Linda Harvey Interview

David: This is David Schwab. And today I’m really excited because my guest is Linda Harvey, a nationally recognized healthcare risk management and compliance expert who helps dentists and teams understand and navigate regulatory requirements. She is the founder and president of the Dental Compliance Institute, as well as a compliance consulting firm. Her career in dentistry began as a dental hygienist. Since that time, she has worked in corporate risk management and has been recognized as a distinguished fellow in the American society of Healthcare Risk Management. In addition, she was honored to consult with the ADA on three separate occasions regarding compliance.

Linda, welcome to the program.

Linda: Thank you, David. It’s a pleasure to be here.

David: First of all, how did COVID impact your business last year?

Linda: Well, David to say that it was insane would be an understatement with the constant flow of new information that we were trying to learn.  As a consultant and coach for doctors and teams around the country, we were trying to stay one step ahead of all the new, late-breaking information. So we ended up coaching doctors remotely across the country, as well as our local clients. And we participated in a number of different social media events and interviews. So, we can help bring that voice of reason and help everyone be calm and understand the requirements so they could sort of settle into those massive changes that we all had to make so quickly.

David: Yes, I can imagine. The regulatory work that you do is so important, but once COVID hit, it must have just added a tremendous number of new questions and people needing help.

Linda:  Absolutely. There were questions from everywhere. We began questioning how or why we’d always done something in the past. You know, we weren’t sure if we were handling the possibility of transmission in our practices appropriately and how much should we do and how much was overkill and what was actually regulatory required and what was, you know, something that we were doing to make us feel good and it really wasn’t effective at all. So we were really working hard to get accurate information out.

David: Now that more people are getting vaccinated, do you see things settling down this year?

Linda: David, I have to tell you the short answer is absolutely no. We now are in a better position because we have a year’s worth of understanding of COVID and variants in order to help protect different populations, patients, as well as workers.  The regulatory changes are going to keep coming. For example, OSHA launched a new national emphasis program about a month ago, and this was related to worker safety in all industries and their protection against COVID-19. So when this launched, when you read the background on this information, this actually came from the presidential executive order back in January, trying to make sure that all workers in all industries were safe, have protection against COVID-19. So, we’re going to see some inspections being carried out by OSHA, both onsite and remote. And those inspections will include dentistry. They’re going to be looking first at those industries and organizations that had high rates of employees contracting COVID at work, because OSHA is concerned about on-the -job illnesses and injuries.  And we know that dentistry was placed in that high-risk category because of the aerosols that are produced.  OSHA we’ll also offer training and outreach. So I highly recommend that any of our listeners, if they see or hear about any OSHA outreach training in their area, please be sure to attend it.

David: Linda, do you foresee any other compliance issues on the horizon?

Linda: Yes, we have a lot of things going on. There are several other compliance changes on the horizon. In addition to OSHA’s national emphasis program that was launched last month, that’s going to include both remote and onsite inspections, OSHA will be offering training and outreach programs. I highly recommend that you keep your eyes open for those trainings so that our listeners can actually hear and meet with representatives of OSHA firsthand. In addition, we’re seeing a couple of changes on the HIPAA side of the house, so to speak.  In January, the HIPAA Safe Harbor bill passed. And now there are also proposed changes to the privacy role, and I’ve been trying to immerse myself in that. Absolutely, a lot of changes going to happen. For example, the privacy rule has always been about patients’ rights to access their information and how we have to protect their information within our practices, but this new section, that’s going to be global.

It’s going to be passed. I mean, it is still under that rulemaking process, but the recommended rules and proposal changes are going to significantly modify the provision of the individual’s rights to access their protected health information. And one of these big things that I’m struggling with here now, they’ve been trying to understand is that in doing so, it’s going to strengthen the patient’s rights to inspect their protected health information, both in person, which is going to allow the patients to take notes or use other personal resources to view and capture images of their PHI–protected health information. This is going to be an eye-opener when we think about how this can impact the practice. I’m curious to follow this more closely during the public comment period for about another month and see what kind of feedback comes and how that’s going to be interpreted by the regulatory bodies.

David: Linda, I’m sure many doctors feel that this could be just overwhelming, and we don’t want that to happen. So what’s your advice for offices so that they can stay current and prepare for these changes?

Linda: You’re absolutely right, David.  This can seem awfully overwhelming, and we need to approach it in that calm level-headed fashion. So, we’ve identified three ways that offices can kind of get their arms around this. First, start off by reading your current policies and procedures, know what you have in place, so you can begin to identify gap where you would need to make changes as these rules get rolled up next. 

Second, be sure you’re relying upon qualified experts for advice or assistance. You know, in other words, always question why, but question in a good way, not in a resistance way, but in a way that’s going to open yourself and your team up to learning, you know, are you actually doing the process properly? Is that actually the way you should be releasing records? Is that actually the way you should be cleaning and disinfecting an operatory?  Sometimes we add in extra steps and do other things, regardless of what regulation we’re talking about. And before we know it, we’re really not in compliance. 

And third, I invite our listeners to join us at the Dental Compliance Institute for that extra compliance edge, or better yet sign up for one of our courses or our Inspection Ready Series. That’s our new IRS, David, and that’s those workshops. And the IRS workshops are where we take a deep dive into one of those particular standards. It’s such a great feeling when a practice can go from being confused or crazed to confident competence.

David: Linda, it’s a brave new world. We always needed you for so many things like HIPAA, but now with all of the new regulations, new laws and everything that the pandemic has caused to come into practices, we need you more now than ever before. Thanks so much for speaking with us today. You’re doing great work in the world.

Linda:  Thank you for having me, David. It’s been a pleasure.


Practice Transition Psychology: Part 1

Welcome to the first part of my three-part series on the psychology of practice transition.  I’ll be talking about how to get an associate into a practice with the goal that they will buy the practice.

Today, let’s discuss today the selling doctor’s concerns. If you’re the selling doctor, one of your big concerns is, “I don’t want to make a mistake. I want to find someone who’s the right fit.”  I will tell you, trust your instincts. Don’t ignore any red flags. No, nobody’s perfect, but if something’s nagging at you, if you’re not sleeping at night, if you’re worried that maybe you’re not making the right decision, don’t do the deal. You absolutely want to make sure you find the right person. Don’t settle.  You don’t have to sell to this person. They’ll always be another seller who comes along.

How do you determine if something is a good fit, if it’s going to work out, if

this person really is going to be compatible with you and share your values?

I like to use scenarios, hypothetical situations. I give both the associate and the seller a scenario. Maybe it involves, “How would you deal with this situation as it relates to a patient?” Or, “How would you deal with this other situation as it relates to a member of the staff?” They work on these scenarios independently. Then we come together by phone, by Zoom, and sometimes in person, and we discuss.

You learn so much: you learn how people think, you learn how they prioritize.

You learn how they process information, and, most importantly, you learn about their values–by using these scenarios, these hypothetical situations. It’s so important because you gain many valuable psychological insights and that helps you make the right decision.

I enjoy using these scenarios and being the facilitator to make this work out. 

In the second part of my three-part series, I’m going to discuss the concerns facing the associate.

Team Training Video Series

My Team Training Video Series is now available at a reduced price. Use THIS PROMO CODE: SAVE 200. Click this link for complete info. When prompted to order, use promo code SAVE200. The series comes with a 60-day money back guarantee. Many people ordered when I presented a live seminar, but if you haven’t ordered yet, here’s your chance with a discount.

Practice Management by the Numbers: Countdown to Success

Free Webinar Presented by David Schwab, Ph.D.

NEW!  Fast-paced one-hour live webinar loaded with insightful, practical pearls.  In a world challenged by a pandemic and economic uncertainty, this timely and important webinar delivers upbeat messages, clear insights, and step-by-step advice on how run a very efficient and successful dental practice.

This webinar is available for dental specialists to offer to referring dentists, study clubs to schedule for members—and even group practices (two doctors or more) to schedule for team training.  Thanks to corporate support, it is offered at no charge.

Attendees will learn:

7 Confident responses to the money objection

6 Action steps to higher case acceptance

5 Critical reasons why patients accept treatment

4 Great responses to the “I’ll think about it” objection.

3 Practical ways to convert leads/inquiries into appointments

2 Important reasons that patients do not accept treatment

1 Essential action step you should take immediately.

Schedule this live webinar now!

David Schwab, Ph.D.

Call or text: (407) 324-1333


About the Speaker:

David Schwab, Ph.D., is a motivational speaker, consultant, and author who helps dentists grow their practices, educate their patients and train their teams to make practices more profitable.

Here are some comments from seminar attendees: 

  • Our most requested speaker! 
  • Awesome! 
  • Inspirational. 
  • Content was relevant and specific. 
  • An “11” on a scale of 1-10.

Dr.  Schwab has served as Director of Marketing for the ADA and as Executive Director of the American College of Prosthodontists. Recognized as a prolific and insightful author, Dr. Schwab’s practice management and marketing articles have appeared in numerous publications, including the Journal of the American Dental AssociationDental Economics, the Seattle Study Club® Journal, and the Journal of the Canadian Dental Association. Dr. Schwab works with major corporations and consults with dental practices.

Reopening the Office: A Tale of Two Cities

St. Louis and New Orleans, two cities with fairly comparable populations, have a huge disparity in the number of coronavirus cases.

Coronavirus Cases, March 26, 2020, 8:30 a.m. Central Time:

St. Louis (population 319,000) 69 cases.

New Orleans (population 391,000) 997 cases.

These statistics are for the respective cities only, not the surrounding areas. Similar differences in coronavirus cases appear across the country.

When will you be able to fully reopen your dental office?

Three factors will determine the answer to that question:

1. Where are you located? Hot spots such as New York will be locked down longer than many other areas.

2. Statewide versus county-by-county approach. Some states, such as California, have closed all non-essential businesses statewide; other states, such as Florida, are taking a more localized approach. The decisions made by your governor make a difference.

3. Availability of Personal Protection Equipment (PPE). Even if you are in an area that has been impacted less severely by the coronavirus, government officials will be reluctant to allow dental offices to open for business as usual as long as PPE is in scarce supply in some parts of the country.

In the coming weeks, look for a mixture of good and bad news: surging cases in hot spots, a push to reopen areas of the country with relatively few cases, and (possibly) an easing of the shortage of PPE.

Stay safe!

Beam Me Up, Scotty

When “Star Trek” premiered in the U.S. in 1966, the cost of a three-minute international phone call was about $12, which, adjusted for inflation, is $92 today.

Even in the 1980’s, when I was in graduate school, calling overseas was anything but cheap.  I remember being in a hotel in Luxembourg as part of a work assignment for a bookseller and wanting to call home.  The telephone table in the room was equipped with something akin to a taxi meter.  When my overseas call to the U.S. was connected, the meter started clicking and turning.  As the contraption shook, pens danced off the edge of the table.

The charges were calculated not in currency but in some unknown message units that started at 10,000.  Every few seconds, the counter in the vibrating table would turn in increments of 2,500.  After about two minutes, I had spent over 30,000 of these units, and I quickly ended my call.  My employer paid the bill.  I never learned exactly how much I had spent, but my boss made it clear that I was not to make any more calls during that trip.

I still  travel frequently for my speaking and consulting business, but I also take advantage of video conferencing.  There are platforms for webinars, which I have used very successfully, but I also really enjoy “virtual meetings” courtesy of services such as Skype.

In fact, when I train dental teams to use the best verbal skills, I often “beam in” to offices across North America via Skype.  When participants are able to see and hear each other, we come very close to the experience of being in the same room.  I marvel at the technology that allows me to be (virtually) in Texas at 2:00 p.m. and California at 3:00 p.m., which does not cost a penny more than what all of us pay anyway for our Internet connections.

During these sessions we cover verbal skills and other issues that come up in practices every day.   If you would like valuable team training with zero travel cost, contact me for more information and we will make it so:



No Cost Dental Team Motivation

No Cost Dental Team Motivation is the topic of Episode 2 of The Personal Report, which is now available on YouTube. To see the video, click here:

Here’s the transcript of Episode 2 on motivation.

We have a great topic for you today: No Cost Team Motivation. So, how do we keep the team motivated?

Well, let me just tell you a little story. Some years ago, I was involved in a focus group. Do you ever watch “Law and Order”? They watch through the glass and they’ve got somebody in the box and the people who are being interrogated can’t see you through the one-way mirror.

Well, a focus group works that way and we interviewed people who are in the dental profession, hygienists and assistants, and so forth, and asked them what motivated them. We actually divided them into two groups. We preselected them, through a survey, happy people and unhappy people. And it didn’t matter whether we interviewed the happy people or the unhappy people: when they made a list with the focus group facilitator about what motivated them, money was not number one. Oh, it was on the list, and it’s important, but it wasn’t number one.

You know what number one was? Praise, recognition, somebody cares, somebody noticed. So, the no cost way is to praise, but let’s be more specific about that, and when you give praise, always make it specific. Don’t just say, “Oh, you know, you’re wonderful,” or “Oh, I’m so happy you’re here.” That’s good, you need to say that, but make it more specific. “Yesterday, when the patient was starting to get upset, you handled it so well.” The other day the entire schedule was going to fall apart, but you got on the phone and we had a good schedule. The schedule is full–wow, what a great job!”

So you want to be very specific in your praise. We always say, praise in public, criticize in private. Now, you can praise in private, but if you happen to say it publicly, if you praise in public, if other people hear the praise, believe me, the person who’s hearing the praise, they’re not going to mind that other people know that somebody is getting praise and that they’re the one who’s being praised, because they did a good job for something specific.

Any criticism, though, has to be in private. No matter how mild the criticism, you want to really make that private, but that praise, specific praise, and public praise, are very, very important. And the next thing I will tell you is, don’t couch the praise; never use the word “but” when you’re praising.

Here’s what you don’t want to do: you don’t want to say, “You know yesterday, you stayed late, nobody asked you stay late, You took your initiative and you just did it without anybody asking and you got all the work done, but you know, if you were more organized, you wouldn’t have to stay late.” You’ve just taken it all away. First you were on a roll, you were saying all these good things, and then you added “but,” and here comes some criticism in underneath.

Praise is praise. “You did a great job.” Period. And let people know that. Now, if at another time, you need to talk to somebody on the side and say, “work on your organizational skills,” that’s a different story, but praise has to be specific and it has to be unqualified; we don’t want to say the word “but.”

Let me leave you with this thought: when I talk about praise, I can just hear all the staff out there saying, “yeah, I’ve got to get the doctor to watch this video. See, see, you should say nice things about us.” Okay, fair point, but I think that everybody on the team needs to praise other people on the team–when it’s deserved, of course. When somebody does something praise worthy, don’t be shy, tell them. And, by the way, sometimes even the doctor does something praise worthy and you can say something nice about him or her also.

I hope you’re enjoying the Personal Report. You know, I do have my Free Report; we’re getting a lot of good feedback. If you want a copy of the Free Report, “The Three Mistakes Every Dental Practice Must Avoid,” then just go to Just send a quick email to and we’ll send you the Free Report.

You’re always, of course, welcome to contact me through my website, which is Thanks so much for watching The Personal Report.