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Ethics

Maintaining a positive online reputation

Do you know what your patients are saying about you? Your online reputation depends on whether and/or how you react to what people say about your services.

Today, according to the ADA Center for Professional Success, many patients investigate your office prior to an initial appointment using Google, Yelp, and many other review and research sources. Make sure you are doing everything you can to maintain a positive online reputation.

PBHSADA Business Resources and Protective Business and Health Systems (PBHS) recently hosted a webinar on managing your online reputation. A recording of the seminar along with the question and answer section is now available for ADA members.

In this webinar Jay Levine, president of PBHS, offered tips and best practices to monitor your public reputation and take a proactive approach to addressing online reviews. To view the webinar, accessible to ADA members, click here.

This information is provided courtesy of PBHS, the only marketing company endorsed by ADA Business Resources. Learn more about PBHS, click here or by calling 855.932.4232.

 

Marketing the dental practice: Know the rules

Marketing your dental practice is key to attracting new patients but it’s also important to do so ethically and to follow the law.

“The key is to be informed,” said Dr. Kevin Sessa, chair of the ADA Council on Dental Practice. “When you know the rules, you are better equipped to avoid breaking them. As dentists and small business owners, we’re all looking for ways to attract new patients and to retain our existing ones. Marketing your practice is a great way to do that but it’s important to do so in a legal and ethical way.”

The ADA has several resources that can help new and veteran dentists understand not only the basics of marketing and advertising but how to promote their practices within the law. One such publication, “Advertising Basics for Dentists and Dental Associations: A Guide to Federal and State Rules and Standards,” is an overview of federal and advertising-related laws and regulations.

It’s also a primer that includes links to useful electronic resources; discusses state advertising regulations; and also has a section on codes of ethics in dentistry.

Members can read the online publication hereEthical marketing. The publication emphasizes that while dentists can advertise their practice, they shouldn’t solicit patients in any form of communication that’s false or misleading. Dentists can find additional legal and ethical resources on ADA.org.

“Truthful, nondeceptive advertising of a dentist’s qualifications, services or facilities can help patients make informed choices about practitioners and services,” according to the publication. “On the other hand, advertising that is false or misleading harms patients by making it more difficult and costly for them to make informed choices.”

Knowing the basics of advertising laws also helps dentists know when to seek legal advice. Those with more questions or who need clarification can contact the ADA Division of Legal Affairs at legaldivision@ada.org.

The ADA also offers “Internal Marketing: The Key to Dental Practice Success,” through its ADA Catalog. Chapters discuss cultivating referrals, developing practice newsletters and websites and utilizing social networking profitably and responsibly.

The 122-page book (P080) costs $49.95 for members and 74.95 for nonmembers; the e-book (P080D) is $39.95 for members and $59.95 for nonmembers; and the print and e-book bundle is $59.95 for members and $84.95 for nonmembers. All can be purchased on ADACatalog.org.

Stay tuned for The ADA Practical Guide to Internet Marketing, coming in January.

 

October issue of New Dentist News available online

The latest issue of the New Dentist News is now available online.

The October 2014 issue includes articles to help new dentists with marketing, finances and handling ethical dilemmas.

October 2014 New Dentist NewsInside this issue include:

  • Marketing snapshot — How one practice does it.
  • Marketing the dental practice: Know the rules.
  • Working with a marketing firm.
  • Advice from a lender: Be prepared before seeking a practice loan.
  • Tap the ADA Ethics Hotline for ethical dilemmas.

To read the New Dentist News, click here.

What tips have you learned when it comes to marketing your dental practice or yourself as a dentist?

Tap the ADA Ethics Hotline for ethics dilemmas

Avoid hot water when it comes to sticky practice situations with the ADA Ethics Hotline, a member benefit made possible by a joint effort between The Council on Ethics, Bylaws and Judicial Affairs (CEBJA), the New Dentist Committee and the ADA Member Service Center.

Ethics           Though a ready asset for any ADA member, new dentists in particular may find the hotline of great value, as they are likely experiencing first-time dilemmas. The hotline was initially created targeting new dentists, but has evolved as a membership benefit befitting every member.

The Ethics Hotline is not a legal resource but rather a service for helping to resolve ethical dilemmas much like an ethics consult service. Members may access the new member service by calling the ADA toll-free number and stating that they have a question for the ethics hotline. To reach the Ethics Hotline, call the ADA Member Service Center and ask to be connected to the hotline. All calls are confidential. Leave a confidential voicemail message.

A member of CEBJA will contact callers within 2-3 business days to arrange a mutually agreeable time to discuss the dilemma presented. Indicate very time-sensitive dilemmas in the message and CEBJA staff and members will do their best to accommodate the request for feedback.

ADA Council on Scientific Affairs extends application period for John W. Stanford New Investigator Award

The American Dental Association Council on Scientific Affairs is extending the application deadline for the 2014 John W. Stanford New Investigator Award to Oct. 31.

Applications for the Stanford New Investigator Award are accepted annually from dental students or dentists who have earned their D.D.S. or D.M.D. degrees no more than five years prior to the time of selection.

The Stanford New Investigator Award underscores the crucial role that dental standards play in patient health and safety and in the efficacy of dental products.

The award pays homage to the legacy of Dr. Stanford, a 40-year ADA employee who is credited with establishing the ADA’s current standards program.

Submissions must be original research that addresses some aspect of the use of standards in dental research or clinical application.

To apply for the John W. Stanford New Investigator Award ore learn more about the ADA Standards Programs, please visit ADA.org/dentalstandards.

DEA imposes tighter restrictions on hydrocodone combination products

The Drug Enforcement Administration is reclassifying hydrocodone combination products and subjecting them to tighter restrictions.

Hydrocodone combination products, which include opioids such as Vicodin, Lorcet, Lortab and Norco, will be reclassified as Schedule II substances, effective Oct. 6.

Center for Professional SuccessThe DEA says the reclassification will protect public health and safety by reducing the potential for abuse, dependence and diversion of the highly addictive substances, while still ensuring that they’re available to patients with a legitimate medical need and who have an ongoing consultation with their health care professional.

“Almost 7 million Americans abuse controlled substance prescription medications, including opioid painkillers, resulting in more deaths from prescription drug overdoses than auto accidents,” DEA Administrator Michele Leonhart said in a news release. “(This) action recognizes that these products are some of the most addictive and potentially dangerous prescription medications available.”

Hydrocodone combination products are the most frequently prescribed drugs in the United States and more than 137 million prescriptions for hydrocodone combination products were written in 2013, according to the DEA.

The ADA Center for Dental Practice created a frequently asked questions on the new regulation, available here. The FAQ is only available to ADA members.

The FAQ includes:

  • What’s the difference between a Schedule II and a Schedule III classification?
  • Will I be able to phone in prescriptions to a pharmacy for a Schedule II HCP?
  • Are there other restrictions associated with writing prescriptions for Schedule II drugs?
  • How does the reclassification impact my patients?
  • Does the reclassification impact anyone besides prescribers and patients?

Is it ethical to date a patient?

ETHICS rubricPrinciple 2 of the ADA Code of Ethics relates to nonmaleficience – that is, do no harm.  Section 2G specifically states that dentists should avoid interpersonal relationships that could impair their professional judgment or risk the possibility of exploiting the confidence placed in them by a patient.

So, while the Code does not specifically state that dating a patient is unethical, it does raise some questions to consider.

The ADA ethics hotline is an easy, confidential way for ADA members to get some advice on next steps when navigating an ethical dilemma.

The hotline doesn’t provide legal guidance. Instead it provides a fresh perspective through a consultation with a member of the ADA Council on Ethics, Bylaws and Judicial Affairs (CEBJA.)

To access this ADA member benefit, call the toll-free number on your ADA member card and request the ethics hotline. After confirming your membership, you’ll be transferred to a voicemail system and asked to provide some information about your issue.

You’ll receive a personal telephone call from a member of CEBJA. This dentist will then discuss the application of the ADA Principles of Ethics and Code of Professional Conduct to your situation. The goal is for you to receive a response within two or three days. However, if you request a rapid response, volunteers and staff will work to accommodate your request.

And you are encouraged to familiarize yourself ADA Principles of Ethics and Code of Professional Conduct.

Ethics, Dental Exams and Documents

open mouthIn the December 2013 issue of the Journal of the American Dental Association (JADA) a reader asks:

A patient came to our office with a complaint of dental pain. He had not been to the office for two years for any type of examination or treatment.

The patient brought along a form from his employer. He requested that I sign the form after I performed the examination. The form stated that the patient had received a preventive dental examination.

Signing this form would allow the patient to receive more insurance coverage at lower cost from his employer for preventive care. What should I do?

You may be surprised by the answer (ADA Members have access to the complete online archive of JADA including the regular ethical moment column.)

Facing a thorny ethical issue yourself? The ADA ethics hotline is an easy, confidential way for ADA members to get some advice on next steps when navigating an ethical dilemma.

The hotline doesn’t provide legal guidance. Instead it provides a fresh perspective through a consultation with a member of the ADA Council on Ethics, Bylaws and Judicial Affairs (CEBJA.)

To access this ADA member benefit, call the toll-free number on your ADA member card and request the ethics hotline. After confirming your membership, you’ll be transferred to a voicemail system and asked to provide some information about your issue.

You’ll receive a personal telephone call from a member of CEBJA. This dentist will then discuss the application of the ADA Principles of Ethics and Code of Professional Conduct to your situation. The goal is for you to receive a response within two or three days. However, if you request a rapid response, volunteers and staff will work to accommodate your request.

And you are encouraged to familiarize yourself with the ADA Principles of Ethics and Code of Professional Conduct.

Is it Ethical to Raffle off Prizes in Exchange for Referrals?

open mouthIn the July 2013 issue of the Journal of the American Dental Association (JADA) a reader asks:

I found out that one of my colleagues is raffling off a jet ski. The rules of the raffle state that each person who refers a patient to the dentist’s practice will have his or her name entered into the raffle; the more people one refers, the more entries one gets. Is this a violation of the ADA Code?

You may be surprised by the answer (ADA Members have access to the complete online archive of JADA including the regular ethical moment column.)

Facing a thorny ethical issue? The ADA ethics hotline is an easy, confidential way for ADA members to get some advice on next steps when navigating an ethical dilemma.

The hotline doesn’t provide legal guidance. Instead it provides a fresh perspective through a consultation with a member of the ADA Council on Ethics, Bylaws and Judicial Affairs (CEBJA.)

To access this ADA member benefit, call the toll-free number on your ADA member card and request the ethics hotline. After confirming your membership, you’ll be transferred to a voicemail system and asked to provide some information about your issue.

You’ll receive a personal telephone call from a member of CEBJA. This dentist will then discuss the application of the ADA Principles of Ethics and Code of Professional Conduct to your situation. The goal is for you to receive a response within two or three days. However, if you request a rapid response, volunteers and staff will work to accommodate your request.

And you are encouraged to familiarize yourself ADA Principles of Ethics and Code of Professional Conduct.