Resisting change with technology?

Change Management, Innovation, Social Services, Technology

As I lay in the dentist chair, with the drill chipping away at my teeth, my mind started to wonder. I was able to wonder because I wasn’t in any pain. What was this like 30 to 50 years ago, 50 to 100 years ago, thousands of years ago? How did these people tolerate the pain, noise, grinding etc.? Did people die from toothache?

7000 B.C. - The Indus Valley Civilization shows evidence that tooth related problems existed. Ancient primitive tools, called bow drills, were used for woodworking and treating tooth problems.

5000 B.C. - The Sumerians believed tooth worms to be the cause of dental issues. Teeth were completely extracted to take care of that issue. Thankfully, for our ancestors, that was finally proven wrong in the 1700s.

Yes, I promise this does have something to do with social services in technology, keep reading.

1700s - French physician, Pierre Fauchard, “The Father of Modern Dentistry” developed many of the procedures still used today.

1840 - Baltimore College of Dental Surgery, the first dental college opened. This meant more government oversight as well as regulation through the American Dental Association (ADA).

1873 - Colgate mass-produced the first toothpaste in a jar.

1885 - H.N. Wadsworth produced the first toothbrush.

1939 - The first real electric toothbrush was produced.

This timeline was created to demonstrate the way in which innovation changed thinking and shifts occurred and made dental services what they are today.

Just decades ago I remember getting a shot of Novocain, which was equally as scary as just having the procedure done without the Novocain. A couple weeks ago I had the numbing paste first, then the shot and I barely felt anything.

In addition, the dentist placed bite strips in my mouth so she could tell where my bite lined up or where she might need to fix it. She also used a camera the size of a pencil, which took images of my teeth. The dentist documented everything about my teeth through a software program displayed in front of me. She showed me where there was a crack in the tooth, I had a filling, possible grinding, literally, everything.

So I asked myself, lying in that dentist chair, “how would this experience be different if dentists and dental associations decided not to innovate but resist change instead?” I am fairly sure that it would be a very long, laborious and painful experience for patients.

So I ask you, in Social Services, “How are you innovating in your field?” “How are you progressing services for your clients?” “What are you doing to embrace change and move the field forward?” If you are resisting change and innovation and still operating on antiquated processes then you are most likely putting your clients through an unnecessary painful process.

Let’s leverage technology to move the system forward in amazing ways that benefit our vulnerable families and clients; just like our dentists did for us.
About the Author
McKenzie Smith
McKenzie Smith
Founder, Consultant

McKenzie Smith is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with over 15 years of experience in the social services. She is committed to bringing all technology solutions and information into 1 centralized and synthesized hub for the sector. She is very passionate about social services and nonprofits using metrics and technology to increase effectiveness and impact on large scales. When she is not moving the social service system forward you will find her chasing after her son Nash, running her daughter Irie to activities or going to a Pilates class.