Maxident Software http://maxidentsoftware.com Dental Practice Management Program Wed, 25 May 2016 13:12:04 +0000 en-US hourly 1 8 Debunked Computer and Virus Myths http://maxidentsoftware.com/8-debunked-computer-and-virus-myths/ http://maxidentsoftware.com/8-debunked-computer-and-virus-myths/#respond Wed, 25 May 2016 13:12:04 +0000 http://maxidentsoftware.com/?p=2502 8debunkedComputer-and-Virus-Myths

Your computer is a valuable resource in your office, and when it comes down with a virus, the performance can be highly affected. Of course it makes sense to be vigilant by having A+ software to suit your computer’s needs and to be vigilant on the internet.  But there comes a time when, just like parents, we either become too overprotective or too laid back. This blog post is going to run down some of the most common computer myths and legends to help you better judge when you can be amp up the overprotection and when you can take a deep breath, relax, and be laid back.

Amp up the Overprotection

It’s time to be overcautious and vigilant with these debunked myths.

Myth 1: Viruses are only found in email and porn sites.

Truth: As true as we want this myth to be, it isn’t. Hackers are getting smarter and smarter with their virus technology and are now able to corrupt even the most reliable websites. Keep your guard up and your antivirus updated to catch and eliminate new malware.

dwightschrute_false_mac-300x207-300x205

Myth 2: Macs don’t get viruses.

Truth: This used to be true, but not anymore as Apple products are now becoming more and more popular and catching the eye of hackers. The mac can even be a conduit for viruses to infect PC systems. Even with a mac, it’s recommended that you don’t let your guard down.

Myth 3: All viruses are the same

Truth: Having gone through the types of viruses in earlier posts on this blog, you are well aware of the many types of malware and how each type can affect your computer and you differently. Trojans create a back door. Worms replicate. And ransomware is a type of malware that encrypts files on your system until the hackers are paid. It’s always important to keep these differences in mind.

Myth 4: If you contract a virus, just reinstall windows and put everything back on your system from your backup drive.

Truth: If you contract a virus, it takes a lot more to completely obliterate it, which requires the assistance of an expert, so for the sake and safety of your machine, do not copy your files back to the system; this might re-infect your system all over again.

448146

Be cool and laid back

Breathe and relax. It’s time to take a step back with these next debunked myths.

Myth 1: Computer errors mean you have a virus.

Truth: Before you start panicking over an error or the blue screen of death, take a moment to breathe and consider the other reasons errors might be popping up, such as:

  • Insufficient memory
  • Uninstalled updates
  • Glitches

Check those first. Your computer might just need a little tweaking rather than a complete overhaul.

Myth 2: A computer can be infected simply by accessing a website on the internet.

Truth: The fear I always struggled with when on the internet was that even just going to websites would leave my computer vulnerable to viruses, but the truth is that the only way your computer can be infected is by clicking on a corrupt link inside the website. A virus has to be an executable file that you open and let run on your computer. Be safe; however, don’t be so overly cautious that you avoid the internet altogether.

Myth 3: You should shut your computer down regularly to let it rest.

Truth: Your computer takes it very hard when you shut it down and start it up again, so instead of shutting it down whenever you leave the office, it is perfectly okay to just let it sleep unless you find that you will be gone for more than a couple days.

Myth 4: Whenever you’re notified of updates, install all of them.

Truth: Installing all updates because you’re worried that if you don’t you’ll infect your computer, is much the reason some computers become infected. We don’t think, we just act, installing whatever those messages tell us to install. Don’t. When it comes to updates, remember to slow down and read everything. If the update is necessary, get it, but if it isn’t, there is no reason to click ‘install’. The only exception to this is mandatory updates for your antivirus software, and even with those updates, always read and inspect everything first.

If there are other debunked myths you can think of, let us know by putting them in the comment section below. We look forward to hearing from you.

 

]]>
http://maxidentsoftware.com/8-debunked-computer-and-virus-myths/feed/ 0
6 Benefits of Having a Blog http://maxidentsoftware.com/6-benefits-of-having-a-blog/ http://maxidentsoftware.com/6-benefits-of-having-a-blog/#respond Fri, 20 May 2016 20:09:14 +0000 http://maxidentsoftware.com/?p=2494 6 Benefits of Having a Blog

As a service provider, there are many ways to interact with your patients while also managing a little marketing strategy, so let’s start off by addressing the question of ‘what is a blog’? Some seem to think that a blog is just a glorified diary; according to Google, a blog is a regularly updated website or webpage, typically one run by an individual or small group that is written in an informal style. And Webster’s defines it as a website on which someone writes about personal opinions, activities, and experiences.

So, is a blog just a glorified diary, a waste of your time as a dental professional with no beneficial purpose whatsoever? Absolutely not. A blog can actually be an effective vehicle to move your practice forward into the twenty-first century by providing free advertising and marketing. This type of marketing is called ‘content marketing’ and it is defined as a marketing strategy that is based on creating and sharing valuable content with your community and potential patients so as to establish your authority. Below are six substantial benefits of having a blog.

 

To develop and solidify patient relationships

Not only does writing a blog establish your authority in the dental field, it also gives you the opportunity to connect and interact with your patients on a more personal level. Through the use of a blog, you can answer the most-asked questions, quell patient fears, and offer information, education and advice that will contribute to your patients’ health and well-being even after they leave the office.

To drive traffic to your website

Maintaining patient loyalty is important to a successful practice, but let’s not discount the pivotal effect of gaining new patients. A blog can help to draw in those potential patients, giving them a reason to see you as the leader in your industry. You are also able to build your SEO (search engine optimization) and your social media presence. Updating regularly and keeping your content fresh and interesting, patients, potential patients, and even those professionals in your field are able to share your voice with others.

To generate long-term results

The effort you put into your blog today might not show its value in the very beginning, but rather over time, so don’t think your effort was for nothing just because you can’t see the results right away. It takes a while to assemble a following. The work put into an earlier blog post can potentially turn into hundreds, even thousands of views later on.

To allow you to be a positive voice of change

Glorified diary or not, you are speaking on behalf of your industry, regarding subjects you’re passionate about. The personal stories you tell, the advice you give, and the information you contribute provides a positive impact on your field in ways you might not even realize. Writing a blog means that you are speaking on behalf of those who can’t or won’t and, therefore, making a difference (big or small) in your industry and community.

To help you sharpen and hone your writing skills

Practice makes perfect. I’m sure you have heard this phrase uttered before, and writing is no exception. The most important aspect of keeping a blog is writing and the more content you generate the easier the process will get.

To create a conversation with your patients

Every blog has or should have a comment section for visitors to leave feedback and questions. This is your time to shine, providing you the opportunity to connect with these visitors and start a conversation that can demonstrate your knowledge and expertise and willingness to be of assistance. Can this take time? Definitely, but the results will have a very positive effect on your practice. It isn’t necessary to get to every comment instantly, instead allocate a specific time each week to moderate and respond to useful comments.

Just like all blogs in every field, some of the feedback will be negative. You can’t escape it; however, you can take something beneficial from it. Instead of ignoring this feedback, be professional in your responses and start a much needed discussion with these visitors to try and achieve a takeaway. By doing so, you are establishing credibility while also letting these visitors know that their opinions matter too.

I’m sure there are other benefits to having a blog. Please feel free to share some of your ideas with us.

]]>
http://maxidentsoftware.com/6-benefits-of-having-a-blog/feed/ 0
Five Benefits of Having Antivirus Software http://maxidentsoftware.com/five-benefits-of-having-antivirus-software/ http://maxidentsoftware.com/five-benefits-of-having-antivirus-software/#respond Wed, 18 May 2016 12:54:07 +0000 http://maxidentsoftware.com/?p=2489 5 benefits of Having Antivirus Software

Computers are a valuable resource in the office and outside of it; on them is where personal and sensitive information is stored. Therefore, these valuable resources need a lot of TLC to keep them running smoothly. You already know that it is imperative to keep your software up to date, but it is even more important to keep in mind the significance of having and installing antivirus software that will suit you and your practice. Each antivirus software option has its advantages and disadvantages when it comes to different practices and their unique needs; however, the point of this post is to describe to you the benefits of having antivirus software on your computer to keep it safe and illness-free. It is up to you to make the choice that will best suit your practice.

1 Detection and removal of malware

Antivirus software detects everything from viruses and Trojan horses to spyware, adware, and tracking cookies. Either the software will delete the threats or it will quarantine the threat, preventing it from interacting with the rest of the system. Considering which software will work best for your practice requires research. The options are many and anti-virus software also includes firewalls, anti-spyware and anti-adware.  

2 Protection of sensitive and personal information

Not only will antivirus software detect, quarantine and remove threats from the system, it will protect you and your patient’s personal and sensitive information while you browse the internet. The software prevents hackers from gaining access to any private information stored on the system. A firewall (another form of antivirus software) will block any unauthorized incoming connections to the internet, and it will immediately block the program trying to get in and inform you of the threat immediately.

3 Regular updates

The biggest problem with malware is that they are being created twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. New threats are popping up all the time in all different forms. Every day, your computer is at risk of illness; however, your antivirus software will be automatically updated to take care of new and damaging threats to your computer. And even if the software does not automatically update, you will still receive popups letting you know that it’s time for an update.  

4 Protection in real-time

When browsing on the internet or reading through emails, sometimes we are on autopilot and click on links we don’t mean to click on. Real-time protection means that your antivirus software will immediately catch and run a virus scan on any and all files you click on and keep you that much safer while significantly reducing the chances of infection or being infected with multiple malware families.

Prevention from infection

The biggest benefit of having a decent antivirus software is prevention; your computer is less likely to contract a virus or cope with spyware and tracking cookies. Antivirus acts as vitamins to an immune system by keeping your computer healthy and putting up a defensive shield to all those hackers that are trying to weasel their way in.  You have to remember that stopping an infection in its tracks with antivirus software is much easier and a lot more cost effective than cleaning up the aftermath.

Leave a comment and tell us your tales of woe and victory when it comes to your battle against nasty computer malware. What do you do in your office to keep your computer safe and virus-free?

]]>
http://maxidentsoftware.com/five-benefits-of-having-antivirus-software/feed/ 0
Three Computer Illnesses to Avoid http://maxidentsoftware.com/three-computer-illnesses-to-avoid/ http://maxidentsoftware.com/three-computer-illnesses-to-avoid/#respond Fri, 13 May 2016 19:49:13 +0000 http://maxidentsoftware.com/?p=2481 3computer-Illnesses-to-Avoid

Just like humans, computers can contract illnesses too. Unfortunately, chicken noodle soup and lots of rest won’t help; the only true blue cure is prevention. How do we prevent our bodies from contracting illnesses? We exercise, eat right, manage our stress levels effectively, and some of us even take vitamins. These are great prevention techniques for the human body, but what kind of prevention techniques can we use on a computer? I can’t say this enough, and I will continue to say it: The best prevention is vigilance; but the only way to utilize that prevention is by being informed.

In previous posts, you learned about phishing, spyware, scareware, and ransomware; now to focus on three more common infections: worms, rootkits, and exploits.

robot-707219_640

1 Worms

This is not the creepy crawly worm you were fascinated with as a kid; this worm is an infection to your computer. Years ago, when the internet was bright and shiny and new to me, I confronted a worm for the first time. Not knowing exactly what it was, I tried to delete the file. Another one popped up. I deleted that one, and on and on until I realized the problem: the worm was replicating. A computer worm is a program that penetrates an operating system to spread malicious code, and with this code, it utilizes networks to send copies of that code to other computers.

What they do

Without any human initiation, worms can actually spread automatically and further exploit system vulnerabilities and consume bandwidth. These worms contain “payloads” (components designed to steal data or delete files) that can damage host computers. Some of these payloads can even create backdoors in host computers, allowing them to be controlled.

2016-05-13_1444

2 Rootkit

A rootkit is a kind of Trojan virus that can change operating system software and allow backdoor access to your system. There are two types to look out for: user-mode, which replaces EXE files and system libraries; and kernel-mode, which changes components within the kernel or heart of the operating system (input and output control), or sometimes even completely replace it.

What they do

Rootkits dupe their victims into giving the attacker administrator privileges, while also hiding their presence from antispyware and antivirus software. Once in, they are capable of replacing operating system programs that have already been installed with their own malicious programs.

ex

3 Exploits

An exploit is a program developed to “exploit” the weaknesses or flaws in a computer’s operating system in order to carry out some form of malicious intent.

What they do

The exploit program invites Trojans, worms and viruses into the system by exploiting security vulnerabilities without having prior access to the system. The two targets most commonly utilized by attackers are web browsers and media players, because they are designed to make automatic changes to your system. Basically, by letting these infections in, you open up your computer to all sorts of nasty issues. The exploit is a cold and, without proper damage control, can easily develop into pneumonia by giving the attacker full kernel privileges.

Prevention is key to keeping your computer free of illnesses, but prevention also means keeping an eye out for noticeable symptoms of an impending attack. Sometimes, attacking a sore throat in the morning by gargling salt water reduces the chance of that symptom becoming a full blown cold or flu or worse. The same goes with your computer. Catching the symptoms of an illness is imperative to stopping that illness before it spreads. The following are a list of symptoms to look out for:

  • slow computer performance
  • freezing
  • Crashing (sometimes includes a blue screen)
  • programs opening and running automatically
  • Issues with browser being slow or taking you to a malicious website automatically
  • Unusual messages, images, sounds etc.
  • Firewall or antivirus warnings
  • missing or modified files
  • appearance of strange/unintended desktop files or icons
  • Operating system errors and system error messages
  • Emails sent to contacts without the user’s knowledge

 

What you do

 

The prevention techniques don’t change from spyware and ransomware to these three malicious illnesses. But here’s a rundown anyway.

 

  • Always keep your computer software up-to-date
  • Ensure that your antivirus software is current and updated
  • Be wary of all websites and downloads
  • Do not respond to or open links or documents in your email from someone you don’t recognize
  • Turn on the firewall (if it isn’t already)
  • Don’t be duped into downloading malware.
]]>
http://maxidentsoftware.com/three-computer-illnesses-to-avoid/feed/ 0
6 Suggestions to Attract and Keep New Patients http://maxidentsoftware.com/6-suggestions-to-attract-and-keep-new-patients/ http://maxidentsoftware.com/6-suggestions-to-attract-and-keep-new-patients/#respond Wed, 11 May 2016 14:53:54 +0000 http://maxidentsoftware.com/?p=2473 6 Suggestions to Attract and Keep New Patients

Now that May is here and the flowers and trees are starting to blossom, I’m going to change the topic to something more appropriate. Since Spring is the season of renewal and rebirth, this post is going to focus on how to attract new patients to your practice. Existing patients are the main source of income, but it’s also important to consider the potential benefits that come with obtaining new patients. Below are six online and in-office suggestions you can use to attract new patients to your growing practice and convince them to stay.

In-Office

1 Educate new patients

  • All new patients come into an office with built-in expectations of what they want from their dentist. Be prepared to be honest and to educate those patients by offering tips and ideas they can benefit from. Let them know how to best care for their teeth and what type of toothbrush would be the most effective. By doing this, you are letting the patient know that you genuinely care about their health and well-being.

waiting-room-548136_640

Use your waiting room

  • Your waiting room is where all of your patients spend a lot of their time, so why not utilize the space to make a statement about your practice? You want your waiting room to speak volumes before you do so, in addition to a clean and colorful room, you can put framed “after-photos” on the walls with patient testimonials beneath. You can also have brochures visible and available for everyone to take.

3 Exceed expectations

  • Instead of just meeting the expectations of your new patients, exceed them by going above and beyond. Communicate with your patients by email to check on their recovery and do whatever you can to best accommodate them with a smile and a professional demeanor they will respect and respond to.

finger-769300_640

Online

4 Focus on potential patients

  • Online ads should focus on what the patient is looking for when choosing a dentist. Focus on your genuine interest in patient care and how you can effectively address their fears, frustrations, annoyances and confusion.

5 Increase communication & your online presence

  • Use email to communicate with patients by encouraging them to set up appointments. You can also do your part by reminding those patients about existing appointments, and guiding them gently to your website. Developing a rapport with new patients takes effort, and your website should reflect that effort. Create a newsletter, create an instagram account, write a blog, offer essential dental tips, and links to other social media accounts.

 

6 Utilize Patient Reviews

  • All patients have something to say, so take all reviews seriously and use them as testimonials to better advertise your practice and draw in prospective patients.  

However, not all reviews are going to be positive, but every review holds merit. No, you can’t please everyone, but most negative reviews have a lesson you can learn from. Take these negative reviews and employ them the way you would the positive reviews. You don’t need to add them to your list of testimonials (I wouldn’t recommend it), but you can turn them around to benefit your practice by respecting the patient’s point of view.  

]]>
http://maxidentsoftware.com/6-suggestions-to-attract-and-keep-new-patients/feed/ 0
Beware of Ransomware http://maxidentsoftware.com/beware-of-ransomware/ http://maxidentsoftware.com/beware-of-ransomware/#respond Thu, 05 May 2016 18:23:15 +0000 http://maxidentsoftware.com/?p=2462 bewareof-Ransomware
What is Ransomware?

Malware comes in many different forms, some of which we have already discussed, but there is a new type of malware on the rise. Worse than spyware or even scareware, this is ransomware. And just like the previous two, the name says it all. Ransomware is malicious software downloaded to your computer that encrypts your files and holds them for ransom, demanding a certain amount of money, or surveys to be completed. The point of this post is to help you to defend yourself against this new form of malware software by arming you with the most effective weapon—information.

Where to look for it

Email
Email in the form of spam can come to your inbox, informing you that you performed an illegal action or that you need a certain antivirus software. Usually, the files will come in the form of word files, PDF files, zip files or excel files.

Websites
Malicious websites, suspicious websites, and even legitimate websites can be compromised by ransomware.

Popup Advertisements

Just like scareware, ransomware popup ads are created to scare you into clicking on them in order to visit an infected website.

What it does

A ransomware attack can result in a potential loss of data, identity theft, and even extortion. When hackers take control of your computer and your files, they also have access to personal and sensitive information. Knowing this, they put pressure on their victims by using dirty tactics, such as—causing pornographic ads to pop up when you are attempting to click on a website and putting on a deadline or a time limit with consequences of either destroying the files or increasing the ransom amount. Sometimes, the message will bear the logo of a legitimate government agency or police force and will then accuse you of illegal activity.

What you do

Practicing vigilance whenever you are browsing the internet, checking email or even text messages is key to protecting yourself against threats like ransomware. It is essential to the security of yours and your patients’ information that you never click on links, open attachments, or open email from strangers or institutions you do not do business with; however, if this is an institution you do conduct business with, call them directly. Never call the number provided on the email, text message or popup.

Websites such as Microsoft and Norton also suggest that you use reputable antivirus software and firewalls (choose those ones that best suits the needs of your computer), back up as often as possible (it is always better to back up in a safe and secure location), and enable your popup blocker to avoid popups that could become potential doorways to those ransomware threats. Also update your software regularly. Software that is not updated can be manipulated by hackers.

In case of emergency

Now that you have your prevention kit in place, and you’re being cautious, keeping an eye on spam in your email and deleting all possible threats, what happens if you are still under attack? Remember, some legitimate websites may be compromised. I’m not saying an attack will occur, but if it does, here are some tips from the experts to keep you safe just in case of emergency:

Disconnect from the internet immediately—personal data cannot be transmitted to the hackers if you are not online.
Reinstall software. If you are not comfortable doing this yourself or if you are unable to, take your computer to a reputable source.
Do not pay the ransom! This will only give the hacker the impression that you are easily extorted, and more than likely, they will not release your files.
Contact authorities.

For more detailed information on ransomware, feel free to visit these two websites:

https://www.microsoft.com/security/portal/mmpc/shared/ransomware.aspx
http://ca.norton.com/yoursecurityresource/detail.jsp?aid=rise_in_ransomware

]]>
http://maxidentsoftware.com/beware-of-ransomware/feed/ 0
Computer Threats to Look Out For http://maxidentsoftware.com/computer-threats-to-look-out-for/ http://maxidentsoftware.com/computer-threats-to-look-out-for/#respond Tue, 03 May 2016 14:40:58 +0000 http://maxidentsoftware.com/?p=2451 to-Look-Out-For

April was stress awareness month, but rather than get away from stress awareness completely, I’m going to add to it by focusing on a major aspect of stress in the office—the computer. Malware (malicious software) can be a significant cause of stress and anxiety in the office, especially when you aren’t fully informed about what you’re up against. So this month, I will focus on the threats that exist and what you can do to protect yourself against them and keep your team stress and anxiety free.

What is malware? Webster’s dictionary defines malware as software designed to interfere with a computer’s normal functioning. But it is a lot more than that. It is a way for criminals and hackers to play cruel and dirty tricks on innocent bystanders by attaining personal and financial information. Malware isn’t just viruses and trojans, it is software that fishes for information, spies on you, and scares you into giving out your information. However, by being in the know about these threats, you are protecting the most important thing in the office—you.

Malware-Removal-Tool-Using-One-Can-Save-You-A-Lot-Of-Trouble

It’s important to understand that being vigilant is the best way to defend against all forms of malware. If you don’t have a decent virus scanner, be sure to get one. Consider a firewall if necessary to protect yours and your patients’ information, and always keep your eyes open for any suspicious emails or popups you encounter throughout your day. The best course of action is to do nothing with these popups. Leave them alone. Don’t open them and don’t hover over them with your cursor. If you don’t recognize the sender of a certain email, delete it, and for those of you Maxident users unsure about those emails you get from WordPress, those are legit; however, if something about it seems fishy, give Maxident a call and they will be happy to assist you.

Knowledge is key to protecting yourself and your computer. To start off this month, I’m going to talk about malware that has been created specifically to decieve you into compromising your information—phishing, spyware, and scareware.

phishing-scams

Phishing

No, this is not a summer sport. Far from it, though you have the right idea. Instead of fishing for rainbow trout or cod, this is a type of malicious fishing—phishing for personal and financial information.  Phishing, according to Webster’s Dictionary, is a scam by which an email user is duped into revealing personal or confidential information. You have probably come across these before. They are emails, texts, or popups that look completely legitimate and seem to be offering you a refund or attempting to validate your account. Here’s a few tricks to help you see through the tricks:

  • Misspelled words (this is common)
  • Bad grammar
  • type of information being requested

What do you do now that you know it’s a scam? Delete the email or text message. Here is the hard and fast rule to remember: Legitimate companies never ask for information by email or text. And if you are still unsure, and the email or text message has scared you enough that you feel you need to take action, just call the number on the back of your card to verify, or you can call the institution directly and put your mind at ease. Never call the number on the email and never respond with another email or text message. Just delete, and in the case of text messages, delete and block.

password-704252

Spyware

According to Webster’s Dictionary, spyware is computer software that secretly records information about the way you use your computer. Basically, spyware does what the name suggests, it spies on you by tracking your web movements. Sounds like a creepy stalker thing to do? That’s because it is. According to the Microsoft.com websiteSpyware is difficult to remove and creates a lot of chaos by doing the following:

  • making changes to your computer to slow it down
  • making changes to your web browser’s home page
  • Adding additional components to your browser
  • Making it difficult to change your settings back to how you had them
  • Displaying ads or software that track personal or sensitive information

The messages can be enticing sometimes, but they are enticing for exactly that reason—to urge you to click on it. Do not click on it. Not all spyware is bad, however. Spyware we agree to in order to get a certain music or game service for free is what you have decided is a fair tradeoff. Spotify is a decent example of this, giving you the choice of whether to agree and enjoy free music or disagree and give up the application. Here is the hard and fast rule: When installing anything on your computer, always read the fine print, including the license agreement and privacy statement. Don’t agree until you know exactly what you’re agreeing to. 

you don't need a toolbar, trust me!

It is important to note also that some install wizards have pre-checked boxes of software you don’t want or need. Uncheck them. Read carefully and cautiously and only check what you want. Don’t let the “wizard” make that choice for you. If you want to know more, click here!

Scareware

Again, the name says it all. Scareware is a fake antivirus program meant to scare you into believing your computer is infected. Depending on where you’re browsing, these tend to pop up to give your heart a jolt. The purpose: to download their program and attain your credit card information. According to the California State University website on scareware, “In some cases, a malicious website or advertisement will take advantage of a bug in programs like Adobe Acrobat, Java, Flash Player and can install software on your computer without any user interaction.” This means that these popups can make a constant appearance on your computer to harass you into clicking on them. Make sure all your applications are updated so as to prevent this as bugs usually occur with a program not updated regularly. Here is the hard and fast rule to remember, regarding scareware: It is just there to scare you into clicking on the link or popup provided. What do you do? Nothing. Don’t click on it just get away from it as fast as you can.

These types of malware, though seemingly harmless in nature are in fact very dangerous and can land you in a lot of trouble. Identity theft seems to be a new profession in the millennium and no one is exempt. All you can do is be informed and protected. The best prevention is vigilance, so be wary of all websites you visit and suspicious of all text messages and emails you receive in which the sender is unknown.  

]]>
http://maxidentsoftware.com/computer-threats-to-look-out-for/feed/ 0
The importance of Proper Software Training http://maxidentsoftware.com/the-importance-of-proper-software-training/ http://maxidentsoftware.com/the-importance-of-proper-software-training/#respond Thu, 28 Apr 2016 18:56:45 +0000 http://maxidentsoftware.com/?p=2443 the Importance of Proper Software Training

In any job, whether it be in retail, administration, or dentistry, it is consequential to provide adequate training. This involves not just the right training but the right amount of training. Why is it important to give your team the right amount of training? Yes, it benefits your practice, but it also reduces stress in the workplace. Instead of focusing on general training, however, I am going to focus on software training and its importance to you, your team, and your business. Just as with general training, the same rules still apply to garner the same results; effective training guarantees that everyone will be able to perform to the best of their ability with minimal roadblocks.  

Roadblocks cause hassles, which in turn causes frustration, which then becomes stress. Attempting to understand a software program is hard enough without the added issue of not receiving the right amount of hours necessary. Have you ever tried to work with a new software program, no training, no previous experience? The first time I worked with QuickBooks, I admit I was lost. But instead of trudging through all the confusing jargon and navigating the program without help, I signed up to start the training. Not only are the lessons free with the application, they are necessary in order to understand how to use and navigate it. I am a new user, not exactly accounting software literate, so coming at the program with only half the amount of lessons I’ve been provided would not be enough to use the program as efficiently and effectively as I could. I would still have questions. I would make a countless amount of errors, and I would be less productive. It is the same with all other software program. They are effective tools to help simplify the job; now it’s a matter of learning how to yield them properly.  

laptop-1019782_640

All software programs offer some kind of training– either in-person, online, and they all offer a significant amount of hours with each session. In the case of QuickBooks, I was taught using online training videos. It just wouldn’t make sense to watch one or two of those videos and then attempt to jump into the program head first. The results would not be pretty. The reason these hours are being provided is because they are essential to understanding and using the program to a hundred percent capacity.  Spending only half of those allotted hours or less guarantees that most of your questions will still not be answered and may even add to the confusion of the software. I’m sure you have never tried to ace an exam by only studying half of the work nor have you tried to build something by only reading half the instructions. It’s impossible, impractical and potentially damaging. First off, if you are unwilling to put in the hours of training because you feel it isn’t worth your time, let me assure you right now that it is and, not doing so, can lead to issues such as—low production, high employee turnover, and loss of patient loyalty. If you and your team cannot use the software to its full capacity then the production of your practice will suffer, and, like a chain reaction, you and your team will become frustrated and stressed, resulting in stressed and frustrated patients.

To avoid this, you need to put the effort and the time in. The reason most employees fear new technology is because of their lack of understanding. The right amount of proper training can fix this and make things easier in the office and better for your practice as a whole.

 Now that we’ve looked at the issues caused by an inadequate amount of training, we will look at the benefits of the proper amount of training.

  • Increased patient satisfaction
  • Development and motivation for your team
  • Reduced frustration (for you, your team, and your patients)
  • Increased profitability
  • Consistent quality
  • Improved business performance
  • improved team morale

An Adequate amount of software training eliminates a lot of the smaller errors and issues that can cause frustration in the office. Training also helps to cut down the learning process, eliciting that click we all wait for when figuring out something for the first time. With training, you and your team can ask questions and get the answers needed to allow the brain to forge the right connections. If you and your team spend the time to achieve A- grade training, I guarantee that you will achieve A- grade efficiency, accuracy, and productivity as a result.

]]>
http://maxidentsoftware.com/the-importance-of-proper-software-training/feed/ 0
Five Benefits of Eustress http://maxidentsoftware.com/five-benefits-of-eustress/ http://maxidentsoftware.com/five-benefits-of-eustress/#respond Tue, 26 Apr 2016 13:47:56 +0000 http://maxidentsoftware.com/?p=2428 5 benefits Of Eustress

 

Healthy stress, also known as eustress is the kind of stress that is beneficial to our bodies. The common myth is that all stress is bad for you, but without stress we would lack the drive we need to be successful and happy. The reason we strive to achieve only the best in our endeavors, the reason we go through life with a curiosity and a passion to discover who we are and how we fit in this world is because of eustress. If you want to push the envelope at work and in your personal lives, you need stress to motivate you. It contributes to our need to achieve and contribute and can have a positive impact on our lives.

Let’s look at the five benefits of eustress:

brain inside a lamp

1 Increased brain power

Some people insist that they work better under pressure; under low-level stressors, this is true. These stressors actually stimulate the production of brain chemicals and strengthen the neuron connections. Exercise, which is another type of healthy stress, can also help with our ability to be productive and can boost concentration and memory.

 

2 Improved immunity function

According to an article on time.com, our bodies response to stress is a preparation for the possibility of injury and infection. “One way it does this is by producing extra interleukins—chemicals that help regulate the immune system—providing at least a temporary defensive boost.” Something to think about when considering stress as a whole. 

 

3 Motivates you to push the envelope

Beneficial stress is the stress that motivates us to do our best and develop new and creative ideas. We face challenges every day such as deadlines, changing environments, and new rules to follow. The way we perceive these challenges determines the kind of stress we’re under. Eustress allows us to see these challenges as movable obstacles instead of insurmountable roadblocks. We achieve greatness by seeing beyond the roadblock to something better.  

almost finish jigsaw puzzle

4 Keeps you in the zone

Another benefit of eustress is our ability to establish flow. Have you ever found yourself locked in the zone– being absorbed completely in a certain task? This is what’s known as flow and it is this heightened sense of awareness, driven by our desire to succeed, that allows a person performing an activity to become immersed and energized by the task.

pile of stones

5 Keeps life interesting

This is probably an understatement as without the benefit of eustress, we would fall into a deep dark hole of depression where nothing and no one mattered. Our lives would lack meaning and focus and nothing about it and all its intricacies would intrigue us. It is not an exaggeration to say that without eustress, we just wouldn’t care. It’s eustress that forces us to strive for greatness and search for that deeper meaning not just in life but in ourselves.

We cannot eliminate all stress from our lives and we shouldn’t want to; we just have to keep in mind the differences between a healthy short-form dose of stress and the stress that is actually damaging to our physical and mental health. Unfortunately, stress—good or bad—is still stress and even though we cannot eliminate it completely from our lives, we can learn to manage it just as we manage bad stress. Recognize Your Limits. You are only one person and attempting to go beyond your limits is not healthy. It is also a bad idea to always be active. Even doing things you enjoy can become taxing. Learn to balance those things you love to do with the time you spend doing nothing at home. Maintain a daily journal or meditate and give yourself more time to relax and reflect.

What do you do to bring balance to your life? Let us know by leaving a comment. We’d love to hear from you.

]]>
http://maxidentsoftware.com/five-benefits-of-eustress/feed/ 0
Four Amazing Tips to Reduce Stress in Your Waiting Room http://maxidentsoftware.com/four-amazing-tips-to-reduce-stress-in-your-waiting-room/ http://maxidentsoftware.com/four-amazing-tips-to-reduce-stress-in-your-waiting-room/#comments Fri, 22 Apr 2016 19:17:52 +0000 http://maxidentsoftware.com/?p=2414 4AmazingTipsToReduceStressinYourWaitingRoom

 

For the last two weeks we’ve been looking at how to reduce and manage your stress, but what about your patients? How do you help to reduce the stress they feel the minute they walk through the door of your practice and sit down? The answer comes, not with what you say, but what your waiting room says, and the design you choose will either reduce stress or it will increase it. Your waiting room is your first impression, and you want to make the best one possible.

I’m going to start this off by saying that if you don’t think your waiting room can send negative messages about you and your practice, you’re very much wrong, which is why the design of a waiting room needs to be taken seriously with a focus on the details and what those details are communicating. What is a particular waiting room saying about a particular practice? When you’re sitting and waiting to be seen, how do you feel when the lighting is so low that you’re sitting in shadows, or in a hard plastic chair, with out of date magazines, and a smell lingering in the air that makes you want to run for the hills? Our senses affect how we perceive and react to other people and surroundings, and when the waiting room is heightening rather than lessening our worst fears, we tend to not return. Your waiting room needs to reflect the kind of practitioner you are, and if your choices are negative or lacking effort, you are saying the same about yourself, and you are telling the patient that they can’t trust you. The last thing patients need is for their external environment to mirror their internal concerns. To discover what your waiting room should say, I am going to discuss how each of the four senses affects people’s perceptions and provide tips to help you design or redesign your waiting room to make a good and lasting impression on your patients.

bricks-459299_1920

1 What am I looking at?

What we see affects how we feel; we are all affected by physical stimuli in psychological ways. Because of this, it’s important to choose your lighting, colors, and designs wisely and with your patients in mind. The point of your waiting room is to provide the patient with a sense of comfort, allowing them to feel calm and relaxed and cared for; therefore, lighting plays one of the most important roles in a waiting room. Too dark and you are telling your patients that you don’t care about them. Also, you are amplifying their fears of the unknown by leaving them physically in the dark. Too bright and you are washing out the color and creating a cold and emotionless impression. Find a happy medium by imagining your waiting room as a living room. Keep the lighting low and warm to foster a caring and compassionate environment.   

Choosing the right colors for your waiting room is pivotal to creating a more relaxing atmosphere. Here are some color options to consider for their earthy and warm tones.

–  Blue (all shades) has a calming effect, prompting images of a clear sky and an open ocean.

Green provides a relaxing and earthy atmosphere.

Purple (muted shades) will add a splash of color without being too loud or too intense.

pink (pale) is a warm color, promoting a sense of tranquility and comfort.

Beige (natural) is also found on the warmer side of the color spectrum and can be used to reduce stress and anxiety.

In addition to the paint, you can might also consider Wallpaper with residential colors and patterns that can bring a comfortable ambiance and an eclectic style to your waiting room and, even if wallpaper isn’t part of the style you’re going for, artwork can spruce up a waiting room just the same. The more you can do to add warmth and color to the atmosphere, the better. With these options for your walls covered, the next thing to look at is your floor.

Wood flooring can evoke a calming and relaxing mood and can even further enhance the overall warmth of the room.

Carpet can be more effective if you’re trying to achieve a living room setting.

 

drill

2 What’s that noise?

Just as sight can affect how we feel, so too can sound. The noise that comes from a dental practice such as the sound of the drill, conversations between patients and dentists, or even just heavy footsteps on the floor can activate stress hormones. These noises can’t be helped; they are a part of the dental practice, but there are ways you can reduce this anxiety.

Music, gentle and serene, can overpower the fear-inducing noises that come from a busy office. It’s no surprise that music has healing effects and provides a decent distraction for your patients.

(My personal suggestions: + , +, + )

Nature sounds are used in many massage therapy centers and health spas to  help their clients de-stress. This can, not only reduce your patients’ anxiety, but also add to the ambiance of your waiting room.

(My suggestion is Uakti, a Brazilian band, that makes music with anything)

waiting room

3 What is it I’m feeling?

Now that you’ve established your design, utilizing two of  the four senses important to the layout of your waiting room, it’s time to look at the sense of touch. Imperative to learning, protecting ourselves, and relating to others, no wonder touch is one of the most influential. Now, how do you appeal to your patient’s sense of touch?

Furniture is imperative to creating the most comfortable atmosphere for your patients. We now know that hard plastic chairs give a bad first impression, but that doesn’t necessarily rule chairs out completely. As in a living room setting, soft cushioned chairs can help a patient feel more at ease. Even better would be comfortable arm chairs and couches. When patients feel more at home, they feel more open and in control.   

Magazines and books readily available for your patients’ busy hands to hold will give them just the distraction they need; not only are they something to hold, but they are also something to read.

Brochures are an option for those people who need to be informed. The more they know, the better prepared they feel they will be.  

 

lavender

4 What’s that smell?

Unlike all the other senses, smell does not have to jump through hoops to get to the emotional center of your brain. The cells in your nose send signals directly to the olfactory bulb in the limbic system, a system responsible for the fear emotion. So when a nervous patient walks into the office and smells sterile air and the certain chemicals that dentists use, that fear can immediately be triggered. Below are a few options to consider in order to ease and comfort the patient.

  • Orange-smelling products and aromatherapy have a pleasant smell and can assist in reducing anxiety and calming the nerves.
  • Coffee or tea in a waiting room can also contribute to the stress-reducing smell, making the patient feel more at home.

By designing or redesigning with these tips in mind, instead of transmitting negative messages about you and your practice, your waiting room will work for you by encouraging and relaxing your patients while they wait. A picture says a thousand words, and in this case, you want that picture (the design of your waiting room) to paint you in as positive a light as possible.  

Feel free to tell us some of your worst and best experiences in a waiting room. Were there any aspects of it that inspired you? What kind of stress-free environments would you recommend? Let us know.

]]>
http://maxidentsoftware.com/four-amazing-tips-to-reduce-stress-in-your-waiting-room/feed/ 1