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Managing Professional Risks webinar set for June will highlight legal updates

May 16, 2019

By David Burger

Photo of Dr. VanScoyoc
Dr. Van Scoyoc
Photo of Dr. VanScoyoc 
Dr. Aflatooni
Photo of Dr. VanScoyoc
Dr. Ellison
Three ADA councils are coming together to present a June 18 webinar that provides guidance on dealing with many of the professional risks that exist in the dental practice.

The webinar, titled Managing Professional Risk: Legal Updates for Dental Practitioners, will stream from noon to 1 p.m. Central.

“Identifying the risks that exist in a dental practice is the first step to effectively managing them,” said Dr. Stacey K. Van Scoyoc, chair of the ADA Council on Dental Practice. “Once you know what the risks are, you can develop plans, systems and protocols to reduce the likelihood that any of those possible risks will become a reality that can damage your ability to practice, your professional reputation and your financial stability.”

According to Dr. Van Scoyoc, the professional risks encountered by dentists include aspects of:
  • Communicating with patients.
  • Managing the financial aspects of the business.
  • Hiring and supervising staff.
  • Conducting or overseeing marketing activities.
  • Ensuring that everything done onsite complies with all of the federal, state and local regulations whether it relates to actually doing dentistry or not.

Content is based on information contained in the ADA’s Guidelines for Practice Success module on Managing Professional Risks, a resource developed collaboratively by the ADA’s Council on Dental Practice, the Council on Members Insurance and Retirement Programs and the Council on Advocacy for Access and Prevention, in consultation with several external content authorities.

Hosted by Dr. Pamela Porembski, director of the ADA Council on Dental Practice, and Rita Tiernan, senior manager of the ADA Council on Members Insurance and Retirement Programs, the webinar will feature Dr. Richard S. Harold, J.D., associate professor and practice coordinator of the Department of Comprehensive Care at the Tufts University School of Dental Medicine.

According to his faculty bio, Dr. Harold has a specific interest in dental legal issues and has published several articles regarding dentistry and the prescription opioid epidemic, management of acute dental pain and ethical and legal guidelines for prescription writing. He also is a consultant to the Council on Dental Practice and participated in the ADA’s initiative to develop a comprehensive resource on dental practice risk management. Dr. Harold also serves as a manuscript reviewer for articles submitted to the Journal of the American Dental Association for publication.

Dr. Naomi Ellison, chair of the ADA Council on Members Insurance and Retirement Programs, said, “As a dentist in a profession which promotes the oral health of the public and risk prevention, we know the best defense is a good offense. The same holds true in effectively managing risks in your dental practice.  It begins with a proper risk assessment and taking the appropriate corrective measures to minimize your exposure to risk and situations which can lead to potential claim allegations. Members are encouraged to take advantage of the dental risk management resources available through the ADA tripartite and their dental malpractice insurers.”

“Each year, the ADA receives numerous calls from members asking how to find a lawyer and guidance on getting the right type of legal advice,” said Dr. Nima Aflatooni, a member of the Council on Dental Practice and chair of its Practice Management Subcommittee. “Although ADA attorneys can’t provide legal advice or direct referrals to specific individual attorneys, they do encourage members to consult with a qualified, licensed attorney and their professional liability insurance representative as necessary to properly assess and appropriately manage challenging situations,” he said.

The webinar is the eighth in a series of programs based on content from the ADA’s Guidelines for Practice Success modules. Continuing education credit is available to those participating in at least 45 minutes of the program. Register here.

The content contained in the Managing Professional Risks module of the ADA Guidelines for Practice Success provides general information about some of the preventive steps dentists can take to lessen many of the risks associated with working in, operating and/or owning a dental practice. It also includes original resources, such as checklists, tip sheets and FAQs that were created specifically for this project and designed to make it easier for ADA members to identify exposures and mitigate the potential risk of liability. Visit ADA.org/gps to access the full content of all GPS modules: Managing Patients, Managing Finances, Managing Marketing, Managing the Dental Team, Managing the Regulatory Environment and Managing Professional Risks.

Webinars on other GPS topics are available for on-demand streaming at Success.ADA.org.

The ADA Guidelines for Practice Success: Managing Professional Risks publication is based on time-tested best practices of risk management and has been developed by leaders in the field of dental practice management. Readers can save 15 percent on the publication and all ADA Catalog products with promo code 19117 until July 26. To order, visit ADAcatalog.org or call 1-800-947-4746.