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Healthcare Technology Isn’t Always Foolproof

Technology is so prevalent in our lives these days that most of us now rely on it almost more than our 5 basic senses. This could not be truer than in the healthcare industry. For example, outpatient surgery—surgery that does not require an overnight stay in the hospital—would not even be a consideration if it weren’t for the many advancements in medical technology. An expecting mother would not be able to view her unborn child if it weren’t for the use of technical equipment. In fact, even your headaches could not be as effectively treated without Electronic Aspirin [https://www.asme.org/engineering-topics/articles/bioengineering/top-5-medical-technology-innovations].

In dentistry, enamel, dentin, pulpal and diseased tissue removal would not be done at such a fast rate, and in such an easy and pain free way, without the Waterlase—a laser technology designed to meet your top most important dental needs. Digital impressions by the iTero by Cadent allow us to order the perfect crowns, bridges and veneers for you, without having to create a mold first. And Ostegen, a new, non-animal, non-human bone-grafting material, helps us to build up your bone for implants once your teeth have been removed.

Major Technological Mess-Ups

However, technology isn’t always 100% reliable. Take the GPS for instance – how many of you have typed an address into the Tom-Tom, only to be taken to some dirt lot in the middle of nowhere? Or who hasn’t inputted a location into their iPhone Google Maps and been directed 30 miles past their intended destination? On a much more serious note, can any of us really forget the Challenger incident of 1986 – the Titanic of 1912 – or what about the much more recent train derailment in Lac Megantic, Quebec on the night of July 6, 2013, and the crash of Asiana Flight 214 in San Francisco just a day later? The list can go on and on, but the point I’m trying to highlight is this: Technology can play a significant role in improving the way we travel, communicate, learn and grow – and yes, it can play a significant role in improving our nation’s healthcare system – but only if properly designed and implemented, and only if appropriate consideration is given to the impact it can have on processes, care, workflow and safety.

The problem that the healthcare industry – and the dental industry – run into is one that is unique and virtually un-thought of in other areas of research and development. While other industries have the luxury of being able to achieve greater levels of safety and quality by perfecting their processes – and then automating them – from start to finish, without using people at all, the healthcare industry cannot remove people from the equation if they hope to achieve the best results. If we hope to obtain our goals of making our medicines and procedures virtually, well, foolproof, then we must know how real-life, living, breathing human beings will react every step of the way. However, we must always be mindful of the risks and preventable errors that technology can create in order to best avoid them.

Constantly Improving for Your Safety

Because of the very real, very possible dangers of walking into a healthcare or dental situation with faulty equipment, both industries take extremely proactive measures in improving patient safety and reducing preventable errors. While technology in these fields has introduced some new risks while eliminating others, the ultimate goal is that it will improve the overall quality of the healthcare delivery system, and provide better results for patients worldwide.

To see how we use technology in our practice – and what measures we take to ensure your utmost safety and the best results – visit us at http://www.lakeshorefamilydentist.com/services.html

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