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The Abrams Report: August 2011

Can you imagine a symbol that can be used to share information, market your business and sync information wirelessly?

A QR Barcode (Quick Response Barcode) is a 2D barcode that can store certain information such as URLs, phone numbers, e-mail addresses, etc. These QR barcodes can be read from web cams or mobile phone cameras. Be sure to include a QR code the next time you update your marketing materials! Create your own QR code for free at http://qrcode.kaywa.com/ or http://delivr.com/qr-code-generator. A QR barcode is worth investigation and it’s free!

It’s not about the bar code. It’s about the endless possibilities of syncing data from a handheld device. It’s about storing, transmitting and sharing data without wires. Most of us resisted cell phones fifteen years ago. Many of us resisted smart phones (iPHONE and Blackberry) just a few years ago and now many of us are jumping on the iPAD movement.

What’s next?

Every day I talk to dentists and their teams about technology. It can be a simple conversation about digital radiography, cad cam, cone beam, software programs or social media. The responses vary from; “We do that”, “We are considering that”, “That’s not for us”; “We think that’s bullsxxx” or “Can you help us?” I appreciate everyone’s perspective and I make no judgments. Here are quotes from the industry’s two most respected technology experts about change. Dr. Lorne Lavine – “The digital revolution is speeding up and change is coming faster than most professionals can adapt”. Dr. Larry Emmott – “Technology is changing the world at a remarkable pace. Like it or not your dental practice will need to understand and use technology well or you will get left in the dust”. Let’s work together to make a road map for technology that is aligned with your business philosophy and one that can be integrated into your facility.

AED – It’s the law in New York!

Since January of 2009 dentists practicing in New York State have been required to become certified in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) from an approved provider. This certification must be maintained in addition to mandatory continuing education as specified in the legislation. The supplement to this legislation takes effect in January 2012 which requires all New York State dental facilities to have an automatic external defibrillator. For more information on this topic, log onto http://m.nysenate.gov/legislation/bill/A3778-2011

I have selected the above Zoll plus A.E.D. model for my clients.

This unit is easy to use, works on all sizes and body types and uses household batteries.

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Can it be true that soft tissue lasers are already a commodity item?

I received a call from a very good client of mine who was interested in a hygiene laser. He told me that his office just had a lunch and learn on the diode laser from a direct company/competitor. According to the doctor, this representative told his staff that his Laser was one of a kind and specially designed just for hygiene. My client was perplexed when he heard this because he knew I sold and serviced Biolase, Cao, Kavo, Sirona, Vivadent and other popular Diode lasers from well known dental companies.

My client asked me to shed some light on the dental laser marketplace and he also wanted to know the most common procedures that were being done in the field by my other clients. It was clear that I needed to broaden the conversation about common diode laser applications and how wattage and certain features might influence his buying decision.

Every office is different so I needed to understand my client’s expectations and clarify what procedures he was looking to deliver to his community of patients. Not all diode lasers have the same capacity so this was a critical exercise! Only a handful of diode lasers do laser whitening, but most can do gingival contouring, leveling, troughing and a gingivectomy. However, speed and wattage can determine long term use and satisfaction for any laser. In other words, if a laser cuts slow, is a challenge to maintain, if the fiber optic cord or tips are difficult to replace or if the unit has limited applications, then it will eventually be a dust collector. Most dentists are interested in periodontal applications, exposing unerupted teeth, frenectomy’s, treating oral aphthous ulcers, removing soft-tissue lesions, eliminating packing retraction cord and laser whitening – so laser selection really matters!

Regardless of the laser you select, TRAINING and education will be required if you want to enjoy the technology and implement it into your practice successfully!

Social Media – are you in? undecided? not interested?

The best way to define social media is to break it down like this; media is an instrument of communication, like a newspaper, magazine, television or the radio. Social media is a web based instrument of communication. The difference is that social media allows you to have a conversation with one or many people at the same time. You can post photos and video for everyone or just some friends to view. You can publically state an opinion, have a call for action and market a product or service to select communities in social media. It is also a powerful tool that gives control back to the individual & consumer in unprecedented ways.

Social Media is on-demand. It is real time interaction that uses technology to enable genuine engagement with others, not simply sharing data with them. Some people believe that social media allows us to do what we love most, tell stories or connect and commiserate with one another. It’s sharing your interests, feelings, likes & dislikes, and views for all to see.

On that note, social media requires us all to be cognizant of our on line reputation. What we post matters! Social media is like public speaking in some ways but your message will linger on forever (on the web) and is available for everyone, not just your desired audience to see.

Of course, social media has added benefits for a business. It can support your brand, deliver a timely message and allows you to communicate with many people at the same time! Social media can be an important aspect of your patient communication and marketing efforts but must be managed and taken seriously.

Please feel free to ask me to help you get started.

Enjoy the rest of the summer!

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