Transition to Paperless

Private dental practices have more options when it comes to transitioning to electronic health records (EHRs). They can start with practice management software and slowly add more software and peripherals as needed. Going paperless all at once could have disastrous effects especially if you are delivering patient care at the same time. The office staff could have a meltdown.

Dr. Ryan Brown, a pediatric dentist with a practice in Prescott, Arizona, offers three suggestions:

“Create treatment plans from within your software, go digital with your xrays, and use some type of digital document software” (2011).

He also says:

“For a real productivity boost, combine your practice management software with a digital X-ray system. Using these two systems together lets you view digital X-rays while treatment planning-at the same time” (2011).

There are many practice management software programs and vendors as well as digital radiology systems. It’s possible to create an EHR system that is tailor-made to fit your practice. Transitioning to an EHR system from a paper-based takes time to become efficient.

Lessons learned:

  • Practice management software and digital x-ray systems can be combined for greater efficiency in patient care.
  • Digital document software will help in organizing and digitizing paper into the EHR.
  • Transition to EHR incrementally.
  • Tailor the system to the needs of the practice.
  • Treatment planning is easier with the appropriate software.


Brown, R. S. (2011, Aug). Going paperless: one step at a time. Dental Economics, 101 (8); 80.