The Benefits and Drawbacks of Practice Management Software

Regardless of the size of your dental practice, it’s never too soon to start planning for your business’ future growth. To improve patient care and grow your bottom line, you have to find ways to make your practice more efficient. Investing in the right practice management system is one of the best ways to make that happen.

At the top of the list to boost productivity and improve efficiencies across your entire dental practice is to take advantage of everything your dental software has to offer. The software will simplify the way you do business, allowing you to improve cash flow, increase appointments, automate essential tasks, and transition to a paperless practice.

CHECK IN – Having access to everything you need to know about the patient on one organized screen frees up your front office to focus on other priorities, such as giving the patients a warm welcome.

SCHEDULING– Customizing appointment lengths for each procedure in addition to telling software when the dentist and/or assistant will be in the procedure, color coding providers/ops, and perfect day scheduling blocks can help with flow and goal setting.

ACCESS PATIENT RECORDS– Your team can navigate through all patients’ files. This allows the team to engage the patient on a personal level rather than sifting through paper files.

BETTER NOTE TAKING– Software makes it easier to create, track, and locate all patient notes. Better note taking ensures you’re safely covered from a liability standpoint and helps provide a high standard of care.

PATIENT COMMUNICATION– Appointment reminders/confirmations keep your patients on schedule and reduce missed appointments in addition to cutting down time.

TREATMENT PLANNING– The software is only as smart as what you enter into it. With proper insurance coverage entered into system, it allows you to calculate a patient’s copayment efficiently in an easy to understand format that helps with faster patient compliance and fewer questions.

BILLING– Check patient benefits in minutes. Electronic claims, attachments, and submission allow claims to be processed faster so that you get paid more quickly.

COMPLIANCE– The best dental practice management systems continually monitor HIPAA laws for any changes, updates to claim forms, fee changes, coding changes, etc.

REPORTING/KPI’s– Many successful business owners rely on the reporting capabilities of their software systems to provide the real numbers to help determine the trends of their practice. Whether it is daily, weekly, or monthly reporting, I have found that many offices do not take advantage of what their software has to offer.

You may already have the latest software in your dental practice but are you using it to its fullest potential? You and your dental team will face a learning curve with any new software, so it is important that your practice schedules ongoing training and support. Avoiding such things as; your team not learning how to do things the incorrect way because that is what the previous team member taught them or not knowing how crucial it is to close out your software each month. Allow your staff to redirect their focus toward tangible goals and rewards for everyone’s benefit. As a leader for your dental practice, choosing the right dental practice software can make your work easier and more enjoyable for your team, your patients and yourself.

Vanessa Buchheit has 16 years of experience in the dental field. After success as an office manager/treatment coordinator, she joined Henry Schein as a practice development coach. Using her professional experience, coupled with her mastery of the business and attention to detail, she now provides coaching and systems implementation with a hands-on approach that increases production and reduces stress.