-Quick announcement: Today, we're kicking off a series of blog posts focusing on particular business sectors and how they relate to IT. Our first set of blogs will focus on dental practices. Watch out for more announcements in future posts.
At the end of June, Dentistry Today, the popular online trade magazine, interviewed Mike Baird, the CEO of Henry Schein One, which provides a variety of software products for dental practices. The interview highlights some of the features of Henry Schein One's software, especially as it relates to data analytics. "We're seeing across all industries, in healthcare and otherwise, that data is the foundation for the way that we do business," Baird says in the interview. He goes on to state that good software can help practices "analyze their own data to see what's happened in the past, what's...going to happen in the future, and start to make informed decisions."
But what is data analytics, and what does it mean for dentists?
An Intro to Analytics
Data analytics refers to any systematic analysis of stats and figures, usually using computer software. Many consumer software packages, like MS Office's Excel, have data analytic capabilities, albeit ones that require training and patience to use in a professional context. Analytics are useful for assessing many different kinds of information as they relate to dental practices--revenue tracking and profitability, rates of patient attendance, marketing, communication with customers, as well as health trends for both individual patients and groups of patients over time.
Many dental practice management platforms have built-in features for data analytics, and they frequently sport user-interfaces that are more straight-forward than a generalized consumer program like Excel. For instance, Dentrix, one of the most well known dental practice management software platforms, allows practices to manage and analyze everything from billing to continuing patient care to case load to communication to new patient analysis, not to mention the ever-important figures relating to revenue stream and cash flow.
What to Look For in a Dental Practice Management Platform
Firstly, we recommend that the platform be cloud-based. Cloud-based platforms offload the maintenance of hardware to the service provider, freeing you up to concentrate on your business. Moreover, cloud-based systems are easier to implement; anyone in your office can access the system if they have reliable internet access. Cloud-based systems are also much easier to keep updated, as the software provider can push out updates systematically and automatically. This not only allows you to have the newest features but also ensures your security protocols are up-to-date.
Secondly, the platform should centralize all of the operations of your business. This includes office management, clinical practice, billing, communications and, of course, data analytics. It's much easier to implement a single platform that contains all of these things than multiple platforms from multiple providers, which may or may not be compatible. Not to mention that it will save you from having to pay for multiple services.
Lastly, the ability to integrate with other software products is a must. There are a plethora of practice management platforms out there, but what distinguishes dental software from other sectors is that many companies have gone out of their way to ensure compatibility across brands. Two of Titan Tech's supported dental management platforms, Dentrix and Eaglesoft, support integrations with other software, as does Henry Schein One. Software integration allows you to easily move data from an older platform onto a newer one. It also streamlines coordinated care with both other dental professionals and new patients. Software integrations ensure that patients can go anywhere and immediately transfer their information to a new provider.
Whether you're looking to improve patient care or increase your profit margins, a dedicated IT team like Titan Tech can help you shop for and implement the right practice management software for your office. We can also train you in the use of a platform's analytics features to help you achieve your goals. If you would like to learn more, fill out our contact form here to schedule a consultation.
And stay tuned for more tech news.