Find the right dental practice management software for your practice. Here are a few things to consider when deciding on a system.
Your dental practice management software is core to your business. It’s like the cardiovascular system. Every function in your office depends on the system to be robust and to deliver the services you need when you need them. Thus, ensuring you have the right dental software is an important step on the road to the success of your practice. In this article we’ll discuss three important considerations when you equip a new office, upgrade your current practice, or evaluate your current software against what is available.
Practice Management Software Drives Your Dental Practice
Understanding the role of dental practice management software seems simple at first, but it’s really like defining an automobile. To some people the car is a means of getting from point A to point B. To others it’s a means of exploring; to others, speed; and to others, a symbol of status. Your practice management software should also fit the way you want to run your practice. At the core, dental practice management software is the foundation that automates functions to improve efficiencies and accuracy. But if boosting profitability is your goal, it can provide tools that help you track and modify processes. If you depend on technology such as intraoral cameras, the software can integrate those tools easily. Below are the capabilities you should look for in your dental practice management system based on what you want to accomplish.
I Want to Run an Efficient Office
Most dental practice management software provides the basic functions that every office should have, including patient scheduling, charting, note taking, treatment planning, and billing. At a minimum, your office shouldn’t be doing any of these tasks manually.
The key differentiator is to find software that handles these tasks smoothly and that is easy to use. Be sure that all functions integrate smoothly with all other functions, because jumping between modules and reentering data is not efficient. The entire software package should function as one coherent system.
Your office staff should personally test any software you consider. You don’t want them to go back to doing things manually due to clunky software.
I Want to Provide the Best Patient Care
Patient care begins from the moment a patient learns of your practice and continues through scheduling, treatment, billing, and recare. Think of this as your patient’s journey, and your job is to make their experience with you as pleasant as possible.
The services you’ll use are often add-ons, so look for software that has clean integrations for:
I Want to Grow My Profits
Many dentists trust that if they run an efficient office and provide great patient care, their profits will follow. However, many dentists also want to maximize their profits. Dental schools don’t teach business management, but your dental practice management system vendor can and should be your business partner. Look for a system that offers extensive performance reports and efficiency tracking, and a platform that offers training and dental business experts who can help you understand what numbers you should be watching.
Expect to Get More than You Pay For
You can consider the cost of practice management systems in two ways: What is the least I can pay to get what I need? Or, How can I increase my profits beyond what I pay? If your goals are to use your software to run the basic functions efficiently, look for the most affordable software that serves that purpose. If your goal is to increase profitability and to grow, invest in a system that provides the tools to nurture patients, monitor and maximize your profits, and to which you can add services as you grow.
Start Evaluating Now
Now is the time to identify your goals. Make a checklist of the features you need. Are you a basics kind of dentist, or do you have plans to grow? Start with patient scheduling, charting, note taking, treatment planning, and billing. The key differentiator is ease of use.
For growing, look for add-on services such as website management, reputation management, patient communications, reporting, and access to experts.
Then check what other dentists are using. Hundreds of software solutions are available on the market, but more than 80 percent of dentists use software from just three vendors.
Click here to see how Dentrix from Henry Schein One provides award-winning clinical tools that are fully integrated with collections, marketing, and patient-engagement services to help you grow your practice and profits.
To learn more about what Dentrix can do for you, visit www.dentrix.com/products/dentrix.
 Dental Technology Survey, Survey Monkey, 597 respondents, May 2016
 Inside Dentistry, January 2014, Vol 10, Issue 1, “Choosing the Right Dental Practice Management Software.”