Exchanging knowledge: The Exchange

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Nina Cartwright explains the importance of information exchange using The Exchange from Carestream Dental

Exchanging information among peers is one way dental professionals can maximise their ability to meet the needs of patients. With improvements in information technology and networking of dental software there has been a paradigm leap in the way dental professionals are able to share information.

The internet and social media provide opportunities for dental professionals to directly connect with their peers. Individuals can network with others who have similar values, interests and roles, and easily share and discuss their experiences. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Blogs and YouTube are just some of the powerful social media sites available that individuals can use to connect with other people in the dental field. Through the internet, professionals can share ideas, swap case reports, ask for advice, discuss recent innovations and take in industry news, as well as creating deeper and more meaningful connections with colleagues.

Personal learning environments are also rapidly evolving based on the use of social media, which allows learners to create, organise and share content. Through cloud computing, information can be shared including journal articles and abstracts. Critical analysis for group discussion can also be accessed easily and quickly through virtual learning spaces.

One of the main benefits of cloud computing is the ability for multi-site access. For example, clinical records can be gathered by one clinician for a case that requires multidisciplinary treatment, so that all the clinicians potentially involved can access the material and give their input towards the treatment plan and its completion. In addition, cloud computing offers security against loss of information by equipment theft or damage to practice facilities. There is also a reduced need for processing, power and memory of the computers being used to view the information along with potentially lower back-up costs.

One of the latest, dentistry specific online portals is The Exchange from Carestream Dental. This highly interactive and convenient online solution is designed specifically for its CS R4+ practice management software customers. Complementing the already extensive support available from the provider, The Exchange offers an online platform for all CS R4+ users to utilise. It enables professionals to speak directly to other users, facilitating the sharing of top tips, practical advice and experiences among colleagues.

Exchanging knowledge has been proven to enhance individual and group performance, as well as positively contributing towards a group’s innovative capacity. The exchange of knowledge between dental professionals offers practices the potential for increased productivity through staff development. The latest information and thoughts can be shared on various topics of interest or previous experiences, giving practitioners the chance to seek out answers to questions they may have, to the benefit of patients and practice alike.