Dentists: What Happens When You Automate Your Training?

Can I tell you a secret? Something feels bad about my job. My job exists because of cyber-crime.

The most common call I get is from a dentist who has either been hit by ransomware, or his/her colleague has. The conversation is usually the same…someone clicked on an email and the entire network was encrypted, locking them out of their patient data.

Why can’t we all just have fun?

In my 25-plus years serving the dental industry, I have taught a lot of people about a lot of different topics. My passion has always been to find a way to help dental practices learn what they need to know in a fun, quick, not-so-boring way.

Although I enjoy live training, I am finding a new fondness for gamified training, using tools like Family Feud or Jeopardy style competitions in order to gain engagement. Bonus: these work really well online.

There is something that has become just as valuable, and that is automated micro-learning.

From Alexio’s perspective, automated micro-learning means participants get a very short but focused cyber-risk topic delivered to their inbox every week. They can watch and learn concepts quickly, and gain points for answering 2-3 quick questions. There are opportunities to earn rewards as both an individual and as a team, and it really works.

Training is one of those tasks that just never seems end. However, it is an ongoing process that seems to be the key to everything; to making so many aspects of business efficient, safer, or stronger.

In the dental world, you are constantly bombarded with encumbrances like infection control procedures and compliance, workplace health and safety compliance, and especially during the time of COVID: brand new protocols.

It’s easy to understand how something like privacy and cybersecurity training just never get done.

In a dental practice, we work with data every day

We may not realize how reliant we are on digital connectivity. However, it is the backbone of our operations, and it does not take long to realize that patient data is our business data and we need to protect it.

During this COVID pandemic, with its many difficulties and changes, it is really sad to learn that cyber criminals are taking advantage of the situation. Even before the global pandemic, cyber-crime was an enormous challenge. Now? I’m hearing more stories than ever.

Dental practices have the same obligations to protect patient data as hospitals, but they often have far fewer resources

Dentistry seems to operate in a bit of a silo, having all the same regulatory and compliance obligations as big institutions, without the same kinds of budgets to solve those problems.

On top of that – especially in Canada – there are not a lot of cybersecurity courses designed specifically for dental or other small health care practices.

Learning trends change over time

In the past five years, as an organization, we have re-focused on micro-learning. We’ve noticed a big upswing in both engagement and understanding of topics, once we started delivering the information a little bit at a time.

Today we use automation to deliver one small concept each week, with a couple of quiz questions, allowing people to absorb basic concepts bit by bit, and in the way that works best for their learning style.

Many of the topics that we cover are basic yet crucial to operating a computer, whether at work or at home, which means that it’s relevant for your family as well.

Alexio (Ongoing) Learning

Although we offer a core certificate course that is updated each calendar year for our clients, it’s an impossible to teach them everything they are going to need to know all at once. Why?

Well, here’s the thing: cyber-criminals are constantly coming up with new tactics to take advantage of us, so having weekly updates that address new tactics and arising issues is the only answer that protects you effectively in real time.

When it’s automated, it’s even more beneficial, because then dentist and dental practice managers aren’t forced to be ‘hands-on.’ Instead, they can simply check the engagement reports periodically, or have a privacy & security coach manage it for them.

About Anne Genge:

Anne Genge is CDM 2020 Global Cyber Defense Award Winner – ‘Most Innovative Woman in Cybersecurity.’  She is a Certified Information Privacy Professional (CIPP/C) with a specialization in small business and healthcare. In 2017 she Co-founded Alexio Corporation, now a National and Global Award-winning Cybersecurity firm. Anne is passionate about education and automation as crucial vehicles to solving data security.

About Alexio Corporation:

Alexio Corporation is an award-winning CyberRisk prevention software and training company for healthcare practices and other small to medium sized businesses. Leveraging automation, machine-learning, and multi-layered security threat intelligence, Alexio specializes in delivering enterprise-class cyber-security to smaller networks. Alexio’s subscription-based model means that all businesses, no matter their size can protect patient, client, and consumer data. See for more information.

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