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

A Prescriptive Approach to Training

By Melissa Whiteman
Director, Global Educational Development

Keeping up with changes in your software and learning how to use the system to do more is challenging. We’re all busy, and most of us don’t spend our working hours looking for new ways to do things, even though better ways usually exist. The work-around you’ve developed—or that note taped to your monitor—might work for you but is it working for everyone in the practice? It really is better for everyone if you use your software to the max. So whether it’s filing electronic claims; using electronic prescriptions or the charting module; or making the most of reporting, there are probably things that your practice could learn to improve your efficiency and keep everyone in the office in the KNOW. How do you do that? How do you bite off one piece at a time to get you where you need to be? PLANNING, of course!

Training is often the key to efficiency, but how do you get started so that it’s not overwhelming to everyone? Here’s what I recommend:

  1. I’m a list person, so I’m always going to recommend that you make a list. On this list, put the following: Continue reading

Hands-On Courses: How They Can Help Improve Your Practice

While the traditional approach to continuing education—that is, a speaker presenting from a podium to a large group—is still valuable, there is something to be said about the experience gained when taking small/limited attendance continuing education programs. Hands-on courses give participants the chance to try out new skills or assist during a live procedure.

Nowhere is this more important than in implant programs. By participating in hands-on courses with limited attendance, dental professionals are better able to learn clinical protocols and techniques unique to implant planning and placement. This provides a more personalized experience than listening to someone speak in a lecture hall. Continue reading