Imagine you're printing out a prescription for Colgate® PreviDent® 5000 Booster Plus on your current dental Practice Management Program (PMP), but you need to refer to the patient's chart to verify the patient's medical history. Dental hygienists need a seamless work flow that makes it easy to jump from one section of the patient's chart to another. You rely on your software dozens of times for each patient, every day.
Although a few PMPs have led the market over the past two decades, advancements in technology, security and web-based cloud systems are changing the way dental offices get the job done. According to Dentistry IQ, many current systems make it difficult to integrate patient data or navigate the program altogether. But new technologies can help.
If you're currently shopping the PMP market or looking for a change, here are four dental practice management programs that may change the way you look at office software.
Viive is a clean platform that's both fast and responsive, with a simple layout and a work flow that's focused on your patients. It is part of the Henry Schein product line, so you can expect it to integrate well with Dentrix for imaging needs, too. Mac users can breathe easy: The Viive PMP was designed by dentists to operate on Mac OS. But unfortunately, the downside is that it's not compatible with PC operating systems like Windows.
No matter what device you're on, the cloud-based Dental Practice Pro gives you access to everything when and where you need it. It's a Dentrix partner and is capable of integrating with Eaglesoft, OpenDental and SoftDent. Because your data is in the cloud, it can be used on any operating system. You can easily load your information from a mobile device such as an iPhone because Dental Practice Pro is optimized for your smaller screen and convenient navigation. While this flexibility is great, cloud-based systems have a learning curve for some users, so be sure to do your research and check in with your fellow staff before making the investment.
Some people prefer basic programs that are only there for the essentials. Open Dental is a simple program that gives you what you need, without overwhelming you with all the bells and whistles. It boasts an appointment book, patient chart, basic documents and account management. The biggest plus is that there's a variety of language packs available for an office meeting multicultural needs.
As a cloud-based PMP, DentiDesk securely stores all of your information on its servers. It can be used on the following operating systems: Windows, Mac and Linux. The program offers basic patient management including billing, prescriptions, clinical notes, reports and an appointment book. Patients enjoy the freedom to confirm their appointments with a single click.
It's important to remember that if you're choosing a web- or cloud-based PMP that you also need to have a reliable internet provider. An internet outage will knock you offline and may mean you have to wait to complete tasks such as writing up patient notes or accepting payments. Tried and true systems such as Dentrix, Easy Dental and Eaglesoft remain some of the most user-friendly PMPs on the market. But if you're looking for something different, you may want to look at these other programs.
- Web- and cloud-based PMPs can be used on multiple devices in multiple locations.
- Streamlined programs eliminate excessive buttons or options that may be confusing.
- The growing use of other operating systems (Mac and Linux) has created a demand for alternatives to Windows.
Dental practice management software is an essential part of every facet of care that dental hygienists provide each day. If you're looking for a change or alternative to Windows-based software, it's worth looking into some of the newer ones available on the market.