Practice Management Shouldn’t Feel Like Pulling Teeth
The origins of dentistry are, quite literally, prehistoric. Evidence recovered from an archaeological site in Croatia shows neanderthals using rudimentary tools to address an unknown complaint.
Over time, innovations made dentistry more effective and safe. Antiseptics and antibiotics. Electric drills and the X-Ray. But while the tools-of-the-trade have advanced, the way practices operate remains stuck in the past. That’s not to say that dentists don’t have an arsenal of technological tools at their fingertips. They do, but they’re not exactly what you’d call elegant.
A common problem is fragmentation, where there are too many tools performing separate tasks. The reality is that practice management shouldn’t feel like pulling teeth.
It’s not uncommon to see practices wrestle with different software products for imaging, billing, record management, and patient communications. Each of these systems must be acquired separately, managed individually and each comes with an individual cost.
Some packages are a simple upfront payment, whereas others are charged on a recurring schedule. And that’s before you factor in any other “extras,” which practices soon learn aren’t optional. They also have various interfaces and unique quirks, which increases the amount of training required by staff.
Worse, because they are separate units, making them work together is nothing short of an uphill battle. Want to move an X-Ray from your imaging software to a patient’s record? Good luck. You’ll need to read this 10-page manual and follow a simple 100-step process. Don’t worry. You’ll figure it out… eventually.
There’s a financial cost to this inelegance. But there’s an operational and experiential cost, too.
If practitioners are spending a chunk of their time wrestling with clunky software, there’s ultimately less time for seeing patients. Patients, on the other hand, become frustrated with ever-increasing waiting lists.
Nobody benefits in this situation. The onus is on dentists to innovate.
“There’s a financial cost to this inelegance. But there’s an operational and experiential cost, too“
Patients demand it. Necessity does, too. Dentists face economic uncertainty and increased demand, as well as operational challenges caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, forcing practitioners to reimagine how they work.
Let’s start by addressing efficiency. This point isn’t just about how dentists use software. It’s also how technology can allow practitioners to make more effective use of their time. This could be as simple as a digitised appointment book, which visualises the week’s schedule in a way that is easy to digest. Or perhaps digital sign-in and registration sheets, which can reduce errors and allow your front-office staff to focus on assisting patients instead of tedious data entry tasks.
We can then take things a step further. Let’s talk about missed appointments, which result in wasted time and lost revenue for practices. Instead of a letter or phone call, which can be easily missed, modern IT lets practitioners reach patients immediately via text or email, sending gentle reminders for them to show up on time. These notifications can also be used for billing, potentially limiting the number of overdue balances on your books.
Perhaps most importantly, a long-overdue IT overhaul will allow dentists to weather the storm of Covid-19. Dentistry is an inherently intimate branch of medicine, and it’s almost impossible for dentists to socially distance themselves from patients while they’re sat in the chair. But you can limit interactions between patients, as well as other staff. By allowing clients to sign-in online and shifting follow-up consultations to the virtual realm, patients can entirely skip the waiting room and reception desk.
“At Chiral Systems, we’ve built an all-in-one system that accomplishes what would otherwise require an arsenal of different software packages“
Here’s the good news: this isn’t theoretical. At Chiral Systems, we’ve built an all-in-one system that accomplishes what would otherwise require an arsenal of different software packages, each with bespoke costs and maintenance requirements.
And it can do everything we just talked about: from billing and reminders to diary management and record capturing. Secure, flexible and cost-efficient, our cloud-based solution empowers you to transform the workflow of your entire practice.
We hope to help dental practices survive these turbulent times, and thrive when we reach the other side.
Check out some of the testimonials from existing partners who have tried and tested our product.
To schedule a demo and learn how Chiral Systems can help you, click here.