Dental Practice Improvement Series – Does This Sound Like You? (Part 3)

My post today rounds out the third part of a three part series in which I’ve been discussing different scenarios my colleagues and I faced as we set out to improve our dental practices. Through one situation or another, we were all ultimately giving up film in favor of digital radiography in our efforts to:

  • Upgrade /modernize an existing dental practice – click here to read
  • Set up a new dental practice – click here to read
  • Audit our  current practice workflows to uncover inefficiencies

I put together the following chart for you to reference as you audit your current workflows in hopes that it will help to increase efficiencies in your practice.

Scenario 3 Auditing Current Practice Workflows
Symptoms being experienced:
  • Limited workspace due to film and chemical storage/darkroom
  • Referring patients to colleagues often requires image duplication and sending physical images rather than sending electronically
  • Keeping physical patient files is time-consuming and costly
  • Obtaining less than optimal exposure settings during film acquisition can cause retakes and delays
Internal requirements to consider before upgrading:  
  • Will the digital radiography products “sync up” with your practice management system?
  • Can you integrate new digital radiography products into your existing product family?
  • Does any of your staff have experience with digital radiography technology?
Questions to ask when you meet with a provider:
  • Can images be acquired and viewed faster than film in order to save time and ensure image quality?
  • Is the dose to the patient less with their system?
  • Can images be viewed with a remote monitor or a mobile display, or is a back-office computer necessary?
  • Is the hardware and software intuitive, or will it require training?
  • Does the digital product offer options to assist and expedite correct sensor positioning?
  • Can images and files be easily duplicated and shared with insurance companies, patients, referrals?

I hope you find this information helpful if you are in the process of auditing your current workflow to identify opportunities for improvement.  I look forward to your comments and/or feedback.

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