Shelby Kruse

Recent Posts

Saddle Up for the UGM

Posted by Shelby Kruse on Dec 16, 2013 3:01:00 PM

By Kim Barker
2014 marks the30th annual Users Group Meeting and my personal 20th year of being involved with the event. This year, like always, will be a celebration, but even more so for me. My first hands-on UGM was in 1995, and I was able to attend for the first time in 1998. I haven’t missed one since.

Preparing for the UGM takes a long time – from choosing the venue, to coordinating the speakers and exhibitors, and answering attendees’ questions. It’s kind of like putting together a Broadway show. You work all year to prepare for the big opening night. We learn each year what works and what doesn’t (just like those performers in rehearsals) and we try to make each year better than the year before.

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Topics: orthodontic practice management, Kim Barker, UGM

Avoiding the Afterschool “Crunch”

Posted by Shelby Kruse on Dec 13, 2013 3:55:00 PM

By Roger P. Levin, DDS
Every ortho practice deals with lighter mornings and busier afternoons. Orthodontists know the reason—most parents prefer that their children not miss school and therefore want to come in the afternoon. Many ortho practices have lost countless hours of potential treatment by enduring empty time slots each morning as a result of adhering to such parent preferences.

To encourage more morning appointments, Ortho Treatment Coordinators (TCs) can offer 10% courtesies in the following situations:

  1. For siblings having ortho care at exactly the same time. This simultaneous care increases the number of patients undergoing treatment, which means the possibility of more morning appointments being scheduled. The patients should understand that they will be expected to alternate morning and afternoon appointments out of consideration for other patients—especially if more than one child is in treatment.
  1. When a parent has ortho care with a child. It is worth noting how many parents are willing to pay for orthodontic care for their children, but ignore their own situation. Through the use of value creation scripting, parents often accept care along with their children. Once again, they are offered 10% courtesy if they do, but it is clearly explained that they will need to alternate morning and afternoon appointments.
  1. When a patient/parent agrees to always schedule in the morning. This is not offered to everyone. The most reliable patients should be steered into these less popular timeslots because they can be relied upon to not cancel these appointments.
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Topics: orthodontic practice management, Time Management, Roger Levin

How Much is Too Much?

Posted by Shelby Kruse on Dec 4, 2013 11:38:00 AM

by Paulette Johnson
Recently I was asking my husband his opinion on a personal matter when he stopped me, fingers in his ears and said (loudly), “TMI!!” I realized that I may on OCCASION over share. I try to provide enough information to make a well informed decision, but what is enough?

How often in your practice do you over share, or under share for that matter? I have seen the full spectrum of information distributed to potential patients. I have on a regular basis that conversation in our practice, are we providing enough or too much? Do our potential patients walk out with a deer in the headlights look on their faces, or are they in the movie “Beetlejuice” with no idea how to get started with treatment, let alone what the treatment looks like.

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Topics: orthodontic practice management, Paulette Johnson, Edge Animations, New Patient Packet

Share More than Love this Thanksgiving

Posted by Shelby Kruse on Nov 25, 2013 2:43:00 PM

by Dr. Ann Marie Gorczyca
Thanksgiving will soon be here.  As we look forward to gathering with family and friends on Thanksgiving Day, November is the perfect time to update, restock, and redistribute business cards to every member of your orthodontic team. 

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Topics: orthodontic practice management, Marketing, Communication, Ann Marie Gorczyca

Ortho2 Backup Monitoring Service

Posted by Shelby Kruse on Nov 13, 2013 3:12:00 PM

by Lowell Davis
Almost everything you do in your office today is stored digitally.  Protecting your practice’s data is one of the most important, yet overlooked, things an orthodontic office should do.  Even if you have a backup plan in place, are you certain that you are getting reliable and successful backups?  Are you backing up everything you would need to restore in case of a natural disaster, burglary, internal computer damage, or even just user error?

To answer these questions and to help protect your data, Ortho2 now offers a backup monitoring service for only $49 per month.

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Topics: orthodontic practice management, hardware, backup

Skeleton Staff

Posted by Shelby Kruse on Oct 31, 2013 10:46:00 AM

by Paulette Johnson

Does your practice run with a skeleton crew?  Is everyone assigned a job and no one cross-trained? What happens when one of your crew is unable to work for a day, a week, or a month?  Does your skeleton end up in a heap?  With a staff member out do you only address functions that are critical? 

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Topics: orthodontic practice management, Paulette Johnson, staff communication

Windows XP Support Ending April 2014

Posted by Shelby Kruse on Oct 17, 2013 3:23:00 PM

by Lowell Davis
By now you’ve probably read or heard the news that Microsoft will be ending support for Windows XP in April of 2014. While many offices have moved on to a more modern operating system there are still a significant number taking the “if it ain’t broke….” approach and have stayed with the tried and true software that originally became available in 2001.

If you are among those still using Windows XP you’re probably asking why you need to make the jump to a new version of Windows. There are several answers to that question.

  • Think of what things were like “way back” in 2001 when XP was released. Many people were still using dial-up Internet. The first smartphones had just become available. There were an estimated 50 million Internet users who could access 40 million websites. Today it is projected that 1 billion smartphones will be sold in 2013. There are 2.7 billion Internet users accessing 640 million websites. With these changes to the cyber landscape the need for security has increased tremendously. More modern versions of the Windows operating system have significantly more robust security controls to protect you.
  • Even if things are working fine today, when Microsoft terminates their support for XP it will mean no new patches or critical security updates will be released. This will leave your network open to hackers and malware. New driver releases for hardware will no longer be issued which means getting new printers, video cards, etc. may not work with your existing computers. New applications and software from everywhere in the world of technology will not be tested to be compatible with XP.
  • Perhaps most importantly your practice is required to comply with HIPAA and, if you accept payment by credit cards, you must also comply with PCI standards. PCI Data Security Standards (PCI DSS) 6.1 require you to “ensure all system components and software have the latest vendor-supplied security patches installed. Deploy critical patches within a month of release”. Obviously once Microsoft stops releasing patches and updates you will be unable to do this. HIPAA regulations are similar to the PCI standards in this area. HIPAA Security Rule section 164.308(a)(5)(ii)(B) states that you must implement “procedures for guarding against, detecting, and reporting malicious software”. Once again, if you can’t update your computer against malicious software it is impossible to be in compliance with this security rule specification.
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Topics: orthodontic practice management, technology

Tap Deeper Into the Adult Orthodontic Market

Posted by Shelby Kruse on Oct 8, 2013 12:53:00 PM

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Topics: Marketing, Orthodontic, Roger Levin, treatment coordinator, adult braces

How Do You...

Posted by Shelby Kruse on Sep 27, 2013 11:01:00 AM

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Topics: orthodontic practice management, Paulette Johnson, viewpoint, training, consulting, continuing education

When the Cloud Seems Too Far Away

Posted by Shelby Kruse on Sep 12, 2013 3:40:00 PM

by Dan Sargent
The Cloud is fantastic for accessibility and reducing cost and complexity for the user. But from a design standpoint it presents unique challenges as well. One example is dealing with very large files, like high-quality X-ray images. Even with a fast Internet connection, they just take some time to upload and download.

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Topics: technology, orthodontics, cloud computing, imaging, local image cache

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