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    25 ways practice management software can save you money

    Are you getting the most out your software?

    When you first invested in your practice management software, everyone shared an enthusiasm for learning a new system that would take your practice to new heights of productivity and efficiency. The atmosphere practically crackled with the electricity of new possibilities.

    Today your practice management software languishes, laden with untapped potential while doing a fraction of what it could for you.

    Sound familiar? You are not alone. Our experts reveal many dental practices have a similar story.

    “It’s amazing how underutilized practice management software is in almost every practice I have ever worked with,” says Genevieve Poppe from Poppe Practice Management. “You would think that having all this data at their fingertips people would use it, but they just don’t.”

    Related: The top things to consider when selecting new practice management software

    “Most people use maybe use five to 10 percent of what their software can do,” says Dr. Lorne Lavine, founder and owner of The Digital Dentist.  

    “A colleague of mine once said practice management software is the least understood, most underutilized power tool in the dental practice,” says Dawn Christodoulou, president of the XLDent, a dental software solutions company. “It’s true.”

    Dr. Jason Watts, a general dentist in private practice in Cape Coral, Florida and dental blogger for The Wisdom Tooth, also feels too many clinicians don’t take advantage of all the insight their practice management software provides. “The best way for dentists to save money or focus on being more efficient in their office is by measuring the outcome of their success.  

    Tija Hunter, dental assistant and vice president of the American Dental Assistants Association, says that sometimes software gets pigeon-holed for an individual function. “So many times I go into an office and they say they have dental practice management software for the front desk. Well, if you have it for the front desk, then you already have it for the back,” says Hunter. “People have the technology; they just aren’t using it.”

    Lynette Brodie, Office Manager at a private practice in Los Angeles for the past 34 years, agrees. “Some people will use the appointment book and maybe a couple of other features, and then they will stop,” she said.

    Underutilization of practice management software is an area of opportunity for many practices. So how can you change that? What ways can you dive deeper into your system to benefit your patients and practice? And how will that effort pay off for your practice’s bottom line?

    Related article: How technology is REALLY changing the dental workflow

    We talked to experts nationwide about 25 ways to take advantage of the features you already have on your practice management software. 

    1. Embrace the cloud and reduce maintenance and security expenses

    Cloud-based systems are becoming more mainstream. With so many built-in features that cover vital areas like security and IT support, Dr. Lavine thinks the decision about whether to go with a cloud-based system is important.

    “You’ve got programs like Curve, Dentrix Ascend, Umbie and tab32, to name a few. A cloud-based option takes away the need for services most practices needed in the past, like encryption, backup, disaster recovery, maintaining servers and licensing fees,” he says. “A lot of that goes away with a cloud-based option.”

    Dr. Jonny Brennan, a private practice dentist in Chandler, AZ, also points out the savings in tech support. “It also saves money on IT costs, like having someone come in and set the system up in a HIPAA-compliant way for remote access by configuring the ability to tunnel into your office securely. It’s all built into the cloud-based options.”

    Up next: 24 more tips to help you get the most out of your practice management software

    E-BOOK: The Dentist's Definitive Guide to Investing in 2016 - Download now!

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