Sep 14, 2022

12 Things to Look for in Dental Practice Management Software

Sarah Harris | Sep 14, 2022 | 7 min read

Information technology has become an integral part of our daily lives, and that’s especially true for small business owners. When your small business is a dental practice, you will need management software that will help you maximize the quality of care you provide to your patients.

The right software can help you stay competitive while promoting the efficient operation of your business. For this reason, buying software off a store shelf may not be the best option. Instead, you will want customized software that’s designed, installed, and maintained by a professional dental IT service.

When seeking out a software solution, consider these 12 important elements:

1. Strong Cybersecurity Technology

One of the first things you will want in your dental practice management program is a strong defense against cybercriminals.

Your system should guard against hacking, phishing scams, and other threats that might compromise your patients’ data. This consideration is especially important for dental and healthcare providers who have a legal obligation to keep patient records private.

Outsourcing to a third-party IT service is one of the best options because it gives you access to cybersecurity support. Even after they install your system, third-party dental service organizations (DSOs) will keep your operation up-to-date. Routine updating will ensure your practice is always using the best cybersecurity measures.

The third-party service will also make sure your staff is fully trained. A large part of protecting against threats involves keeping your employees aware of the tricks used to gain unauthorized access to your business. When your staff takes greater care in protecting your business, data breaches become far less likely.

2. Accessibility to Cloud Computing

If you own a practice with multiple locations, managing your business is easier with cloud computing. This approach allows you to store patient data and computer programs in your cloud account for use from any computer terminal with internet access.

When you offer certain dentistry services at different locations, you can use your cloud account to update patient records immediately. Even when you take on a new patient, receiving their records from another dentist is easier when that data goes into your cloud account.

3. Automation of Administrative Services

One hugely beneficial aspect of dental practice management software (PMS) is that administrative tasks get linked together.

For example, once services are complete, the charges for those services will instantly appear in the patient’s account. You can also set up payment request notifications that will be directly sent via email or SMS.

Automating your practice’s administrative tasks will also help patients interact with your business more efficiently.

They can set their own appointments via your website, and the appointments will appear in your digital calendar. A dental IT support service can easily integrate your customer-facing website with your management software to improve patient interactions.

4. Improved Filing Systems

You can work with a third-party IT service to set up a filing system that’s convenient for you. This approach might involve storing images, such as x-rays, in each patient’s file, or you might want a separate file for those images. Since the needs of a dental practice are unique, your IT specialist can help you design the system that works best for you.

This customization is especially beneficial when you need to store clinical charts, prescriptions, billing info, and other data. You’ll want all of this information available in each patient’s file, but you might not want them all lumped together in a single folder.

An IT technician can design a directory of files that keeps everything linked together yet ensures the security of every folder.

5. Support When You Need It

When you buy business management software from a store, you may only be able to reach their customer support hotline during normal business hours. Additionally, you may need more personal attention than you can get over the phone.

Since your dental practice may be open in the evenings or on weekends, this limited availability of support can become a problem.

When you work with a dental IT service, you’ll have access to more personalized attention. You can call for local dental IT support whenever you may need it, and the third-party service will send help to you. They will help you resolve your IT issue as quickly as possible to keep your practice operating efficiently.

6. Inventory Notifications

Running out of supplies in your dental practice can prevent you from treating patients. You will find that it’s easier to maintain a full inventory when you use fully integrated management software. As your inventory gets low, you can set up notifications to let you know when it’s time to reorder supplies.

A fully automated system orders supplies without waiting for a staff member to act on a notification. This setup eliminates human error and ensures you will receive a new batch of supplies on time. Your system can link to the systems used by your suppliers and distributors for even more efficient inventory management.

7. Unlimited Access

Office efficiency can be compromised when multiple people in the office need access to the same patient’s file. This overlap is a common problem for dentistry offices that are still using paper files.

Switching to dental practice management software will eliminate this situation. Accounting personnel can easily update patient records as you’re accessing those same records to complete a different task.

You can also use the software to control who can access patient files. Your IT service can show you how to grant access to a new employee and revoke access from a former employee. The authorization protocols in your software application will increase office efficiency by ensuring that your practice is more secure.

8. Easy Integration with Imaging Equipment

Make sure the IT service you decide to hire can integrate your customized management software with the digital imaging machines in your office.

This integration will make it easy for you to transfer x-rays and other images directly into a patient’s file. Rather than having to download the images or print them for storage in a hard file, you can instantly transfer them.

9. Faster Claims Processing

Management software for your dental office can help eliminate one of the biggest headaches healthcare providers face.

Processing insurance claims is necessary for the treatment of your patients, but it’s also a tedious process. Your staff spends a large chunk of their time filling out forms that must go to insurance companies before your office can receive payment.

Fully-integrated management software makes it easier to process insurance claims by automatically filling out the necessary forms. All your staff will have to do will be to read through the forms for accuracy.

After approving each form, the correct insurance provider can receive it. In addition to saving your practice time, this will help you get those claims processed more efficiently.

10. Collection of Data for Analytics

Ask your dental IT provider to set up a system for collecting and analyzing the data that your work generates. This information gets used in a variety of ways to help you improve the patient care and office efficiency of your practice.

A variety of sources, such as patient care files and vendor delivery records, give you a complete picture of your practice. Once the data gets organized into easy-to-read documents, it can help you determine how to cut spending, improve your marketing campaigns, or provide a higher level of care.

For example, data analytics can tell you how much revenue your dental hygienist generates. This information can help you decide whether to reduce their working hours or change how they provide their services.

11. Better Employee Training

Ask your IT service provider if they offer training services for new employees. Many companies do provide this type of training to ensure new personnel are comfortable with the use of your system.

They may also provide you with training materials, such as videos or pamphlets, which can help employees refresh their understanding of the software.

As the system gets updated, employees should learn about any new changes to the management software. This updating might require a training session organized by the IT team that services your system. Your employees should also feel encouraged to reach out to the IT professionals with questions and concerns.

12. A Good Reputation Among Past Customers

Before you choose an IT service to design and implement your dental practice’s software, research their history. The best way to do this is by looking at the reviews left by past customers. Search online for customer reviews and ask for referrals to past or current customers.

As you look through reviews, keep in mind that every business will have some negative reviews. However, there should be a higher number of positive reviews with customers pointing out the ways in which the company exceeded their expectations.

If you’re having trouble picking an IT company to design your software, reading customer reviews can help you make that final decision.

Get a Free Quote Today

Zenith Dental IT offers the administrative support software your practice needs. When you visit our contact us page, you can request a quote for the services you need to run your practice more efficiently.


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