The 3 best resolutions to get better results from your technology
The majority of dental practices are sufficiently equipped to do great things with the technology they already have—but they don’t. Here’s why, and three simple strategies you can use to make the most of the dental practice management technology you already have.
The success rate for keeping resolutions hovers at 9.8%,1 which is not impressive. In the most basic of terms, as humans, we suck at making ourselves better. But we also have control over our own destinies. We can easily let life’s current take us where it will—or we can paddle and kick our way to the shore and find a better river to float. I like the latter. Paddling and kicking get the blood flowing and awaken the mind, and then great things happen.
The technology in your practice isn’t necessarily bad. Yes, I do occasionally meet a practice limping along on Windows 95, but the majority of practices are sufficiently equipped to do great things with the dental practice management technology they already have.
But they don’t.
Budget for maintaining your technology
Your technology today is sufficient for you to do great things. But the moment you buy a new computer, its silicon clock is ticking. You need a plan to maintain your technologic position. The solution to technological relevance, my friend, is budgeting.
Few practices can really afford to purchase new computers for the entire practice at one time. However, if you view your budget from a monthly perspective, you may be able to put dollars aside every month that will allow you to replace two or three computers every year. The ideal is to replace every computer in your practice every three to four years. A disciplined budget keeps your technology platform capable of supporting new shiny things as they become available.
Move to the cloud
Surprised? I hope not. It’s 2018, nearly two decades after the turn of the century. If you’re still chained to a server, make 2018 the year you modernize your dental practice management. Allow me to buttress my logic with five indisputable facts about the cloud:
Always the latest and greatest. Cloud-based dental software is always current; you never hassle with upgrades. Thus, the latest tools that boost production and efficiencies are always at your fingertips.
Anytime, anywhere accessibility. You can view x-rays from home, review and prescribe medication on the go, or finish up progress notes in bed after the kids are down.
The ultimate data protection plan. The cloud provides for a remarkable business continuity plan. At Curve Dental, for example, every keystroke change in data is replicated across multiple servers in multiple locations. Your data is never susceptible to fire, flood, theft, or ransomware.
Less HIPAA hassle. In the HIPAA world, that server sitting under your desk or in the broom closet is subject to 19 different physical and technical requirements. Server access policies, disposal and reuse of media, and emergency availability are examples. Get rid of the server and reduce your HIPAA liability.
You don’t need a server. Servers cost money to buy and more money to maintain. They represent a 1990s technology that has been replaced by a more flexible, agile, lighter platform called the cloud.
Use the technology you already have
Many practices don’t use features and capabilities already at their disposal. If your dental practice management system includes online forms, then why are you still asking your patients to fill out paper information forms? Why is your staff manually entering this information into the management system when systems such as Curve Dental can move patient information directly from a tablet to the patient record?
Education is the answer. Chances are you are either unaware of your management system’s capabilities or you don’t know how to use them. In either case, a quick call to your software vendor can resolve that issue. Curve Dental provides complimentary webinar training on a monthly basis to help practices maximize value. Your software vendor may be just as generous.
When life gives you lemons
Just the other day I caught my daughter lamenting the disservices fate had thrown her way. I quickly reminded her that she had a choice, that she can turn lemons into lemonade. You have that choice; you can take the assets you already have and improve your technology position in short order.
After I reminded my daughter of this, she looked at me and said, “No. I choose a different fruit!” I thought to myself that there is something to be learned from her reply. If what you have isn’t working, then throw it all out and set a new course based on relevant and current technology solutions, all of which begins with the cloud. Well said, my millennial daughter!
1. New Year’s Resolution Statistics. Statistic Brain. https://www.statisticbrain.com/new-years-resolution-statistics.
Andy Jensen has been in the dental software business since 1992. He is vice president and CMO at Curve Dental, a software development house that delivers 100% cloud-based management software for dentists. Andy recently completed a book, How to Build the Killer Practice on the Cloud, that can be downloaded at curvedental.com/killer-practice-de.