Business benefits of being paperless

 If you’re still working with paper records and want to improve efficiency in your practice, Eve O’Hea, Ireland’s Regional Business Manager, gives a few reasons why a move to practice management software makes excellent business sense.

Statistics show that a sizeable number of dental practices in Ireland still run paper-based dental practice management systems, and so the traditional versus digital debate rumbles on. Computers pervade every other area of our lives, so why do some dental practices still shun the benefits that computerisation can bring? Of course there’s the initial investment and very often the team, including dentists, are resistant to change, but few practices that embrace practice management software ever regret it.

Today’s dental practice management software is designed to facilitate effective communication and enhance practice capability at every level. Having a computerised practice management system takes the headache out of basic administrative functions and keeps all relevant information such as diagnostic images, treatment plans and clinical records in a single place within the patient’s file. This enables receptionists and dentists to effectively and efficiently deal with patient queries and easily locate all the necessary information in a single click.

Of course it’s vital to keep patient records up to date and in these days of compliance, regulation and yes, litigation, it’s vital to keep a permanent record of treatment plans, radiographs, 3D images and patient conversations, so that you can always prove that informed consent has been given. Keeping all this information securely within the patient’s file, not only makes it easy to access but also gives peace of mind and protects patient data.

When it comes to running a more efficient practice, moving to a computerised system wins hands down. Our internal research has proved how important an effective recall system is to the success of all dental practices and by automating the sending of multiple recall messages via various communication channels, practices can improve their recall success rates to over 85%, a considerable improvement in comparison to the industry average of 55%. Running such a sophisticated recall system manually would be extremely time consuming, if not impossible, and I believe that the level of recall success necessary to drive your practice forward can only be achieved with the help of a computerised management system.

If you choose the right practice management software you will also be able to extract vast amounts of data about how your practice works; including reporting on hours worked, chairtime utilisation, and outstanding treatment plans at the end of each month. Having all this valuable information at your fingertips will help your practice operate more efficiently and ultimately become more profitable as one of our customers, Sandycove Dental Practice based in Dublin, is quick to point out:

“The detailed daily and monthly reports allow us to manage the business effectively and plan for the future.”

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