Brushing and Flossing Won’t Help When You’re Being Sued

Tod Browndorf

 

Americans have a reputation for being some of the most litigious people, especially when it comes to suing for medical malpractice. Dentists have become a popular target for malpractice lawsuits, causing many of them to give up their practices, or join group practices because of astronomical malpractice insurance costs. Before they ask patients to “open wide and say ahhh…” dentists must ensure that they have the knowledge to give patients optimum care while keeping the risk of malpractice to a minimum. Many who do not want to abandon their practices or become part of a group practice, are turning to online education, particularly the CNA HealthPro Dental Professional Liability Risk Management Program.

This week, we visited with Dr. Joel Abramowitz, a dentist with a small, but thriving family dental practice in Northern New Jersey. Dr. Abramowitz and some of his office staff took the CNA course and are extremely pleased with their online training experiences.

Dr. Abramowitz, how did you learn about online training?

One of my office assistants completed part of her Associate’s degree attending online classes at one of the local colleges. She did a search for dental risk management courses online and found the CNA course at Coggno. Then, I ran into a colleague who told me that he and some of his staff took the course online. He said they learned a lot of valuable information.

How many of your employees took the course?

I did, along with my office manager, the assistant who found it, and my two hygienists.

Besides your office assistant, did any of the others have experience with online training?

No; this was their first time taking an online training course. It was my first time as well.

What did they think of the experience?

They were really excited about being able to take the course at their convenience, rather than traveling to off-site seminars. One of my hygienists completed the entire course on her iPad, and my office manager was able to get through the whole program in one weekend. Overall, they were pleased by what they learned, and happy that they didn’t have to spend time away from the office to get the education they needed.

Are you approaching patient care differently now that you’ve completed the course?

Definitely. We are all much more conscious of certain risks, and how to address them. Now, we have a weekly meeting to discuss what’s going on in the office to make sure nothing falls through the cracks. I want to keep my existing patients happy, and make sure that new ones have a positive experience when they visit my office. We know that for some people, going to the dentist is not their favorite thing!

Have you ever considered giving up your practice and joining a group?

I have several times over the years, but I’m really not a fan of being part of a group practice. I’ve been in the same office for 15 years and have patients who have been with me since I opened. I’m not ready to give that up.

Where do you see your practice in 5 years?

Hopefully, we’ll still be here, serving the community. My goal is to keep up-to-date with the latest technology so I can maintain the highest level of care. I’d rather invest in new equipment than have to pay higher insurance premiums!

Would you take more online training courses in the future?

Yes, of course. My staff would too.

One last question: What flavor of toothpaste is most popular with the younger patients?

I think it’s a tie between strawberry and watermelon.

Thank you for your time, Dr. Abramowitz. Next time we’re in New Jersey, we’ll stop by for a cleaning!

You’re welcome. We hope to see you soon!

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