There is good reason to argue that each and every team member is the most important part of your team. Having no weak links is the definition of a great team.
In almost every practice though there is a team member that is completely underutilized, this is your Dental Practice Software (DPS). Training on DPS is minimal at best and is only as good as the person who does the training, the trainer very often could have just figured out things on their own without any formal training, thereby missing many of the best features. If you were trained on the DPS ten years ago you likely haven’t learned any new features in the updates or you may have looked at them and not incorporated them into your day.
Your DPS is full of features that can make office management more effective and efficient. When offices complain that their software isn’t working for them or their reports aren’t accurate, it is almost always a case of user error. These complaints are a signal that the DPS hasn’t been populated in the manner necessary to collect and sort the information.
Your DPS (no matter the brand) will be able to provide you with the following basic information accurately:
- Every Patient who has diagnosed treatment that is not scheduled
- Every Patient who is due for a hygiene appointment and is not yet booked
- An audit for every patient appointment every day and any pertinent outstanding information or services that may be needed
- Production reports by procedure codes and production numbers
- Reports for all new patients added and their referral sources
- Reports for all patients inactivated and the reason they have left the practice
- Accurate Accounts Receivable Reports
Some DPS may have extra bells and whistles that will make your days easier such as already integrated patient messaging through emails or two-way texting, some also have intraoffice message systems so that you are able to communicate through the office with ease. Every one of these extras should be considered if changing your software, just because you have gotten along without these items for the last number of years doesn’t mean that they aren’t worth adding to your arsenal.
Many owners don’t even know the capabilities of their DPS and rely on the team to navigate and make the most of their software. Just as every dentist spends time on their CE, they should be spending time with their team updating their DPS skills. You don’t know what you are missing if you aren’t educated about what could be.
The efficiency with your DPS will make your team’s day easier once they learn to integrate any of the items that they have learned. Change always has a learning curve yet integrating areas of the software that you aren’t using will make a difference once it becomes a habit.
There is always the question looming; Which is the best DPS available? The answer is the one you use most effectively. There are many choices and you need to find the one that will best suit your practice needs, don’t just listen to the sales pitch, ask questions about recent updates and how often they add new features.
If you see your team using paper lists for contacting patients, binders filled stacks of paper then it likely means that they either don’t know how to use their DPS properly or there is user error and information isn’t correctly sorted. Both of these problems can easily be solved with coaching either from a practice management coach or a trainer from your DPS. Just because your team has figured out a workaround doesn’t mean that it is efficient or effective.
Thinking of your DPS as your Most Valuable Team Member will change how you look at the practice. Take the time, get the training and coaching and see how everyone’s day will feel easier.