Cliff's Notes

The Business of Dentistry

The National Health Information Infrastructure & Who is Watson?

Cliff’s Notes for February 20, 2011 



….. E-Blast….. 


Cliff Marsh, Henry Schein ……Cell: 201-321-7494……Fax: 201-262-2210…..E-mail:



It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has exceeded our humanity.”

Albert Einstein  


In This Week’s Issue

·         The NHII (National Health Information Infrastructure)!

·         Who is Watson & What’s Next?

·         ADA News – From the ADA House Judiciary Committee!

·         Product Review – Sapphire Portable Diode Laser!



NHII – National Health Information Infrastructure…..

National Health Information Infrastructure Scheduled for completion in 2015: The National Health Information Infrastructure (NHII) will be a communications system comparable to a network of highways, roads and pathways on which all health information will travel. Its purpose is to enable patients’ electronic health records to be accessed and added to by all health care providers electronically (with patient authorization), virtually anywhere in the country, via the network. The electronic health record will include health information entered for a specific patient at a specific point of service. It will travel and be accessible on the NHII. on Dentist Version. 


I’ve been saying this for a couple of years and I hope you have been listening. The NHII is real and it’s coming in like a freight train. You will need up-dated hardware, up-dated software, digital radiography, intraoral camera and a Velscope System w/camera adapter. Many offices have the basic tools so they are ¾ of the way there. Their final phase will be the up-grades that should be scheduled for 2013-2014. However, have your “technology infrastructure” checked and cleaned up today and get estimates on what and when you will need to invest as we approach January 1, 2015.


Compiling with the NHII will incur an expense. Formulate a plan along with an investment and marketing strategy. Don’t try to do it yourself! Use experts, explore options and make an informed decision. Your investment may be as much as $50k or as little as $5k, but have a plan that spreads it out over the next 31/2 years. If you are looking to transition out of your practice within the next 5-10 years, we need to talk today. It could mean tens of thousands in retained equity and lower interest rates for a potential buyer. All that translates into more $$ in your pocket.


It takes less than one hour to evaluate a practice’s ability engage the NHII. Evaluations are free and it is recommended that at some point your financial and marketing advisors be brought into the loop. Every action has a reaction. If there is a mandatory program that impacts negatively on your business, get their advice on how to create a positive reaction. But remember, they may be very good at what they do, but if they don’t know the dental industry trends or regulatory requirements, unless they specialize in the dental field they need to talk with industry consultants to help plan and grow your “retained earnings”, but that’s a whole separate discussion.



 2015 EHR deadline ‘just around the corner’

By Arlene Furlong

As the U.S. Government moves the National Health Information Infrastructure initiative forward, Association leaders continue their push to ensure that when the time comes, all the pieces to create a usable, electronic, clinical record for dentistry are in place. The project, the government says is to be finished within the next six years, requires ADA action on multiple levels


By 2015—when the National Health Information Infrastructure will be operational—a patient’s dental record will no longer travel alone. Dental records will be included within electronic health records that also include patients’ entire medical histories, pharmacy, vision, laboratory tests and all other clinical information. EHRs will travel from health care provider to health care provider on the NHII, a communications system often described as a network of information highways.


“If there exists a mandate for the development of a diagnostic code set, it is the duty of the ADA to develop that code set, to do whatever it can to ensure that the process and the ultimate code set is as fair-minded, patient protection oriented and as user-friendly as is humanly possible, and employs reasonable safeguards against confusion, misinterpretation and abuse,” says Dr. Joseph Hagenbruch. Dr. Hagenbruch serves on the EHR workgroup and the SNODENT Editorial Panel, as well as the Council on Dental Benefit Programs.


This article is intended to serve ADA members as both a refresher and a reminder. “What Will NHII Mean For You?” To view the entire article log onto:


To read the full report or the synopsis of The ONC-Coordinated Federal Health IT Strategic Plan: 2008-2012, released June 3, go to the Health Information Technology Section of the HHS Web site at


Who is Watson & What’s Next?…………………….

 Who is Watson? If any of you watched Jeopardy the other night, you got to witness the first time a computer beat a human when not using alpha/numeric concepts, sounds or lights. Watson took a Jeopardy question that is really an obscure answer, read it and understood! Yes, it understood fast enough to beat two Jeopardy Champs.

Artificial intelligence is here and Ralph is still waiting for 3D TV. If you are planning on  doing dentistry 10 years from now, or if you are planning to sell your practice in the next 3-5, we have to talk. As you fall further behind the curve, you are losing revenue and equity value every day.

It isn’t that hard to up-grade and modernizes systems and it’s not that hard to put new patients in the chair. It just requires a little more work and yes, maybe an investment. Usually my clients justify “not doing it” due to the cost and the economy, when fear of technology and resistance to change are true factors. Hey, I’ve been there and it’s ok. However, you do need to engage in fact finding, develop a plan with your financial & marketing advisors and implement. Nothing is going to stop Watson!

Please feel free to contact me at any time with any questions or concerns. You fix the teeth; together we can fix the rest. 201-321-7494.

Where Does Watson Go From Here? First Stop: Healthcare! By Nicholas Deleon

We all saw what Watson did last night, but now the question becomes: what now? So what that IBM created an artificial intelligence that was able to answer a few trivia questions? (That’s a massively simplistic way of looking at Watson, and discounts the incredible capabilities of the human brain and discounts the complexity of having to interpret human language with off-the-shelf hardware and finely tuned software.) Is there an end-game here? Maybe “end-game” is too strong phrase to use, but IBM has announced a deal with Nuance Communications to “explore, develop, and commercialize the Watson computing system’s advanced analytics capabilities in the healthcare industry.”

Part of the backlash against Watson I’ve seen stems from people misunderstanding some of the basics surrounding its operation. A caller told Opie (of Sirius XM’s Opie & Anthony Show) yesterday that Watson, upon receiving the question, would search online for the answer. Wrong! Watson gets the text, “reads” it like a person would read it, analyses what the question is asking, consults his database, then buzzes in with an answer. It wasn’t always right—IBM had mentioned last night that Watson may have thought Toronto was a U.S. city (not counting Toronto, Ohio, but that would be like saying Rome is an American city because there’s a Rome, New York) because the Toronto Blue Jays play in Major League Baseball’s American League—but the fact that engineers were able to create what amounts to a fancy computer program to parse and interpret human language, with its many idiosyncrasies, to a degree that it was able to compete in a game and win speaks volume about the talent of IBM’s engineers.

IBM should hire someone like Bill Nye “The Science Guy” or Michio Kaku or Neil deGrasse Tyson to go around various talk shows (Leno, Conan, Good Morning America, Fox & Friends, etc.) to explain in terms the average person can understand why Watson is so much more than a “robot” that can answer a few trivia questions.

But, back to this Nuance Communications news. It’s expected that the first commercially available product won’t be available for another 18-24 months, but that it will combine the best of IBM’s tech (Deep Question Answering, Natural Language Processing, and Machine Learning) with that of Nuance (speech recognition and Clinical Language Understanding). The idea is to create something “for the diagnosis and treatment of patients that provide hospitals, physicians, and payer’s access to critical and timely information.”

How about this scenario: a patient is rushed to a hospital with an unidentified illness. A loved one explains to Dr. Watson the symptoms, and the good doctor searches terabytes of information in a split-second to narrow down the possible ailments, along with possible courses of action. “This patient would appear to have X, please prepare a drip of Y to begin treatment.”

That’s a completely invented scenario but, imagine something along those lines for an idea of where this technology is going.

2:23 Add to Added to queue


From the ADA House Judiciary Committee…………………

The following information was supplied by the Health Compliance Team:


The House Judiciary Committee last night passed H.R. 5, the Help Efficient, Accessible, Low-cost, and Timely Healthcare (HEALTH) Act, which would reform medical malpractice laws. The American Dental Association an ADA-led coalition of dental organizations endorsed the legislation yesterday. The bill now heads to the House floor.


The legislation, introduced last month by Rep. Phil Gingrey (R-Ga.), has 82 cosponsors. The ADA believes it would provide the right balance of reforms by promoting speedier resolutions to disputes between patients and dentists, maintaining patients’ access to courts if needed, provide for maximum patient recovery of damage awards including unlimited compensation for actual economic damages, while limiting non-economic damages to $250,000.


The bill still faces hurdles. While passage by the full House is likely, the Senate has yet to consider similar legislation.


Health Compliance Team (HCT) provides all required OSHA, HIPAA and CDC raining in our on-site office audits including documentation (Customized OSHA and HIPAA Manuals provided), all mandated
OSHA and HIPAA labeling, digital compliance reports including photos, corrective recommendations, e-mail compliance bulletins, unlimited toll-free help, secondary labeling OSHA or compliance complain.

CONTACT: e-mail telephone – 800-724-1263 or call cliff @ 201-321-7494. 


Product Review: The Sapphire® Portable Diode Laser…….

Compact. Easy-to-use & Affordable. The Sapphire Portable Diode Laser makes the benefits of laser dentistry available to more patients than ever before. Bring this powerful technology to your practice and experience the future…today.


• The ideal laser for both a first-time user and the seasoned dental laser practice.

• 3 watts continuous wave output, with 5 watts peak pulse power, 808 nm wavelength.

• Disposable tips – No stripping or cleaving.

• Portable, with a long-use battery.

• Finger-touch control, with an optional foot pedal.

Cliff’s Notes pricing: $2495.00 – Product #296-6813

201-321-7494 /


Hemostasis with the Sapphire Portable Diode Laser:



Gingival Troughing & Tissue Retraction for

Impressions with Sapphire Portable Diode Laser:



Sunday February 20, 2011……………………..

Well, we had our little “Spring Teaser” and now it’s back to February. Stay warm, enjoy your family and hope that the Groundhog was right. 



Cliff Marsh

Henry Schein Dental

P.O. Box 663 / 45 Rt. 46 East, Suite 605

Pine Brook, NJ 07058

Cell: 201-321-7494

Fax: 201-262-2210!/profile.php?id=1644814090 

February 20, 2011 - Posted by | Uncategorized

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: