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Periospectives April-June 2013 : Page 26

BEST PRACTICES THE collaborations IN Dental professionals often juggle busy schedules, leaving limited opportunities for consulting with other members of the dental team. Periodontists benefit from discussing cases with referring dentists to help clarify complex workups and treatments. The more complex the case, the more important collaboration becomes. If the periodontist is unable to confer with the general dentist, the patient may ultimately suffer in the execution of the treatment plan. There are several ways the treating team can discuss the diagnosis and treatment of a patient. Examples include study clubs, face-to-face meetings, phone conferences, email, and letters. In today’s busy world, any extra assistance in enhancing communication is valuable. REAL virtual world Dr. Walter Colón Dr. Gordon Douglass AAP Perio spectives | 26

Real Collaborations In The Virtual World

Dental professionals often juggle busy schedules, leaving limited opportunities for consulting with other members of the dental team. Periodontists benefit from discussing cases with referring dentists to help clarify complex workups and treatments. The more complex the case, the more important collaboration becomes. If the periodontist is unable to confer with the general dentist, the patient may ultimately suffer in the execution of the treatment plan.

There are several ways the treating team can discuss the diagnosis and treatment of a patient. Examples include study clubs, face-to-face meetings, phone conferences, email, and letters. In today’s busy world, any extra assistance in enhancing communication is valuable.

To save time and work more efficiently, Drs. Walter Colón and Gordon Douglass have incorporated web conferencing into their referral process.

Web conferencing allows real-time, online communication between two or more parties. Participants can upload documents, photos, and videos to assist in the discussion.

“Web conferencing allows me to more easily collaborate with my referring colleagues,” explained Dr. Douglass. “The referring dentist and I confer about the case, review photographs at the same time on our individual computer monitors, and then discuss the patient’s options. Everyone is on the same page about the patient’s treatment without having to leave his or her office.”

Dr. Walter Colón was introduced to web conferencing as a participant, but found this vehicle ideal for communicating with his referring colleagues. After researching various provider options such as Adobe Connect, Cisco WebEx Meeting Center, Citrix GoToMeeting, and Fuze Meeting Pro, Dr. Colón settled on Citrix’s GotoMeeting. All he needs to host a virtual meeting is a low-cost subscription; his referring colleagues participate at no expense.

“Web conferencing is definitely a time saver,” says Dr. Colón. “Oftentimes, my referring dentists simply don’t have time to meet in person. The ability to meet virtually from our respective offices has led to much-improved communications.”

Dr. Colón is able to share digital photography, cone beam scans, and implant workups. He prefers having phone conversations while walking through all components of the case on the computer.

Dr. Douglass usually schedules web conferencing over the lunch hour. “I am not a tech-savvy person, but it is really easy,” laughs Dr. Douglass. “I can draw right on the computer screen, and refer to past cases. This form of communication gets everyone on the same page. It is truly collaborative care.”

“Patients appreciate it when they come in and see you have done your research and know their treatment history. It makes for quality referrals,” adds Dr. Douglass.

“This communication method gives everyone – periodontist, referring colleague, and patient – a better understanding of the patients’ needs,” says Dr. Colón.

Both Drs. Colón and Douglass warn that there are some challenges. Some participants may be a bit apprehensive about using technology, worrying it may be too complicated. However, Dr. Colón has introduced web conferencing to some general practitioners who had minimal knowledge of computers, and they were pleased to see how easy it is.

Dr. Walter Colón, a practicing periodontist in Tallahassee, Florida, received his dental degree from the University of Kentucky and completed a general practice residency at the University of Kentucky Medical Center and at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. He completed an internship in Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery at Vanderbilt and obtained his certification in periodontics at the University of Kentucky. Dr. Colón is a Diplomate of the American Board of Periodontology.

Dr. Gordon Douglass has practiced periodontics in Sacramento, California since 1973, obtained his dental degree, and earned his certificate in periodontics from the University of Washington. He is a Diplomate of the American Board of Periodontology. He is also a past president of the AAP and past board member of the AAP Foundation.

Web conferencing options

Most software for web conferencing includes white boards, application sharing, file hosting, and audio and video conferencing with support for phone-based users.

Some software options include:

Adobe Connect

– Subscribe to the hosted service monthly ($55/month), annually ($55/month), or pay per use ($0.32/min/user).

– Can be used on virtually any device, including iPad, iPhone, Android, BlackBerry PlayBook, as well as across desktop platforms. No client downloads and free for participants.

Cisco WebEx Meeting Center

– Various plans ranging from free to $89/month based on service needs.

– Can be used from any computer, iPhone, BlackBerry, or any other Wi-Fior 3G-enabled mobile device. No client downloads and free for participants.

Citrix GoToMeeting

– Subscribe to the hosted service monthly ($49/month) or annually ($468/year).

– Can be used on any computer (some services limited for Mac), iPad, iPhone, or Android device. No client downloads and free for participants.

Fuze Meeting Pro

– Various plans ranging from $15 to $69/month or $180 to $828/year based on service needs.

– Can be used on any computer, iPad, iPhone, or Android device. Free for participants.

Why Web conferencing?

Anytime, Anywhere. Web conferencing allows dental practitioners to review cases in the office, at home, or on the go.

Convenient and easy.

Meeting virtually is as simple as tapping a button on any of the various electronic devices everyone already carries with them.

Show me!

The ability to show peers cases with pictures, diagrams, and videos in real-time creates more efficient communication between colleagues.

Collaborative Care 2.0.

This new technology allows practitioners to get together even when they are separated by many miles and offers a new pool for collaborations.

Read the full article at http://onlinedigeditions.com/article/Real+Collaborations+In+The+Virtual+World/1413907/161101/article.html.

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