10. Who directs the order or sequence in which you work? (You do.)
    11. Are you required to regularly report your progress to your employer? (No.)
    12. What is the method of payment — hourly, commission or by the job? (A fixed price, a not-to-exceed (NTE), and/or milestone payments are standard for independent contractors.)
    13. Does the client reimburse your business and/or traveling expenses? (No.)
    14. Who furnishes tools and materials used in providing services (You do.)
    15. Do you have a significant investment in facilities used to perform services? (Yes. Key here is “significant.”)
    16. Can you realize both a profit and a loss from your work? (Yes–very important–you must assume risk based on client satisfaction with your work.)
    17. Can you work for a number of dentists at the same time? (Yes.)
    18. Do you make your services available to the general public? (Yes. You should have business cards, stationery, invoices and a business listing in the phone book and/or online.)
    19. Are you subject to dismissal for reasons other than nonperformance of contract specifications? (No.)
    20. Can you terminate your relationship without incurring a liability for failure to complete a job? (No. If you work on a project or milestone basis, you must deliver to receive payment for your efforts.)

What independent contractors should know

While it’s true that 1099s are not required if you are paid less than $600 by the business owner in a year, you should know that $600 is not a magic number and has nothing to do with whether or not you are classified as an independent contractor.

If you are operating as an independent contractor you have to remember you are self-employed and responsible for all tax withholding and payments yourself. Keep on top of these things. Don’t set yourself up for a big surprise and caught at the end of the year with a large tax bill to pay when April 15th rolls around.

For more information on employees vs. independent contractors, visit the IRS website.

DISCLAIMER: This is not intended or offered as legal or professional advice. These materials have been prepared for educational and information purposes only. If you have questions about the status of your staff, please consult with your legal adviser or CPA.

Managing The Employee You Hate

First, let me say this: I feel like this is kind of a controversial or taboo topic to tackle because no one wants to admit they hate one of their employees. But more than that, they don’t to come off as if they hate one of their employees, so that’s why this blog is important.

In her Dental Practice Management Article “How to manage the employee you hate,” Lisa Newburger recognizes that it’s not politically correct to be honest about hating an employee, but, she writes, it’s a reality that you’re not going to like every single one of those you manage. 

Newburger goes on to list things you should do and things you definitely should never ever do when it comes to managing that particular employee.

What you might want to do but should NEVER do when managing the employee you hate:
  1. Sabotage him/her.
  2. Gossip about him/her.
  3. Push his/her buttons and make him/her explode.
  4. Humiliate him/her.
  5. Make him/her quit.

The above list are all things Newburger felt about employees she’s managed that she hated. “Sometimes someone just irritates the heck out of me and I want (revenge badly,” she writes. “It comes from a deep place inside me that is purely evil. It’s so hard to believe I could really revel in wanting to hurt someone else, but it happens.” 

But, she goes on to write, that bosses who are have these thoughts need to snap out of it. “You don’t want to do these things to someone. Or, you shouldn’t,” she writes. “What can you do? How can you get your employee to behave and perform their job? How can you get them to just show up for work on time? You are sick and tired of this nonsense. The rest of the staff should not be subjected to this kind of behavior over and over again. What can you do without sinking to such a low level?”

Newburger writes that there are expectations of this employee and he or she should do them or leave. “I know it sounds a little bit harsh, but is it?” she writes. “If both management and the emploee are unhappy, sometimes there is only one answer.”

Managers should take the high road on this one, she writes, and take the legal, ethical and common-sense approach to dealing with this by adhering to the five tips below.

What you should do when managing the employee you hate:
  1. Document. Document. Document. Keep track of specific incidents and start a paper trail. 
  2. Let the person know there is an issue. After all, the employee can’t change the behavior until he or she knows there is one. 
  3. Have a plan of action with the employee. Address the specific issues and let them know what’s expected. “If they don’t want to come to work on time, let them know they don’t have to,” Newburger writes. “Have them sign and agree to the plan of action.
  4. Do not gossip about this person with anyone in the practice.  Go through the chain of command and do it behind closed doors. “Make sure no one hears conversations about this employee,” she writes. “You shoot yourself in the foot when you manage employees and forget you are not one of them. You are management. Management does not gossip.
  5. Do not sabotage or live in a distorted reality of wanting to fire someone. “Keep your eyes on the prize,” she writes. “The prize is not firing  . . . it is finding a solution.” Newburger said you should exhaust all possibilities to resolve problems, as firing has an impact on practices. Even if the employee wasn’t liked, managers still send a message that anyone could be fired. 

Newburger writes that managers should never forget that being a boss means having to deal wit problems every day. “How you deal with those situations really marks what kind of a leader you are,” she writes. 

Don’t Do These Things if You’re the Boss of a Dental Practice

Here at Dental Temps Professional Services we spend a lot of time discussing what you should do in a professional capacity. But today, I’m here to discuss what you shouldn’t do. 

The list below is from Lisa Newburger, LISWS and appears the DentistryIQ article “What NOT to do as a boss of a dental practice.” Newburger is a licensed social worker who is known for tacking difficult topics for dental practices with boldness and honesty. Her tips might seem like common sense, but remember: if someone had to write this list, there was likely a boss somewhere who was doing one or more of the following.

Five Tips a Boss Should Always Remember
  1. Do NOT try to be friends with your employees. Newburger writes that being a boss is like raising children. “You will never be one of us,” she writes. “Even if you were one of us and have been promoted, you are no longer part of our group. That is reality.” Bosses have subordinates, and they cannot be friends with people who report to them. There are times that managers have to deal with disciplinary issues, which is obviously unpleasant, but it becomes even worse for both you and your employee if you are friends.  
  2. Do NOT ask your employees on a date. As Newburger puts it, not only could this lead to an extremely uncomfortable situation, it could also open you up to harassment. “You will put everyone in a terrible position if you ask any of us out or give us any signals you’re interested in any of us,” she writes. “That doesn’t mean we want you to fire anyone. What it means is we don’t want to ruin our professional relationship!”
  3. Do NOT talk about your problems with your employees.  Newburger writes that even though a boss might think their employees might want to hear about office gossip from them, they’re wrong. “If you need to talk to someone, find a friend or a coach outside of the practice,” she writes. “We don’t need to know about coworkers’s issues or the financial problems going on in the practice.” It’s important that bosses protect their employees from unnecessary stress that they don’t need in their lives, and a way to do that is to keep gossip to themselves.
  4. Do NOT pretend your employees are deaf. Some bosses think that if they aren’t talking to staff members, their staff members aren’t listening. But she said that absolutely isn’t the case. “Close the door when you’re on the phone with your personal issues,” she writes. “All you’re doing is giving us something to gossip about, and we will! This takes away from our ability to respect you. You need our respect, but you have to earn it and act like a boss. If you don’t have our respect, this isn’t going to work.”
  5. Do NOT ignore us or treat us with disrespect. Your employees work hard for you, and they should get the same respect they give you. “Do not make us afraid to tell you about something important,” she writes. “Make time for us. The issues we bring to you are relevant either to us as team members or to the practice. Find out what the issues are so we can solve them and get back to business.”

Let’s get something clear real quick. I am in no way saying you can’t be friendly with your employees because who doesn’t like a friendly boss? But you can very easily blur or cross some of these lines without even realizing it. The key, I think, is this: When it doubt, keep it professional.