dental software training Tag Archive

Dental software management

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Getting the Most “Mileage” from Your Dental Practice Management Software

Describing practice management (PM) software as “state-of-the-art” is common. What’s not so common is using it to its full potential.

Any substantial technology can easily lure you into a usage “rut.” The best PM software packages include companies like (ACE Dental, Dentimax, Dentrix, Eaglesoft, Open Dental, Denticon, etc.) contain a myriad of features some of which are core functionalities (scheduling, appointment tracking, insurance claim management, paperless record keeping, secure cloud-based storage and access, patient communication, etc.) that “boot up” automatically the first time you use the software. Those capabilities may be so superior to what you had before that exploration of valuable additional features may fall by the wayside. Here’s how to get out of that rut.

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How to kick start a new system at your office

staff-training

Only One is Good

There are three possible outcomes when adding technology to the office only one of which is good.

One: The office buys a new high tech system then throws team members at it with little or no training and no plan for implementation. This all too common approach almost always results in frustrated staff and wasted money.

Two: The dental office spends the money to buy a technology system then spends additional time and money training a staff person to use it. The staff person clings to the old way of doing things, fails to implement the system and blames the technology for the failure. She is the wrong person for the job and either quits or even worse stays in place like a roadblock preventing things from progressing. The result again is frustrated staff and wasted money.

Three: The dental office buys the system, sets up multiple training sessions, develops protocols to use it effectively and engages team members to use the system, learn and get better. The result is faster better service, decreased costs and happy staff.

The determining factor in our three outcomes is not the technology – the stuff. It is the people using it – the staff. How they are trained, how the office explains the benefits of the technology and helps the team learn makes the difference.

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Prioritize Vendor Training for ROI

software ROI
Training from your software vendor is a crucial step to successful use and ROI on software investments. In my experience, many practices, especially small ones, think that they can read the manual and self-train and get the benefits of their software. However, many times dissatisfaction with software is actually a lack of training. Many practices don’t use all the relevant features, or use them wrongly, and therefore spend much more time and effort on tasks than needed.

When selecting software, asking around is a common method to figure out if software will work for you. Talking to other users, checking references and finding out about the user experience is valuable.  However, dentists need to recognize that few dental practices prioritize vendor training and make the most of it. Further, at any particular software vendor, there may be several trainers and there may have been changes/upgrades in software. Furthermore, practices that use a software may have purchased the wrong software or not allowed enough time for their own training.

In addition, training from a vendor is the first step in a two-way relationship. Establishing the importance of the software in daily work is necessary both internally to the practice and to create a channel of communication with the vendor. Ideally, a practice has selected the best software for their needs, and will use that software for years to come. To build a strong, ongoing relationship, practices need to treat vendor training as a mechanism for setting up communication channels, providing feedback and important information. The trainer often becomes the go-to person, the key link in the communication chain for practices to understand upgrades, communicate unique needs and problems, and receive important information from the vendor.

Using your software fully demands deep knowledge, and trainers can provide personalized information about the nuances and features. Communicate with the vendor and trainer; don’t suffer in silence, and don’t expect the vendor to read your mind.

In small and large practices, the organization must value the training and be committed—even if that is hard to do. Treat training as an obligation and an opportunity that you have paid for.

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