How striving for innovation has helped this practice provide superior patient care [VIDEO]

June 13, 2013

The right technologies and product mix are instrumental to any successful practice, whether you’ve been practicing for years or just opened a new office.

The right technologies and product mix are instrumental to any successful practice, whether you’ve been practicing for years or just opened a new office.

Find out how Patterson Dental helped one dentist create a high-tech practice with a focus on superior patient care, after he came out of retirement.

In 2007, Dr. James Jenkins decided it was time to live a more carefree life. So after 22 years as a dentist, he sold his Atlanta, Ga.- based practice and moved to Bluffton, S.C., where he and his wife could enjoy a more laid-back, worry-free lifestyle.

It didn’t take long, about six months, for Dr. Jenkins to decide he needed to get back to work. He enjoyed his new home and the lifestyle it offered, but missed that daily interaction with patients. He tried working for another dentist, but found that wasn’t what he wanted either. He needed his own space, with his own team and his own patients.

In 2009, just when it looked like he might have to start from scratch, he came across a prosthodontics practice that was about to go on the market and made an offer. The practice was in great shape with a comfortable atmosphere that would draw patients in-all he needed was the right technology and the right team.

As Dr. Jenkins began to equip his office, he knew it was important to include the latest, most up-to-date technologies proven to enhance patient care.

Every product decision Dr. Jenkins made back then and today is based on how a product will improve patient care and practice efficiencies. If he finds something that does both, he wants to make it part of his practice.

He prides himself on staying on the leading edge, and incorporating technologies like Schick sensors, CEREC chairside CAD/CAM, Orthophos XG 3D for implant placement, CAESY Patient Education videos, Eaglesoft Practice Management Software and RevenueWell Patient Communications Suite into his practice has kept him there.

Technology improves patient education

Dr. Jenkins used Schick digital sensors for years in his Atlanta practice, and said digital radiography was a must-have technology for his post-retirement practice, Bluffton Dental Care. This timesaving, efficient technology takes patient education to another level, giving patients a degree of understanding they wouldn’t get from traditional film x-ray.

“I am more comfortable talking with the patient when we’re both looking at something. If I don’t have something to show them and I am just talking, I don’t think that’s a very effective way to educate the patient as to what their needs are,” he said.

“I like to have them see what I see. ... It makes a big difference. When patients can see a condition in their mouth like we see it, they’re just blown away.”

Dr. Jenkins and his team also rely on Patterson’s CAESY patient education to ensure patients really understand the recommended treatment and why it’s important for their overall health. The team at Bluffton Dental Care focuses on the entire person, not just the tooth, and the comprehensive education CAESY provides helps get that message across.

“CAESY shows the patient the whole procedure and answers the questions. It makes it very clear,” Dr. Jenkins said. “Some of our patients come in not really understanding that they can have a root canal versus having a tooth extracted for instance. When they see that video and understand there’s a possibility to keep their tooth, it’s like wow, I can’t believe that I can do that.

“Then it’s not even a question. It’s not the money-no one ever took the time to explain to them that they could keep their teeth and not have them extracted.”

Enhanced patient communication

A few years ago, the team at Bluffton Dental Care began looking for a patient communication system to improve patient interactions. They chose RevenueWell because of its features and flexibility, and Office Manager Trish Lewis Clark said not only do patients love it, she no longer has to spend her day calling patients and creating mass patient e-mails.

Patients can log into their accounts any time, and can customize what communications they receive from the practice and how they receive them. If an appointment time opens up, RevenueWell, using information from Eaglesoft, sends out a text to a short list of patients, and from there patients actually text the practice back asking to take the appointment time-a win/win for both the practice and the patients.

RevenueWell has made my life so much easier as a team coordinator and a business manager,” she said. “Having products that work hand-in-hand makes my day flow much better.”

A philosophy of care

Whenever a patient comes to Bluffton Dental Care, he or she leaves with a full treatment plan for all their dental needs.

The team explains that treatment can be done in phases, which can make it a little less overwhelming for patients and makes it more feasible for them to accept treatment.

They take the time to really show patients what’s going on in their mouth to help them understand why it’s important to go forward with treatment. They go over payment options, scheduling, how the treatment will be done, how long it will take and how the treatment relates to their overall oral health goals-everything patients need to know to make an informed decision about what’s best for their health.

Dr. Jenkins uses Patterson’s Eaglesoft as another patient education tool during treatment presentation. He puts clinical photos into a PowerPoint slideshow that he imports into Eaglesoft. Patients can see what their teeth look like now and what they’ll look like after treatment. It’s a powerful tool.

A team effort

No matter what technology Dr. Jenkins decides to add to the practice, it’s important for his team to be on board. They need to understand the technology and how it benefits the practice, and truly support him in making the product a success. That’s why training the team on every new technology is so important to Dr. Jenkins.

They take pride in that knowledge and use it to provide the best care possible.

The right products are key to quality care, as is having a team that’s passionate about those products. Dr. Jenkins has surrounded himself with team members who share his philosophy of whole-person care, and Patterson Dental has helped move his practice forward by providing innovative products that make that level of care possible. He wanted to create a high-tech practice where patients feel comfortable and trust in the care they receive, a practice he can feel good about. That’s why he came out of retirement.

“I want to provide high quality dentistry,” he said. “I want to do it at a fair fee. I want it to be esthetic. I want to use more modern materials. I like to be on the cutting edge of what technologies are out there.”

High-tech products at Bluffton Dental Care

Eaglesoft Practice Management Software eaglesoft.net

Eaglesoft Version 16 comes with many features designed to make using the software and running a practice easier.

One important update from the previous version is the line-item accounting feature, which allows the user to apply a payment directly to a specific line item. This allows users to group related services and payments, making the user’s account ledger easier to manage. User interface upgrades include customizable windows and dockable panels that let the user choose how much information to display on the Account, Appointment and OnSchedule windows, as well as where to place the information within those windows. The Patient Bar lets the user quickly access patient-specific information from a toolbar with customizable icons. To help streamline the practice, Eaglesoft also has the ability to process a walkout for all family members at once when they are in the office on the same day-all on one receipt.

[ Read Applying Eaglesoft .16 in your practice ]

CAESY Cloud Patient Education Systemscaesy.com

CAESY Patient Education Systems is now online via CAESY Cloud, offering instant access to more than 250 multimedia presentations and access to patient education resources from multiple locations within the practice. New videos and features are frequently posted. No installation and no network connections between participating computers are required. It is PC and Mac compatible, including iPads, iPhones and smartphones. A monthly subscription fee is charged.

RevenueWell Patient Communications Suiterevenuewell.com

Using information from a dental practice’s existing practice management software - such as Eaglesoft - the RevenueWell online practice marketing and patient communications software suite communicates with patients to provide them with 24-7 access to their accounts. Practices can collect online patient reviews, request referrals and establish and maintain their profiles across more than 100 online destinations.

Orthophos® XG 3Dsirona.com

This 2D/3D hybrid system provides the clinical workflow advantages of both while emitting the lowest possible effective dose for the patient. The 3D function allows for increased diagnostic accuracy when it’s needed for: implants; surgical procedures; volumetric imaging of jaws, sinuses, and other dental anatomy; 8x8 cm volumes (5.5 x 8 cm collimated volume) with MARS; automatic sensor rotation between 2D and 3D; 5.5 x 5 cm HD module with MARS; OPTIGUIDE and CEREC Guide for simplified implantology. For standard 2D images, it offers: comprehensive panoramic and cephalometric selections; automatic patient positioning; HiDef sensor with ASTRA for 2D images with optimal clarity; sinus, TMJ and extraoral bitewing options and many more.

Sirona Dental System’s CEREC AC cereconline.com

helps dentists harness the full potential of digital impression-taking. Thanks to Bluecam, capturing half-arch impressions in 40 seconds and full-arch impressions in 2 minutes and then creating multi-unit restorations of the highest esthetic quality is possible. CEREC AC provides a balance of speed, ease of use and precision for both chairside CAD/CAM applications as well as stand-alone digital impressions for use with CEREC Connect labs nationwide.