By James W. Ramey
Practices that thrive in today's ultra-competitive environment use software that meets all their financial requirements and handles their scheduling and clinical needs. But the new reality is, practice-management software alone is not enough and represents only half of the technology ingredients to make a practice successful. Staying competitive now requires a state-of-the-art digital X-ray system to accompany the practice-management software.
Where do you get these two important technology tools? Many doctors simply purchase the same practice-management software they learned as an associate dentist and then, later on, tack on a digital sensor system that they purchase from a different vendor. This may be an easy route to follow, but is it the best?
Rather than dealing with two separate systems from different companies, a truly integrated system from one source makes more sense (think Apple®). Only a handful of companies offer this kind of true, fully integrated sensor/practice-management system. DentiMax is one of them.
Consider the benefits that a truly integrated practice-management/digital imaging system has to offer:
- No more worrying about the "bridge" breaking -- With an integrated system, the link between imaging and charting is automatic and built in with no need for a third-party bridge between the two systems. This eliminates any possibility of the bridge failing. More importantly, you will never have to play the "blame game" between your sensor and practice-management companies.
- Create treatment plans and view X-rays from the same screen -- By tightly integrating your digital X-rays with the charting screen, you can easily create treatment plans and view digital X-rays from a single screen. Simply click on a tooth in the charting screen to instantly see all of the X-rays associated with that tooth. No more clicking back and forth between windows.
- Electronically send X-rays with claims -- With an imaging and practice-management system developed by the same company, the built-in e-claims submission becomes a lot easier to use. Say goodbye to the days of having to export, import, and then attach your X-images to their corresponding claims or, even worse, being forced to print and send them through the mail. With an integrated system, the digital X-ray images for your claims are already there! Simply select the image(s) you want and submit them. The ease of this process means that your staff will actually use it, which results in you getting those insurance checks much faster.
- Tech support -- When you are faced with an issue, problem, or just a question about your computer system, not only do you know who to call, but the support tech will not use that age-old excuse, "That isn't within our support; you will need to call someone else." While some companies that provide an integrated system charge separate support fees for each program, a few, including DentiMax, have one support number and a contract that covers all of your needs.
There are many digital imaging systems available and even more computer applications designed to manage your practice. With so many systems, making them work together nicely can be a challenge. When you purchase a fully integrated sensor/practice-management system from one source, you eliminate compatibility problems and gain benefits that only an integrated system can provide. So, if you are shopping for digital sensors and/or practice-management software, consider getting a truly integrated system.
James W. Ramey has a bachelor of science in management information systems from the University of Akron. For the last nine years, he has worked exclusively with digital radiography technology and has experience with most sensors on the market, including digital, panoramic, cephalometric, and intraoral cameras. You may reach Mr. Ramey at [email protected].
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