To reach Lisa regarding OSHA compliancy and more:
Dental Office Compliance of New England
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Here is a full transcript of our interview.
Chris Pistorius (00:05):
Hey everybody, this is Chris Pistorius again with the Dental and Orthodontic Marketing podcast. We’ve got an awesome guest today. We’ve got Dr. Lisa Kane. Now you would think, “Oh, another dentist, right?” But not the case. Lisa is actually a dental consultant with the Cental Office Compliance of New England. So Dr. Kane, thanks so much for taking the time to join today.
Lisa Kane (00:30):
Oh, thank you so much for having me. I’m so excited to be part of this.
Chris Pistorius (00:35):
Of course. And why don’t you tell us a little bit about this story? So you go to school, you become a dentist, get all that out of the way. And now you’re a dental consultant. Tell us about that please.
Lisa Kane (00:47):
Yeah, so that’s what happened. I was a dentist. I practiced dentistry for about 20 years and then I was just getting really bad migraines. So I decided, “You know what? I like the business sort of aspect of it. I like organizing. I like making sure people are doing what they’re supposed to be doing.” So I decided to do consulting. So I opened up a consulting company a few years ago. And since then, that’s what I’ve been doing full time. And I got to tell you, I love it. I love having the dental knowledge and I’m glad that I went to dental school and I definitely wouldn’t be able to do this if I didn’t because there’s all that guilt that I wasted that, but I do, I really enjoy doing this.
Chris Pistorius (01:33):
Awesome, that’s an interesting story. So I guess once you got started getting the migraines and you knew you probably needed to change something, why consultant? Obviously you had the experience and you’ve got the degrees and all of that stuff, but you said you love it. Is that something you find that you’re passionate about?
Lisa Kane (01:55):
Yeah, it’s so interesting because practicing, I honestly didn’t even know that there were rules and regulations. I was just so focused. Obviously there were rules and regulations, but you’re so focused on what you’re doing with the patient and how you can treat that patient the best way possible and take care of them that I didn’t even know that there was all this other stuff going around regulation wise. So once I was in a situation where I found out that there were regulations, not because of me, but because of someone else.
Lisa Kane (02:27):
And then I was like, “Huh, I can help with that.” So I just researched it. It probably took me a year to completely research CDC, OSHA, and all the board regulations. Yeah, and now I just go in and I help people figure out how they can be compliant and how they can… I try to take off their plate the stuff that I wasn’t thinking about, but the stuff that you have to do. And I feel like definitely having the dental background and the knowledge, I know what the pain in the neck, and try to do it a little bit more efficiently maybe. Get everything done.
Chris Pistorius (03:10):
You know, and I want you to dive in to everything that you help with in terms of compliance, but in our situation, we do marketing for dentists and the biggest need there, you could figure out marketing as a dentist if you wanted to, but do you have the time, do you have the expertise, do you have a team of people that can help you with it? And it’s a time-saver and it’s have the expert do it because like marketing, compliance is a huge thing and it can cost them a lot of money potentially if they’re not in compliance. So why don’t you tell us about the specific kinds of compliancy that you help with and maybe what the people watching today should be thinking about?
Lisa Kane (03:54):
Yeah, first of all, OSHA, since COVID, has gotten over $4 million worth of violations. Yeah, and they’re not stopping. So basically, the whole respiratory protection program thing, the whole N95, there’s all these things that go with it that you have to have and people think it’s optional and it’s really not. So I think that kind of hit home because people were getting fined a lot. So what I do is I help people. I usually go into an office, I can do it virtually now, or I can physically go in so I can do it anywhere. And I look at what they have and see what they have and say, “Great, you’re doing a great job with this,” or, “We really need to work on this.” And I try to be super… I’m not getting you in trouble.
Lisa Kane (04:42):
I’m there as insurance to see if someone were to get you in trouble, because there’s all these patients and staff members that are really worried right now. And they really feel unsafe in certain situations. And they’re not hesitating to call some sort of governing body to let them know about that. So I try to help protect people with that. So I do that. And then I do infection control and OSHA classes. I’m doing medical emergency classes. And then I can do all your stuff for you. There’s all these plans and protocols that have to be done, they have to be personalized. You can’t just buy an OSHA book from the American Dental Association and put it in your office and be like, “I’m done,” because that’s blank. It has all the bones, but it’s blank.
Lisa Kane (05:25):
So I try to just, like you said, take it off their plate because it would take hours and hours and days and days to do it correctly. And I always tell people too, I am in love with water testing. So marketing wise, I always tell people to take these little water tests that they do and hold them up and put them on their social media and just show how… Because people, I feel like people are so concerned now with safety and infection control and the patients too, they’re much more knowledgeable than they were even a year ago. So I do feel like what you’re doing is a huge benefit for people because it’s you can’t do that on your own and you don’t and you’re going to do it wrong and you need someone who knows what they’re doing I feel like for everything else besides what you’re good at.
Chris Pistorius (06:17):
Yeah, and I’ll tell you the other thing probably with compliancy too, I’m sure is it changes, it’s not a static thing that once you learn it, you don’t have to worry about it anymore. It’s a moving target and marketing, especially digital marketing, when Google changes their mind about something, they don’t exactly tell everybody and let them know ahead of time. And there’s a lot of doctors out there that rely on Google for a lot of their new patients. So you’re right, it’s something that saves time, but it’s also like with you, you’ve got an expert working on this for you and they know about the changes and taxes, another thing, you don’t want to bargain shop that at all either. So who are your ideal clients? Do you have an ideal client? Is it pretty much any practice or who are you looking for?
Lisa Kane (07:11):
Yeah, I’m looking for any practice. I tend to work more with smaller practices or smaller groups of practices. I have a few groups that are probably like five to 10 offices, that kind of thing. It’s the people that really want to try and really want to try to be in compliance for the sake of being in compliance. Like the people that are active and interested in it, those are my ideal people. We’re really trying to be more hands-on. And so like literal handholding, except you can’t in COVID, but really trying to, “We’ll, come in or we’ll do your safety meetings for you. We’ll do your water testing for you. We’ll teach you how to review the SDS or go over your OSHA book with you,” and all these things.
Lisa Kane (08:02):
We have… It reminded me when you were saying things are ever changing. We made this COVID binder six months ago about basically how to react if certain things happen and it went from like five tabs in it to now it has like 20 tabs in it. Every day I feel like I’m emailing people and be like, “Here’s the update.” So I think that’s really important. And the CDC and OSHA too, they’re like every day, I’m doing a class tonight and I have to put my little disclaimer on it, “This was as of yesterday when I looked.” Everything is constantly changing. So it’s hard to keep track of.
Chris Pistorius (08:43):
Yeah, I’m curious. And I don’t know if you have numbers with this or not, but if I’m just a regular dentist just watching this, I’m probably thinking, “What are really my chances of being audited or being caught out of compliance?” What are your chances? You said I’m kind of surprised. I thought maybe they would let us off the hook a little bit in the industry during COVID, but it sounds like they’re going full steam ahead. What is that process and what is a typical dental practice’s odds of being audited on this?
Lisa Kane (09:16):
It depends. So there’s certain things like in Massachusetts there’s certain things that you have, like if you have a new anesthesia permit or you need to re-app, but you’re going to be visited, that kind of stuff. So there’s that kind of routine stuff. But then there’s things that are just… It’s people, OSHA is getting so many complaints and they can get a complaint from me. I could go home and tell my husband that I’m working in an office and they don’t have any gloves for me. And I feel so unsafe. And he could go online and do an anonymous complaint because I feel unsafe or a patient could come in and I keep on telling this story. I was in an office where a patient paid with a credit card and the front desk person so rudely put the credit card on her clean counter, which is not patient care, to type in the number, and the patient got so upset because they thought that, “Oh my gosh, you’re contaminating my credit card. And now I have to…”
Lisa Kane (10:08):
I don’t know what they have to do, but you just need that. All you need is someone you do not know. So I think the chances of someone right now, I think they’re pretty high having someone come in. Who knows? Maybe no one’s going to come in or it’s staff and it’s patients that if they’re unhappy, then they could easily call.
Chris Pistorius (10:33):
Sure, and I know with some HIPAA stuff, I’ve done some interviews with some HIPAA compliance folks and it’s kind of the same process. Anybody can file a complaint. And I believe if I remember correctly that the government almost has to at least follow up on every complaint. So we even cut a story, sort of joked around about it, but kind of not, literally you could have a competitor just go in and leave an anonymous complaint and you would hope that that wouldn’t happen in this industry, but you know what, I’m not so sure. So I think it’s one of those cases to be certainly better safe than sorry. Would you agree with that?
Lisa Kane (11:15):
Oh, without a doubt. And OSHA, if they come in, you have to post what they found. So it’s like a restaurant with their ratings on it. You have to post. No one’s going to want to come in an office that has trash in the bathroom or whatever or no one has the right they don’t feel safe here. It’s really scary. I think that everyone has… At any time, not to scare everyone and make you all go underneath your covers, but I feel like that’s why if you have yourself organized and you have yourself set up for success, if OSHA comes into your office and there’s low-hanging fruit stuff. If you have that, they’re already in a good mood.
Lisa Kane (12:04):
If you have the written respiratory protection program, if you’ve had everyone fit tested, if you’ve had medical clearance for everyone, they’re already happy. They come in and they see like, “Wait, where’s this, where’s this, where’s this?” They’re going to be mad and they’re going to look further. So I think that having someone come in, having someone do some sort of a walkthrough virtually or in-person or something is a really important thing for every office to make sure that you’re where you think you are.
Chris Pistorius (12:34):
Yeah, I totally agree. And it’s one of those things that if you start showing them the low-hanging fruit of, “Okay, we’ve got this binder that tells this,” and you look organized, I think they’re probably, “All right, well these folks, they’re on their way.” They probably don’t look quite as hard, I guess, in some cases, maybe if you at least initially show how organized you are. But maybe you could talk about, I’m sitting here putting my dental hat on, and I’m thinking, “Okay, well if I do get caught with something out of compliance, what is my risk?” So could you talk about how that works? I’m assuming there’s fines and penalties, things like that. Maybe you could detail a little bit of that?
Lisa Kane (13:17):
Oh yeah, yeah, and there are thousands and thousands of dollars of fines. They’re not just little fines. It’s huge. As I said, $4 million, that’s how much they’ve gotten. But yeah, you get fined and you can talk to them and again, the nicer you are, the better off you are. If you’re super argumentative or if you have nothing, they’re going to be really scared. If you’re doing something that’s endangering patients or staff significantly, they’re going to shut you down. But most people aren’t doing that. Most people are doing things that… A danger is a danger, but it’s on a scale, but yeah. They could come in and people… There was an office in Massachusetts that was charged over $9,000 for some of the things I was talking about.
Lisa Kane (14:04):
So it’s a big deal and it’s not private. So once that happens, everybody knows, especially the people like me who just constantly look on the OSHA website, but it’s in the news. So that’s what’s scary too. And it’s marketing wise too. It’s going to be on… Someone’s going to write a Google review and be like, “Hey, just saw this.” So it kind of impacts everything. That’s why I keep on doing all these cliches, low-hanging fruit, ducks in a row, just do everything how you’re supposed to do it and get your office up to date and where it needs to be.
Chris Pistorius (14:45):
So maybe you could talk about that a little bit. Again, the dental hat is on and now I’m nervous because I’m thinking these guys are going to bust in my door at any second and essentially shut me down. But what can somebody do? What’s your advice, tips, tricks, whatever it might be to get your office organized and get some of this stuff ready?
Lisa Kane (15:12):
Yeah, a couple of options. I mean, obviously first you hire me to come in your office and do something. That’s the obvious solution. But there’s other people like me. So you can hire someone to come in and check your office. The other thing is too, all the boards, the state dental boards usually have some sort of checklist for an inspection. The CDC has this whole thing, oh, I actually have it. They have this, I’ll put it upright. That is a lot of what needs to be going on in your dental practice. OSHA has a whole website about it. If you really are going to get into it, if you’re going to go down all these rabbit holes and it’s going to take you days to actually find out everything. But if you really follow, those are the big ones, OSHA, the CDC, and whatever your state board tells you to do, you can follow it. And again, everything has to be personalized. So you cannot just buy a stock book and expect that you are in compliance. So you have to label, you have to put all your own personal stuff in these books.
Chris Pistorius (16:18):
Okay, and I think that’s probably good advice. So where do you see this going? Do you see more restrictions coming into place, harsher fines, them even being more, what’s the word I’m looking for? More on the lookout for these violations? Do you see this getting just them taking a little closer look at this, I guess?
Lisa Kane (16:49):
Yeah, honestly what’s interesting is there hasn’t been, except for the N95s and the respiratory protection and the not having people in your waiting room, nothing else has really changed. You were supposed to do all this stuff before, so it’s not like this is all like, “Oh my gosh, COVID now we have to do all this stuff.” This was all stuff that was supposed to be done. I do think that people now seem to be more aware that you can reach out and complain. And so I don’t think that’s going to stop. I think that if you get your office in healthy shape, I think you’re better off. I don’t know, I’m just guessing, but I don’t see this stopping because I don’t know whether people’s perspectives are, “I want to get this place in trouble,” or, “I want to try to help this place so it doesn’t hurt anybody else.” So I’m not sure. I’d like to think it was more the second one, but I don’t personally feel like that’s going to go away anytime soon.
Chris Pistorius (17:52):
So if a practice wanted to talk to you or hire you or anybody like yourself, what is that typical process once they reach out? How does that all work in the COVID world now?
Lisa Kane (18:05):
Yeah, well a lot of things are… This Zoom thing is amazing. You can really do a lot. So what I do when I do classes, they’re all like this now because I don’t want to have everyone in the same room, but walkthroughs. I’m assuming everybody does it this way, but you can just take… I’ve had people just walk around their office with their camera facing the other way. And I have a whole list of things that I ask and they just show it to me. And I feel like I can get a really good sense of how they are. If they’re in Massachusetts, most of the times I will go out there because I wear an N95. I feel pretty safe doing that. So I’ll do that. But you can definitely, there’s a lot of virtual things you can do. And I feel like having someone do a walkthrough is a really good first step. Whether or not you use them to do your plans and protocols to do anything for you, just to get a really good sense of the health of your practice.
Chris Pistorius (18:58):
Right, okay. And Dr. Kane, if somebody sees this and they do want your help, what’s the best way to reach out to you and start that process?
Lisa Kane (19:08):
Yeah, they can go to my website. It’s doc4ne.com, or it’s lisa@doc3ne. So it’s D-O-C, the number four, and then N-E for New England .com. And they can just reach out.
Chris Pistorius (19:23):
Awesome, well Dr. Kane, I got to tell you, thank you so much for joining today. I know how busy you are, and I guarantee there’s a lot of people that are going to watch this or listen to this and it will open their eyes a little bit and it’ll be partly, “Oh man, something else I’ve got to worry about,” but I think it’ll also be a lot of you’ll be able to sleep a lot better at night once you have this stuff in place. So thanks so much for your time. And maybe we could have you back in a few months and just maybe do an update and see where we’re headed then.
Lisa Kane (19:55):
That’s great, thank you so much. This was great.
Chris Pistorius (19:56):
Okay. Well thank you. Thank you, Dr. Kane, and thanks to everybody for listening to this segment. Make sure you check out our next cast, which will be on in a week from today. So thanks again. And we’ll talk to you all very soon.