How to choose the best dental software for your practice
Not all dental practice management software is the same. If you’re considering switching or opening a new dental practice, make sure you take the time to consider all options so that you choose the best system based on your needs.
Making the wrong choice based on short-term needs only can have a detrimental effect in the long term. And not switching if you are using the wrong software could cost you more in the long run and impede your business performance.
In this article:
On-boarding, training and ongoing support
When switching dental software, your first 12 months are critical to success. This is when staff need the most help with the new system and any system glitches or human errors have the most potential to throw your practice off track.
It’s important to consider how your dental software provider will support you during the first 12 months. Ask yourself (and your potential software provider) the following questions when shopping around:
How will I be supported during the first few months?
- Will I be assigned a support buddy when I switch?
- How is training delivered?
- How easy will it be to contact support when I need it?
A system’s amazing features are of little use if you and your staff are not supported to use them effectively.
Cost: upfront and ongoing
When you switch to a new dental software system there are likely to be upfront costs for switching as well as ongoing costs for support, training and software updates.
Beware of exclusions and additional costs you may incur that may not be included as part of your upfront or ongoing costs. Ongoing support typically includes protection against system issues, access to support, educational and training resources as well as access to software updates, new features and upgrade assistance. At Henry Schein One Australia and New Zealand, practices on a Service Level Agreement also get access to free business advice to help you grow revenue.
So, the question you need to ask yourself is if you need specific support that is outside of your agreement, what will that cost?
Size and reputation
It’s important to consider the reputation of the software provider when making the switch. Choosing a large, well-known company with offices around the world means more specialists are on hand to answer your questions and to get you set up properly. Plus a large and well-respected company has the benefit of many years of combined expertise.
The importance of a good reputation should speak for itself, but here are some important signs to look for when assessing reputation:
- Does the company have a reputation for technological innovation?
- Does your provider have a reputation for providing excellent customer service?
- Have they received any recent awards?
All of these factors play a part in how well your dental software provider can support you when you need it the most.
Security and compliance
Related to reputation is the issue of security and compliance. Dental practices deal with a lot of sensitive data every day and it’s essential to keep it safe.
Your software system should be secure from hacks and breakdowns to meet government compliance regulations, to safeguard your practice’s reputation and out of respect for your patients.
Benefits and not just features
Your new dental software system needs to actually solve your existing problems and improve your overall efficiency and productivity rather than maintain those problems with a different look.
When evaluating different software systems, ask whether the system will help:
- Deliver better clinical care with comprehensive charting and tools to enable clinicians
- Minimise lapsed patients and short notice cancellations with automated recalls and reminders
- Enable new and existing patients to book at anytime from anywhere, 24/7, with a fully integrated online booking system
- Better protect patients and staff with pre-screening of patients for COVID-19 prior to arrival
- Minimise patient anxiety with electronic pre-appointment forms to complete at home
- Improve the patient experience with self-check-in so that patients can remain socially distant upon arrival for an appointment
- Improve treatment acceptance and affordability with software integrations with partners such as Zip and AfterPay
- Make robust data-driven decisions with detailed reporting and dashboards
Henry Schein One provides industry-leading dental practice management software that will solve your practice’s problems. Find out more here.