by Andy Jensen
One of the five lifestyle attributes that really matter, as proposed by Dr. Frank I. Luntz in his book What Americans Really Want ... Really, is more choices. Now, when Dr. Luntz speaks of more choices, he is not talking about choosing between more iPhone colors or more suitable choices on match.com. Dr. Luntz is referring to our desire to be free when it comes to choices, plain and simple.
"For most Americans," Dr. Luntz writes, "denying the right to choose or seeming to limit choice is akin to denying life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Conversely, selling the right to choose or seeming to expand choice is an embrace of the American ethos."
With your "right to choose" being as American as apple pie, then perhaps leveraging the cloud to manage the dental practice is the patriotic thing to do! How so? Being able to access your practice information when and where you want is a fine example of expanding choice. In this respect, the cloud delivers marvelously.
With the cloud, you can choose to view your schedule while waiting for a table at your favorite café. You can choose to review a patient's X-rays and notes while lying in bed. You can choose to celebrate production numbers while waiting for the turkey to cook at Grandma's house. You can choose to complete progress notes after the kids are down for the night.
Choice is a major contributor to a satisfactory work style by giving you the option to work when and where you please. Of course, practicing dentistry outside the office is difficult; however, managing the practice outside the office is a cakewalk with cloud-based software. Being able to move management time around lets you maximize "me time" or "family time." For example, full-time doctors who are also full-time parents can get home sooner to spend time with the kids ... simply by moving the typical end-of-day review to a later hour, after the kids are down for the night.
Not only does the cloud expand choice, the cloud expands choice on a silver platter. The experience of reviewing a case in bed or running a production report at Grandma's house is just as smooth as if you were in the office. Because you're accessing the same data in the same manner, you have access to all of your patient data, including X-rays, intraoral photographs, pans, and scanned documents. The only change in experience is geography.
Here's another way to put it. Whether you're at Grandma's house or in the office, you have the same experience (assuming Grandma is up-to-date on her Internet connection so she can keep up with the grandkids on Facebook and Twitter).
Unlike old-fashioned software - the kind that you actually have to install, maintain, upgrade, and back up - the cloud doesn't require bolt-on, after-market gizmos to deliver accessibility. Some doctors who use older management software in their practices use after-market software to access data from home. However, this software setup requires additional costs to use, configure, and maintain.
The user experience with after-market software is less than satisfactory for three key reasons: first, you're confined to the hardware upon which you installed the after-market communications software; second, the software seems slow and clunky, such as when there is a delay between when you click on something and when you get a response; and third, more than likely you'll need assistance from an IT pro to configure the software so that it performs as advertised. For these reasons, the cloud is a clear winner in delivering a satisfactory user experience.
Dr. Luntz identified five lifestyle attributes that really matter. While one is more choices, the others are more money, fewer hassles, more time, and no worries. Cloud-based dental software, such as the kind Curve Dental provides, delivers all five attributes. For more information and to view a recent webinar on this topic, visit www.curvedental.com/attributes.
Andy Jensen is the chief marketing officer for Curve Dental Inc., a developer of cloud-based dental software based in Orem, Utah. Jensen has 20 years of experience in the dental software market. Email him at [email protected].