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Software improves the PMS space with its scalability and easy-to-use interface.
When James Lowder, DDS, and his partner were searching for the right practice management software (PMS) for their newly opened dental practice, Southern Roots Dentistry, in 2017, they needed something scalable that could still be tailored to what they and their patients needed. “We really wanted to have a product that was going to be forward-thinking and modern [and] could grow with us and our business,” Dr Lowder says. “And so we knew that it was going to be a cloud-based product.”
The cloud was a key component for Dr Lowder when making this decision, and a Patterson representative helped him find Fuse. “We have a really close relationship with Patterson [representatives] here in our area. They’re great,” he says.
“I knew that I could trust the product because it was a Patterson product and because of our close relationships with our [representatives] here. We trust them, we value them, and I know that they have our best interests in mind. I knew what it was going to be, and what I loved about it is that they were jumping on board with us.”
Finding Their Footing With Fuse
Southern Roots Dentistry began beta-testing Fuse in February 2018, and they found great features and unique scalability that made it a perfect fit for their single practice at the time. The beta testing allowed Dr Lowder and his team to give feedback, making them an important part of Fuse’s journey. This feedback allowed Patterson to home in on key features that would eventually benefit every dental practice that uses Fuse.
Because Southern Roots Dentistry was a single location and a relatively new dental practice, Fuse and Patterson’s features allowed them to solidify the foundation of practice management, including billing and payments. “At that time, we only had 1 location. We were cleaning teeth ourselves. We were learning how to do all the things as far as running a business but also treating patients at the same time. We were handling all the ins and outs of it, so we had to get a good understanding of what it meant to collect payments, what it meant to send insurance, what it meant to schedule appointments,” Dr Lowder says. “We had to ask: What are our pain points? What are the areas that we want to improve so that we can provide better service for our patients and have a better product that [is] easy for us to use day in and day out?”
Fuse addressed these questions for Southern Roots Dentistry and other practices with its variety of key features. Its interface centralizes appointment scheduling, insurance billing, and business performance reporting, allowing clinicians to have a 1-stop location for important patient information.
Connectivity Is Key
One key feature of Fuse that was notable for Southern Roots Dentistry was its connectivity. Planning from the start to expand, Dr Lowder and his partner knew they needed a PMS that could grow with them and was not restricted to a single desktop.
“What I love about is that it can really help grow a single practice. You don’t have to have 1 million practices to have Fuse,” he says. “It’s just a great product for a single location. But if you are looking to grow, it allows you to have that growth and allows you to have your multilocation patient base, all within 1 system.”
This patient base makes it easier to keep track of the dental practice’s growing base of patients. There is 1 patient health record that allows for scheduling across multiple locations. So if a patient calls a different office from the one they receive care at, it’s a nonissue, according to Dr Lowder. “The software can help us handle that patient’s issue or help them with whatever they need,” he says. “For example, it can help them schedule an appointment without having to say, ‘You called the wrong office; call this one instead.’ It just allows us to elevate the patient experience.”
Not only is the patient experience elevated, but the user interface provides a clean and clear guide for practitioners and dental staff. A key point of interest for anyone looking to expand their dental practice is the usability of the PMS and its accessibility for new employees when onboarding.
Dr Lowder found Fuse’s interface clean, esthetically pleasing, and easy to navigate. “If you’re dealing with a jumbled mess, it [affects] your workflow and your ability to think about what you’re doing. So having a clean product with clean aesthetics is really helpful,” he says.
Client Support in All Regards
Patterson provides real-time support for Fuse, with a team of technology experts who can assist when needed. Each dental practice is assigned a customer success manager, tailoring the onboarding and training experience to the practice’s needs. This kind of hands-on customer support helped Dr Lowder and his team craft the perfect PMS plans for the practice.
Dr Lowder says the way Patterson listens to their specific needs is one of his favorite things about choosing Fuse. “It’s not specifically a feature, but it’s the fact that they listen,” he says. “We have these product owners and the developers [who] are building this product, and they listen to the things that we want and listen to the things that we need.”
Additionally, feedback can be continuous between Patterson and the practice.
Onboarding is also made smoother by this optimization, allowing new employees to become familiar with systems and ensuring support is available on-call or via live chat for questions. In-office and web trainings are also available. Serving the practice means the practice doesn’t have to worry about a jumbled or outdated PMS, freeing up time to better serve patients.
Fuse fits any dental practice, whether it’s a single location or growing practice. Its variety of features can be custom fit to suit specific needs in different practices. As needs and technology grow and change in the dental industry, Fuse’s continuously improving platform and ease of use can provide just the right system for evolving dental professionals.
Dr Lowder believes Fuse can be a great boon for any kind of dental practice and is excited to see where the product will go in the future. According to Dr Lowder, its customizability and scalability set it apart from the crowd. “That’s one of the biggest reasons why I love it. It’s tailored to fit you,” he says.