The joy of the teleconference – not.

Technology is wonderful and has enabled us to improve our communications over the past decade or two, it’s only when it doesn’t function as well as it should or has done in the past that we feel let down and frustrated. My home has “painfully” slow broadband which would have delighted me a decade and a half ago but now frustrates me regularly when Skype or Facetime calls with clients drop mid sentence.

As a BDA Branch Secretary, one of my roles over the past few years has been to organise the twice yearly tele-conferences. I have had a success rate of 66%, trying to blame the teleconference hosts for changing access numbers, passwords and systems for the failures.  The confusion leading to my embarrassment is reflected in this video which will ring bells with everyone who has wrestled with teleconference technology.


2016 #16

The Monday Morning Quote #338 – Thomas Leonard October #1


Dentists – Have your say on the vision for an enhanced BNF.

From Liz Robb via GDPUK

Hello everyone. My name is Liz Robb and I am a long time lurker on the GDP(UK) forum. I work as a Special Care dentist in Somerset splitting my time between working in the surgery, on domiciliary visits and theatre sessions at the local hospital. Webbed feet are very useful in this part of the world at present. I thoroughly enjoy reading the postings on the forum which help to keep me in the loop of general practice. The various postings have also given me some very useful practical hints and tips along the way.

When not otherwise engaged earning a living, I enjoy my time with NICE, having been awarded a Fellowship in 2012. It has been an interesting time, given that it is the first time that a dentist has been awarded a NICE Fellowship.

I received the message below yesterday from NICE with the request that I alert as many of my colleagues as possible to its contents. My first thought was to contact GDP(UK), so if anyone would like to comment on the current consultation, NICE would be delighted to hear from you.

“Have your say on the vision for an enhanced BNF.
Easy access to comprehensive medicines information is essential for anyone involved in prescribing or handling medicines. NICE is conducting a public consultation on its vision for an enhanced BNF service.

To help shape this vision NICE wants to hear the views of dentists involved in prescribing or handling medicines.

The consultation will run for a period of 8 weeks from 9am on 3 February 2014 to 9am on 31 March 2014.

NICE will also run three interactive workshops in London and Manchester in mid-March to gather more in-depth feedback on the enhanced BNF vision. The results of the consultation and workshops will inform developments for the future service.

Read and comment on the consultation and register to participate in one of the workshops here.

Tweet text: NICE consultation: Have your say on NICE’s vision for an enhanced BNF. Read full consultation & comment (”

Thank you.

Liz R

Apex E-zine, DentisTV & Beyond

This posting is about Interactive Dental Media; the company, run by Marita Kritzinger, is founded on a solid base of thoughtful traditional journalism but has also embraced new technology and used it to provide innovative products to the dental media market in the UK and beyond.

I am proud to have been writing for Apex the online journal for well over a year, I have taken part in interviews via Twitter (it really concentrates the mind when you’re limited to 140 characters), they’re on Facebook of course and using it as well as you would expect, you can join the Apex Tribe here.

Marita’s latest venture is TV, armed with a small video camera, ably operated by her partner Brendan, and her microphone she has taken to the highways and byways of British dentistry. Always asking the right questions Marita is a shrewd and perspective interviewer who seeks to get the most relevant information out of her subjects for the benefit of her audience. So check out DentisTV.

I’m on this one. My father would have said that I had the perfect face for radio and certainly that’s a medium where I feel more at home…..

Resources – Denticom

I am a great fan and critic of the way telephones are used and abused in professional practices and always feel sorry for the plate-spinning receptionist / front desk / telephonist / meeter & greeter / fee collector who is at the sharp end of customer service whilst the clinicians are able to hide “backstage”. I came across Denticom recently and their representative Jack Christian came and explained how their service worked. I gather they are growing their business at the rate of several practices per week.

As ever I do not endorse, just bring to your attention something that may be of use.

Good morning Alun,

I wanted to thank you once again for taking the time to meet with me last Friday.

As discussed I wanted to send you across a brief e-mail to outline some of the main services and benefits of Denticom, as well as giving you a rough indication on cost to clients.

  1. Full call management – how many calls are you losing?? Missed and abandoned (which as we discussed = lost business). If a patient is worth £300 – £500, can you afford to lose just one call a day?!!
  2. Call recording – We can provide full call recording and optional call recording to all practices, this is encrypted and very useful for any disputes or training purposes.
  3. Ability to promote – Private treatments and services can be promoted while patients wait to speak to someone. E.g. 10% off teeth whitening in March. This saves money on other advertisements, and is proven to be a more effective way of advertising to patients FREE OR CHARGE! Patients will also be informed of their place in the queue if receptionist is busy on a call or attending to patients face to face, and this also reduces the perception of waiting time.
  4. Built in messaging – e.g. between 1pm – 2pm (If you were shut for lunch?) or 5pm – 9am (Opening hours) There would be a professional message stating this to patients when they call. This is built in so that you only need to set it up once for different messages to be played at different times, and can also change the message or add messages at any time needed.
  5. Digital line Installation – We install  Isdn 2 line’s (Digital line) to all practices, we review their line usage to advise how many speech channels a practice will need? This means that callers will be able to get through and not get engaged, and if receptionists are busy the call can be answered in a professional way giving the patient options to hold, or leave details for a call back (Set up completely dependent on the individual practices requirements)
  6. Equipment – We provide whatever equipment is needed. E.g. wireless headset (Reception) Portable phones, desk phones. (All again dependent on the practices needs)
  7. Installation – Installation usually costs around £800-£1000, however for a number of referral sites and other practice we have done this FOC and would be happy to if you were to put us in touch with a practice or client.
  8. Training – We provide full training for all members of staff (On the day after instillation) on the equipment and Management tools for all staff.
  9. Ongoing Consultation – We provide ongoing support, consultations and Account Management. This is to make sure the practices we deal with are using the business tools to their full ability, and that the solution is setup correctly for their working environment.

All of the above will increase the profitability of a practice and help assist you with the busy front desk and improve access for patients!

  • Through identifying and capturing lost calls, and being able to either answer them at the time, or calling any you missed back (or they can leave a message);
  • Installation of Digital lines, to make sure callers can get through;
  • By playing promotional messages while they wait to speak to someone;
  • Identifying whether the caller is an existing patient or a new caller interested in new registration;

In regards to pricing, we always arrange a site survey and an initial consultation for find out what the practices current telephony and IT setup is? Before looking at a package for them. However rough package prices are below:

  • Package 1    1-4 phones         £150 per month
  • Package 2 5-7 phones         £200 per month
  • Package 3 8-12 phones       £250 per month
No capital outlay or setup costs involved!

I hope this all makes sense Alun, and is of more help to you?

Like I said in our meeting it would be great if you do have any clients or know of any practices that I could talk to and help, with regards to our Denticom solution. Please do let me know.

Jack’s contact details are: 07854 206371 and the company’s website is

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