Dental Innovators: MacPractice delivers Apple-friendly software solutions to dental practice management

Dental Products ReportDental Products Report-2013-07-01
Issue 7

DPR talks to MacPractice CEO Mark Hollis about the workflow benefits of using Apple products, and how his company can help dentists take it even further.

DPR talks to MacPractice CEO Mark Hollis about the workflow benefits of using Apple products, and how his company can help dentists take it even further.

Q: iPads have brought the Apple esthetic and ease-of-use to dental practices in a major way. MacPractice, however, has been a champion of the Mac workflow and its benefits long before the iPad. What did you see in this platform?

A: This year, MacPractice is celebrating its 10th year. Many of us have been working with dentists who prefer Macs for 30 years. Mac users have always preferred the innovation, simplicity, beauty and superior reliability of Apple products.

Dental practices don’t want to deal with IT issues and frankly, cannot afford regular, monthly IT support. There was a Fortune 500 study done some years ago in which every PC that was replaced with a Mac reduced the company’s maintenance cost by 90% in addition to reducing the high cost of staff downtime. And if you do need Apple support, Apple is rated the best year after year. We follow Apple’s Mac OS and iOS development guidelines, as we have for 30 years, to deliver that same simplicity and consistency to dental practices.

Looking forward, Apple previewed Mac OS Mavericks and a new Mac Pro in June, both for release in 2013. Mavericks will create new ways for dentists to use a single Mac with up to three monitors in the treatment room. With Thunderbolt 2, Mac Pro owners will be able to back up a 20GB MacPractice database in about 2.5 minutes, twice the speed of Thunderbolt on current Macs, and several times the speed of USB3.

Q: MacPractice has been remarkably consistent in offering new features. What are some of the most recent that you can share with our readers?

A: The software business is challenging. You can never stop improving, innovating, adapting, fixing. Among many new features in MacPractice 4.4, which is 64 bit and can fully leverage the performance Mac OS X achieves by addressing multi-core Intel processors, we have introduced inventory, Time Clock, enhanced Internet interfacing, and new enhanced versions of our iPad Apps. We’ve continued to add more Mac native digital radiography and intraoral camera options at a variety of price points. We integrated Transworld Systems’ low-cost collections assistance, and we now offer automated Internet backup with Dolly Drive.

Q: What can you tell us about your current iPad apps and how they are being received?

A: With MacPractice DDS 4.3, we introduced an ecosystem of native apps for iPad and iPad mini that interoperate to eliminate data entry errors and redundancy, maximize staff time, improve patients’ experience with registration, and eliminate the use of paper in a dental practice. Patient Check In App, MacPractice Clipboard App and MacPractice iEDR App work in tandem to achieve those objectives. iEDR assists the dentist, hygienist and assistant to enter visit notes and to educate and motivate patients by showing them an X-Ray or photo displayed on an iPad they can hold in their hand.

The popularity of our iPad apps has exceeded our expectations. We have enabled connectivity with MacPractice for more than 500 of those are our clients who downloaded each of the apps from the App Store. The reviews we’ve received from both staff and patients are very positive.

Q: As always, a major hurdle for dentists interested in MacPractice is the assumed headache around data migration from their current PC system. How do you help practices jump this hurdle?

A: Our regional MacPractice Practice Consultants, most of whom have 20+ years of experience, are experts at getting a new practice up and running on the first day of training. The key to a successful start on a new software is timely and seamless data migration and competent on-site training. Some things have not changed in 30 years, and never will. Having assisted thousands of established dental practices over many years to abandon their PC and Unix software to move to Macs, we established a conversion team within MacPractice that is exclusively dedicated to the process. After a rehearsal in our office, we typically turn a data conversion around in a single day to avoid double data entry for the staff.

The reality is that many dentists stick with their vendor until cost or service becomes unbearable or until there is a Windows or software update that requires all new PC hardware. When they’re ready to switch, we’re here.


Patient Check In App

MacPractice Patient Check In App streamlines office workflow making it convenient for a patient to electronically “Check In” for an appointment scheduled in MacPractice DDS on an iPad or iPad mini at the office. Check In records the time, changes the appointment status to “Patient Checked In,” and every staff member is notified of the patient’s arrival at their MacPractice terminal.

Clipboard App

With MacPractice Clipboard App, staff can select registration forms for review and completion by patients before handing them an iPad or iPad mini at both initial and follow-up visits. Registration information entered into MacPractice DDS when the appointment was made can be verified or corrected by patients, and demographics, patient photo, and a signed HIPAA release are automatically sent to their account, saving staff time and eliminating entry errors. Clipboard templates can be customized. Data flows from Clipboard to MacPractice and to iEDR.




iEDR App with eRx

Using MacPractice iEDR, dentists, hygienists and assistants can create and view a patient’s visit notes and add new notes on an iPad or iPad mini for a current visit. All notes are incorporated into the patient’s record in ONC-ATCB Certified MacPractice DDS. Dentists can create and refill prescriptions electronically and view and show patient X-Rays and photos stored in MacPractice. iEDR interoperates with MacPractice DDS and also may be used remotely via the Internet to provide true portability to a dental practice.

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