My How Technology Has Changed!

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My how much technology has changed since I first entered dental school as a freshman in 1986 at the University of Washington School of Dentistry.  Back then and in the early years of working for my father, who was a dentist here in Vancouver for 59 years, we had paper charts and were writing everything down freehand.  Then the computer arrived, then the dental software with charting, then the digital X-rays and intraoral cameras and the list goes on.

Recently this past week we have been upgrading our server and many of our workstation computers as they were getting to be almost 10 years old.  That’s the problem with technology; it is constantly getting better and better and you are always needing to upgrade. These new 27-inch monitors we purchased are wonderful and show an incredible, crisp clear digital image and are a far cry from trying to look at an old washed-out one-inch X-ray under a small light of a view box or holding it up to the overhead light.

But, the problem with technology and information is that there are bad people always trying to take advantage and steal it and hold it for ransom.  I received a letter from my IT person who said, “In 2023, 43% of ransomware attacks were on small businesses. Only 14% of these businesses were prepared to face such an attack.”

Your money is the only priority for the bad guys and it doesn’t matter how big your business is, they don’t care.  I have noticed a huge increase in these attacks.  Just last weekend I found out that the United Healthcare/Change Healthcare clearinghouse ransomware attack affected almost all the dentists in the U.S. and caused them not to get any insurance payments for who knows how long.

I was relieved to find out that my electronic claims provider used a different clearinghouse for most of my claims so I wasn’t affected.  I couldn’t order products from my Henry Schein dental supplier recently due to a cyberattack and last year my supplier Burkhart Dental Supply was hit and was affected for quite some time. Due to this trend and problem, I have decided to invest in a monthly cyberattack prevention software program called Threatlocker, which my IT person says is the best one out there. This will increase my expenses, but the cost and pain of having it happen and losing everything is totally worth the added cost.

I just want you to know that as my clientele, and I consider you like family, you can rest assured that your personal health information is safe and secure from everyone and everything, and especially, all the hackers out there. I also feel adding this service and protection will help my IT person, who is responsible for my data, and me, to sleep at night knowing we are fully protected.  Yes, technology has changed, and yes, along with it all the problems associated with it, but it is still wonderful to live in the digital age and enjoy all the blessings of it.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPPA), or your personal health information stored on our computers, don’t hesitate to reach out to me at any time.  Oh, and by the way, we are also here for all your dental needs, including your family and extended family and friends.

If you would like to schedule a visit with our Two Rivers Dentistry team in Vancouver, Washington, please call 360-256-1202. I look forward to helping you create your best smile!

Best Regards,

Dr. Teuscher