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    How EHR can improve your practice

    How electronic health record software can enable your practice to reach a new level of efficiency.

    Sometimes at the end of the day, I’ll look at my schedule and just be stunned at what the office has accomplished in the previous 8 hours or so.

    Some of the greatest ways humans have created to help each other involves efficiency and the ability to do more in less time—which usually revolves around our ability to continue to improve efficiency through innovation.

    Think about that for a moment. How many patients could you help in a day if you were suddenly forced to practice as they did in the 1870s? Local anesthetics didn’t exist. There was no way to create radiographs. Rotary instrumentation was done by pedaling a bicycle-like contraption, if it existed at all. That meant all dentistry was done with hand instruments. The restorative materials were amalgam or gold. I have no idea how they took impressions and doctors actually mixed amalgam by hand!

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    When Henry Ford first started making cars 100 years ago, they were creating one car every 12 hours. When the company then invented and implemented the assembly line process, the production increased to one car every 90 minutes. This phenomenal increase in productivity also created a tremendous cost savings, which allowed Ford to drop the price of the Model T from $850 to $300. That’s a savings of over 70 percent!

    This savings allowed the Model T to be available to the masses and Ford’s profits soared. And even though they were incredibly efficient and profitable, the company continued to focus on innovation, eventually reaching the point they were churning out one Model T every 24 seconds. 

    The lesson in all of that?  The best continue to innovate. Just because you have adopted digital radiography in the last year or because you are now doing your impressions digitally does not mean that you’ve reached the pinnacle and can spend the rest of your career resting on your dental laurels. Not hardly.

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    When I was getting near graduation from dental school, one of the instructors told the class that a diploma was just a license for a lifetime of continual learning. While I totally agree with that sentiment, I also think that clinical practice is a commitment to continual study of efficiency and improvement.

    No one wants a dental procedure to take longer. The patient certainly doesn’t and with the physical toll that practicing dentistry has on the doctor and the clinical team, shortening dental procedure time is better for everyone’s overall health.

    For these reasons, efficiency is a good thing for the patients, the doctor, the staff and the practice. There are dozens of ways that efficiency can be boosted, but let’s look at how you can do this through your dental software.


    Next: The clinical advantages

    Dr. John Flucke
    Dr. John Flucke is in private practice in Lee’s Summit, Mo. He also serves as technology editor for Dental Products Report magazine and ...


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