Friend or Foe: How Do You Feel About Your Practice Management Software?

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Are you taking advantage of all your practice management software’s features? Does your software foster at-a-glance comprehension, or is it so cluttered and cumbersome that key features are hard to find and frustrating to use?

At the core of successfully operating and growing your group practice is a high-functioning practice management system. But so often, group practices start compiling a hodgepodge of software platforms as they scale and build their own software suite. As they onboard new team members, training becomes challenging, maintaining multiple platforms is complex, and upgrading and maintaining different local servers and trying to connect them together centrally can cause a significant headache. You should not be working for your software—your software should be working for you.

Innovation in software has allowed unprecedented growth in businesses. In fact, studies show that 15.4 percent of increased labor productivity in the United States is directly attributed to the use of software.1 While software has been known to add productivity and scalability across all business segments, the Digital Dentist, Dr. Lorne Lavine, claims that only 5-10 percent of the features within practice management software are utilized in the average DSO2. All too often, practice management systems are built without focusing on a practice’s daily workflow. Software companies often add unnecessary features and clutter to the user interface, making traditional practice management software cumbersome. As a result, DSOs fail to train their teams on an entire software package and only focus on key features. In turn, up to 95 percent of the platform’s benefits go totally untouched by the practice.

Replicating processes in new locations inevitably will come with challenges based on different team members, cultural differences, physical workflow and patient base, to name just a few. No matter how extensive your training or how thorough your checklists are, complexities arise as a multi-location practice expands its reach. In his book, The Checklist Manifesto, Atul Gawande makes the case for the critical nature of checklists in life. One of the key reasons, he explains, is that “The volume and complexity of what we know has exceeded our individual ability to deliver its benefits correctly, safely, or reliably.”

Utilizing a platform that brings in key analytics alleviates an incredible burden for group practice leaders. As locations increase, the ability to have centralized access to data and numbers as well as the confidence that your team members in offices are operating clearly within your organization’s culture and boundaries is a cornerstone of successful growth. Implementing a cloud-based, software-as-a-service (SaaS) practice management platform enhances patient care and simplifies your workflow. Further, the right practice management platform can give you the business insights necessary to understand your group practice’s strengths and opportunities from a 30,000-foot view, as well as drill down into the micro-analytics at an individual site level to take decisive actions towards making your practice more profitable



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