A practice management system that is restoring my confidence and helping my practice go from good to great says Rozelle Owens, Principal D4 Dentist, Dublin.

Opening my new practice was truly one of the most exciting and challenging things I have ever undertaken. So imagine my disappointment, not to say annoyance, when our progress was abruptly halted by a problem with our practice management software.

When choosing my software system, I had considered several options but decided to go with a cloud-based solution. Although this didn’t have all the functionality of the other systems, it was available via monthly subscription, meaning I had no initial capital outlay and having already invested significantly in the practice, this was an attractive proposition. I had also used the software previously and found it quite simple, so wasn’t worried about my decision. However, my confidence proved to be short-lived.

I had originally liked the idea of a cloud-based system precisely for the back-up security it appeared to offer, but after a tough day when the system crashed, resulting in losing a whole day’s data, my confidence was shaken. This failure made me question whether a cloud solution could really provide the flexibility and security that a business such as a dental practice requires.

I chose to switch suppliers and took the opportunity to move to a system that offered business efficiency because I want to run my business in the most efficient way possible and I believe it will help me do this. I think there’s a temptation with any type of software to learn the bare minimum you need to get by, but this attitude leads to problems in the long run and I think is the cause of people failing to get maximum benefit from their software. I want to use EXACT in the correct way from the very beginning and although this may take a little more time to learn, I am certain we will reap the rewards in the long run and I am confident that when used properly, EXACT will help me get to grips with my business. And this is where the support I am receiving from Software of Excellence is proving so valuable. I have weekly calls with their specialist teams so I can make sure that the software set-up is right and that we are using the system in the best way possible. I have also just started my business development consultations with my Best Practice Consultant Andy Boyce, who will work closely with me for my first year with SOE before passing me over to the wider consultation teams. The biggest threat to our success is that we don’t use the software properly. As far as I can see, if the system is set up correctly and the team is empowered to use it as it should be, the software will make a massive difference to the success of my business and I am sure that under Software of Excellence’s guidance we can achieve the success we want.

Practice Management systems these days can be so much more than an aid to appointment booking and tooth charting and I want mine to help me run more efficient internal processes and to communicate more effectively with my existing patients, enabling me to promote new services and treatments and also help me build my existing patient base as well. In fact, we gained 51 new patients one month, which is great.

I now understand how vital it is to have trust and confidence in your practice management system. At the time it was made very clear to me by the organisations I spoke to, that patient data is the responsibility of the dentist. As professionals, we entrust this responsibility to our software provider so choosing a supplier with a strong reputation and good track record in the industry is essential for peace of mind.

I want D4 Dentist to be a model of ‘best practice’ and patient care is a very high priority for me. I want to give patients the impression that everything is very relaxed and effortless, but I know this can only be achieved if we have systems behind the scenes that run like clockwork and I am confident that having a reliable practice management system, yet one which is at the forefront of innovation will help me achieve this. I am at the very beginning of my journey but am excited by what’s to come and what I can achieve now I have a true business partner by my side.

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