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Mary’s background includes over 39 years spent in the dental industry. Over the last 14 years, she has worked with Patterson Dental in positions such as Regional Training Advisor, Regional Technology Manager, and presently as a Regional Technology Advisor for the Eastern regions. Mary has been very active as a CTC and Practice Masters’ Seminar presenter for over 12 years.
Improving the workflow of a dental office is a high priority for most practitioners, but many don’t know where to even begin finding solutions for many of their practice’s operational issues. With the expansion of technology, there can often be an overwhelming number of solutions and there isn’t always a clear answer to which one is best for your practice.
One great solution to problems that plague many practices is making clinical records paperless. It might seem like a daunting task, but with the correct practice management software and other digital technologies in place, it’s simple and fast. And, although it seems like an expensive undertaking, going paperless provides your practice with benefits that pay for themselves.
How will the workflows you’d like to fix in your office be affected by going paperless?
Increased front office efficiency: Maintaining paper charts is a time-consuming task that can easily be fixed by going paperless. With a few clicks of the mouse, your office staff can update patient records and save them to a central database the entire office can access. This eliminates the need to handwrite charts and make copies every time a patient’s health history changes.
Digital systems also give your staff access to patient files immediately. With files in one central location, it’s easier to keep track of important documents, and staff could even access them off-site if necessary.
Improved security: It’s a fact of life that things get lost, and you undoubtedly only realize they’re lost when you need them. When a patient file gets lost, so does his or her dental history with your practice. When a file is on a digital system and properly backed up, the risk of losing the file is practically gone. If something were to happen to your server, simply re-downloading it could retrieve the file.
Think paper files are more secure because they’re tangible and computers are susceptible to hacking? Paper files are also easy to destroy and expensive to store. What happens to your paper files in a natural disaster or theft? Either would result in a total loss of patient data. Without the option to back-up paper files, it’s nearly impossible to retrieve them if they’re destroyed.
Lower operating costs: It might sound counterintuitive that buying practice management software saves money, but that’s exactly what it can help you do. Think of the thousands of dollars a year practices spend on printing supplies and maintenance. Those costs could easily add up to the cost of an advanced practice management system. An upfront investment sets your practice up for long-term success.
If your staff can spend less time organizing charts and making copies, they can spend more time on activities that add value, like improving their customer service skills or professional development activities.
Improved patient experiences: Patients can usually tell when a practice is or isn’t running smoothly. When your staff has more time to interact with the customer, they can create a meaningful connection with them, and quality time with customers helps increase profits. Giving your staff time to build personal relationships with patients helps prevent them from becoming dissatisfied and ultimately keeps them coming back to your practice.
Making your practice paperless can open up a world of possibilities! The sooner your practice makes the change, the sooner it can start enjoying these benefits.
Note: This article is sponsored by Patterson Dental as part of the Dental Practice Management Partner Voice Program, which provides a way for leading dental manufacturers to share quality content with our audience. Patterson Dental offers a wide range of dental products including Eaglesoft Practice Management Software, CAESY Patient Education Systems and the RevenueWell marketing communications suite, which are backed by the renowned support and customer service team at the Patterson Technology Center. With multiple support options and more than 125 years experience in the dental industry, Patterson has the resources and expertise to help customers and practices reach their greatest potential.