New Technology Hinges on Practice Management Software

While new technology is exciting, if it does not integrate with your current practice software, you may not see an adequate return on investment. New technologies all build upon well-developed practice management software. You might be considering becoming a paperless practice with check-in kiosks, or you may just want to utilize social media marketing and recall services. You might be updating diagnostic technology to digital radiography, intraoral cameras, and 3D cone beams, or helping patients to visualize post-treatment appearances with instant cosmetic simulation. Knowing what third party technologies integrate with your core practice software will simplify the selection and integration process. On the flipside, if you have not updated your hardware in ten years and you’re still running Windows 2000, many new technologies will not integrate.

As more technology is integrated in a dental office, secure backups become ever more critical. A business grade server, RAID card storage technology, multiple hard drives, and a consistent backup system are necessary. Even with backup protocols in place, the author of the article summarized here, a dentist and dental technology consultant, estimates that 80% of backups fail in new practices he is working with. Eighty percent!

Downtime while backups are reloaded also results in a disruption in business continuity. A system should be in place to constantly and automatically copy and store practice data, and send it to cloud-based storage where it can be immediately accessed in the event of a local power outage.

By maintaining an up-to-date practice management system that plays well with other software and a fail-safe backup and business continuity protocol, you are positioned to adopt new dental technologies that patients and standards of practice demand.

Lessons Learned:

  • Maintain up-to-date dental practice management software with a historical commitment to compatibility with emerging technology.
  • When considering new dental technology, make sure it integrates with your current practice system.
  • As you incorporate new dental technology, evaluate backup protocols. A system of automatic backup and transfer of data to cloud-based storage is ideal.

Hinman, Paul (2012, July 6). The complete guide to simplifying your practice’s transition to paperless. Dental Products Report.