The age of technology is upon us. The leviathan processing power of modern computers and even our mobile phones absolutely dwarfs the paltry offerings of early designs, and businesses everywhere are responding by digitising their management structures in one way or another. The field of medicine is no stranger to technological innovation either. If it were, doctors would still be using rocks and leeches to cure the common cold or blaming stomach aches on bad spirits. Medicine has always—and sometimes literally—been at the cutting edge of new technology. What modern surgeon could do without their ultra-sharp stainless steel scalpel or laser cutter?
Although the technological developments pertaining to medicine have been a great boon for surgery, diagnosis and treatment, the fact remains that running your own practice is, effectively, the operation of a business. Your services, needs and clients may differ quite drastically from those of the grocer or baker down the road, but a dental practice is a business nonetheless, and many of the minutiae of the business must be streamlined so you can get on with mending your patients’ oral health.
At a minimum, it’s likely that your dental practice employs a receptionist. Perhaps your practice has grown considerably over the past few years, and you’ve needed to take on assistants and additional administrative staff. When it was just you operating in the practice, you could remain abreast of your patients and their needs all by yourself, but as you’ve grown, you need to have easily accessible patient records available at all times. What’s more, unless you’re extremely fortunate, your reception staff are more than likely not to be trained dentists, and they will need to be using a system that they can understand just as well as you can. Dental practice management software, like any new technology in the world of medicine, should be designed based on years of analysis and research, helping you to organise the mundane aspects of your dental practice and allowing you to provide the best possible service to your invaluable patients.
Once upon a time, this meant keeping mountains of paperwork on site, with records occupying space that could better be used to service your patients or store valuable dental instruments. Fortunately, modern computer software is available that can play the role of extensive patient file storage, in addition to many others. For example, software with an automated Recall Manager can manage your phone calls, texts, emails and even manual post to improve workflow within your dental practice. Similarly, the latest in Utilisation Manager software can help you to make the most of your available surgery time, recognising when an appointment is booked for a predetermined number of days in the future. The software then prompts the receptionist to ask the patient if they’d like an earlier appointment should one arise. If they say yes, the patient is moved to a short-notice list, full of names and contact information of the patients ideally suited to fill any unexpected gaps in your schedule.