How To Choose The Right Dental Practice Management Software For Your Dental Practice
Managing a dental practice involves a whole lot more than what you learn in dental school. Not only do you have to treat patients, you also have to do marketing and set appointments, secure billing, insurance coverage, staff training and a whole lot more. All these responsibilities can fill up a dental practitioner’s plate and leave little room and time for what really matters: taking care of the patient. So what do you do? Get a good dental practice management software, that’s what.
Today’s dental software programs are equipped with a host of features that help to streamline dental practice operations and make dental practice management a whole lot easier. But not all dental software are created equal. Some add more value to your practice than others.
To make sure you choose the right dental practice management software for your practice, here is a list of things you might want to consider when making that choice.
1. Features and Functionality
These are why you’re getting dental software in the first place, so before anything else make sure that the software you’re getting is able to do the things you want it to do. Ask yourself, what am I going to use this software for?
Dental software solutions offer a wide range of features and functionalities, many of them packaged together while others you can pick and add to your software system for an additional fee. Some of these features include:
- Appointment scheduling and reminders – a digital appointment book makes it easy and simple to manage your schedule and track appointments.
- Online appointment scheduling – an additional feature that makes it easy and convenient for patients to book an appointment with you online at any time.
- SMS and Email messaging – allows you to quickly send messages to patients and remind them of their appointments, thereby minimising no-shows and last-minute cancellations.
- Document management – allows you to easily find, click and scan all patient documents.
- Comprehensive charting tools – periodontal charting tools, including exceptional 3D skull charting make notation and recording clearer and easier. It also makes treatment plans easier to understand for patients, consequently making it easier for them to commit to it.
- Electronic claims – help to expedite insurance claims for faster turnaround.
- Reporting system – a wide range of reports can be produced to help you analyse practice data and increase efficiency and profitability.
- Cloud connectivity – ensures that no matter where you go and even with multiple practice locations, you always have access to your dental software and patient files.
These are just some of the features you can expect in a standard dental practice management software. Assess your practice’s needs and compare these with available features to see which software package will suit you best.
2. Ease of Use
Now that you know what dental software is capable of, the next thing of which you have to take note is how intuitive and easy-to-use the software solution really is. There’s no point in having a highly-advanced, full-featured piece of software if it’s just too complex for you and your staff to operate on a day-to-day basis.
As much as possible, let all stakeholders take part in the demonstration of the software, and listen to their feedback about it. It’s best that most, if not all of them are able to adjust painlessly to the software and even enjoy using it. When the staff are happy with the tools they’re using, they’re more productive and are able to make patients happy as well.
This is one factor you need to consider carefully, as many things can affect the cost of dental practice management software. Functionality, security, cloud connectivity, continued updates and support can all add to the cost of dental software. To get the best value for your money and not go over your budget, first determine how much you’re willing to spend on a software solution and what you hope to gain from it. Remember that just because a software package is priced high does not necessarily mean it is the best fit for your practice. In many cases however, investing in a high-quality platform can often cost more initially but will boost income and reduce loss in the long run, thereby improving your overall ROI.
4. Training and Support
You’re a dental practitioner not an IT expert, so training and support for your chosen dental software is a must. There’s no point in having a feature-packed software solution if you don’t know how to use it.
Many modern dental systems come with continued support and training to make sure that you’re able to properly leverage the dental software for your practice. Apart from this, the provider of the software you choose should be easily accessible online or through phone should you have any urgent concerns with their product.
5. Security and Compliance
Your dental practice management software will be handling plenty of crucial data, including patient files and personal information, bills, payments and more. Thus it needs to be secure and compliant with ADA standards. It should also be able to securely and seamlessly connect with necessary hardware, including computers, printers, servers, mobile devices and other peripherals.
6. Trusted and Recommended by Peers
It’s one thing for a software provider to tell you all about the things their product can do for you; it’s another when you hear it from the mouths of people that actually use the product. If you want to get a software solution that you can really count on, it’s always better to get the recommendations of practitioners that have used the software. So ask around and check software reviews and get recommendations from your peers. You could also check verified user reviews online. There are several sites and social media platforms where you can find these.
Know all your software options and consider them carefully so you can make the best choice for your practice. Need more help deciding on the right dental software program for your practice? Get in touch with Centaur Software today, and we’ll be more than happy to discuss several great options with you.