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    The top 3 software trends for 2018

    Looking ahead at the trends that will define this year.

     

    DSO and multi-location group support 

    The train has truly left the station when it comes to the growth of DSOs and multi-location groups, and forward-thinking dental software vendors are scrambling to hop on board. In talking to vendors, I definitely see substantial investments being made in developing features and functionality to support this industry trend. Let’s face it: A lot of the existing solo and small practice market has already been tapped by software vendors, and owners have been hesitant to switch. But vendors see a rapidly-expanding market over the next few years of DSOs and multi-location groups. 

    ComputereWith this growth comes opportunity for organizations to look at purchasing new software — kind of a mini gold rush when it comes to sales opportunities. Putting on my software-consultant hat, I frequently talk to DSOs and groups that find their present software cannot support the growing needs of a multi-location organization and are looking for assistance in evaluating their practice management and clinical software options. True DSO and group software technology should include support of centralized databases, reporting rollups, standardized clinical templates, robust analytics and operational task management, among other features, which were not previously needed with solo practice. To tie in the concept of cloud-based software, many of these features are more easily supported in a cloud model. 

    Trending article: 7 common questions about dental EHR

    In the past, not all vendors were willing to make this substantial investment in dollars, time and resources. But now that it’s become a question of competitiveness and survival in a changing dental industry, more vendors recognized the need to jump into the DSO and group market. Case in point: When assisting DSO and group clients in evaluating software in the past, some of the vendors I talked to did not have full support for these organizations. However, these days I have more vendors to choose from when assisting these clients.

    Lessons learned: The medical software industry has evolved toward supporting group practice over the past decade and the dental industry is finally following in its footsteps.

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    Mike Uretz
    Mike Uretz is a nationally-recognized Dental software and Electronic Health Records (EHR) expert. Mike has helped hundreds of individual ...

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