The Importance of Team Training When Implementing a New Practice Management System

Today, there are very few dental practices that do not have a practice management system installed. The days of front office staff flicking through a paper diary and shuffling notes from dentist to hygienist are long gone for most. Owners and practice managers spend hours researching the best system to suit their practice’s needs; perhaps they are a multi-site practice and so need a system that can cope with different locations, or maybe they require a piece of their existing equipment to integrate seamlessly with the software. The decision is an important one, as a lot of time and money is being invested. Sometimes, the area that can get overlooked due to resource constraints is the dental team’s involvement. Their inclusion and motivation for the practice management system is essential in its long-term success and full utilization.

Training the Team

If you are about to install a new system—or you are changing to alternative software—the initial training and ongoing support of the whole dental team is pivotal in its success. Even if there are members of the team who will use it to a lesser degree than others, their understanding of how the program works and where they can find certain information might prove beneficial in the future. Suppliers of practice management systems should offer comprehensive guidance and support for all members of staff; this should also be part of the decision maker’s criteria when assessing which system to purchase. Often, the training provided is an assortment of face-to-face teaching, self paced online training and written instructions, and then—when needed post-launch—webinars, telephone interactions and online forum support as appropriate. Continue reading

The Benefit of Implementing Planned Time-Outs

By William J. Moorhead, D.M.D.

To some people, “time-out” implies “sporting event.” To others, it means “parenting strategy.”

Time-outs have been used in medicine for several years. In surgery with the surgical team, time-outs verify such areas as:

  • Patient’s name
  • Date of birth
  • Consent form had been signed
  • Drug allergies
  • The kind of surgery being performed

In our practice, we use time-outs as a planned pause before the start of treatment to focus on safety and patient communication. Continue reading

Designing Better Medical and Dental History Forms

By William J. Moorhead, D.M.D.

Can the design of your medical and dental history forms affect efficiency? Yes, definitely. In fact, a well designed form not only saves time, it can facilitate diagnosis and motivate your patients.

Today, most practice management systems have online forms, which enable patients to register and complete their medical and dental history in advance. This can streamline the appointment—but only if the forms are designed with the patient in mind. If you discover that patients are filling out the forms incorrectly or if they are omitting information, it’s likely time to rethink your forms.

When you develop the medical and dental history section of your forms, develop questions so that a “yes” answer requires the doctor’s attention. For example, change the question “are you satisfied with the color of your teeth?” to “would you like whiter teeth?” This approach can speed your review process, because you can quickly decipher where to focus your attention. Continue reading

Running Patient Last Visit Report in CS SoftDent v16

Automated reports can eliminate the more cumbersome aspects of your practice management software. In particular, the Patient Last Visit Report offers a number of benefits to CS SoftDent users:

  • Staff can visibly compare workflow throughout a given period;
  • display active vs non-active patients; and
  • see an overview patients seen by a specific Provider.

The following steps will help you run this report, as well as save you and your team valuable time.

While in CS SoftDent, select reports from the top ribbon, hover the mouse over patients – side menu will show – and select Last Visityou can access this list while on any screen.

PLV1 Continue reading

Printing the Daysheet in CS SoftDent v16

Getting the most out of your practice management software is important. One report that can help your efficiency is the Daysheet. This report provides an overview of the following:

  • Posted transactions;
  • Practice’s production;
  • Number of patients seen; and
  • Collections.

In addition, the Daysheet confirms the receivable totals and accounting reports. Because of all the financial information contained in this report, the CS SoftDent support team recommends running the Daysheet after every working day.

The following steps will help you run this report – as well as save you and your team valuable time.

While in CS SoftDent, select reports from the top ribbon and select 5.Daysheet – you can access this list while on any screen.

daysheet1 Continue reading

HIPAA and the Cloud

“Theft and loss amount to 62% of reported data breaches.”

Are you afraid of some sinister hacker lurking in cyberspace ready to pounce on your dental office data? Are you at risk of a dental data breach?

If you experience a significant (500 or more records) data breach, you are subject to onerous and expensive HIPAA rules of notification—and even possible fines. A data breach is a real and potentially serious problem for dental offices.

However, very few reported medical dental data breaches are the result of hackers. According to the Health and Human Services website, the biggest type of breach—by far, at about 50 percent—is theft. Not theft of data, but theft of a computer. Burglars break into the office and steal a computer or someone takes a backup from the backseat of a car. Twelve percent of data breaches are loss. Again—not lost data—lost hardware, a misplaced laptop or thumb drive. Theft and loss amount to 62 percent of reported data breaches. Continue reading

Transitioning from On-Premise Practice Management to the Cloud (Infographic)

Cloud technology is quickly growing in many industries—including dentistry. The benefits of the Cloud are numerous, but making the switch from a different practice management system or from an on-premise solution can be intimidating. Fortunately, transitioning is quite simple and requires very little downtime; allowing you to quickly harness the advantages of Cloud practice management.

If you are curious about what converting to the Cloud entails, the infographic below demonstrates the steps.

13304 Cloud Workflow Infographic_v4 Continue reading

Article Spotlight: Dental Software Patient Scheduling Preferences

When patients miss their appointment, it’s more than a minor annoyance—it can result in lost revenue for the practice. In Software Advice’s recent piece on Dental Software Patient Scheduling Preferences, they look at the most effective patient reminder methods.

Software Advice, a dental software researcher, found that 30% of dental patients preferred being reminded about appointments via text; however, patients over 34 years of age preferred email reminders. The preferred time for patients to receive reminders is three days prior to the appointment. Continue reading

Could You Use Electronic Prescriptions in your Practice?

As dentists in the State of New York are well aware, electronic prescriptions will be mandatory as of March 27, 2016. Non-electronic prescriptions submitted to a pharmacy will not be filled after the March deadline.

New York dentists account for about 8 percent of all dentists practicing in the United States; the total number of dentists in the state is second only to California. With such a large number of dental professionals affected by this mandate, it’s relevant to consider how electronic prescribing fits into a dental practice, no matter where it’s located. Continue reading

Security Benefits of the Cloud

As the owner of Prosperident, a dental embezzlement investigation firm, I understand the importance of security for dental practices. One solution that practices may consider when protecting their patient and business information is switching from server-based to cloud-hosted dental practice management software.

Dental practices deal with highly sensitive data that is protected by HIPPA, and this should be a consideration when choosing your dental practice management software. Storing your important files in the cloud provides a number of security benefits, including:

  • reducing the risk of server hacks
  • preventing the need to back up data externally
  • making it easier to perform discreet embezzlement investigation
  • ensuring that software is always up to date
  • improving network security
  • Continue reading