Considerations for choosing your new PMS
According to the ADA, most dental practices in the US are small businesses. A large number of them are organizations that grew organically over the years and slowly adopted a new practice management system responding to the demands of their business volume.
Dental practices typically have multiple software installed on their on-site computers to run several aspects of their workflow. But as the practice grows and its organizational demands expand, most dentists feel a pinch due to the limited functionality of the existing practice software.
But inertia is no mean force. Resources may cringe and employees may resist when there are attempts to bring in new software to manage dental workflow. Additionally, you, as a dental practice owner, may have worries around the loss of workdays or data during system migration too.
But nevertheless, change is necessary to adapt and grow. But there are a host of things you need to thoroughly think through before you make a switch! This is necessary to make the transition as smooth as possible.
Let us see what those are:
Why upgrade the practice management system?
There has to be a very sound reason behind the practice’s decision to move from the existing legacy systems to a brand new one. Having sound reasoning in place will also let you think through every single bottleneck that has been scuttling productivity at your organization.
This will help you make a clear cut choice about the features you need in the new dental software solution. It will also help in planning a more efficient organization-wide roll-out. When you have a better idea on what you need you can even ask for specific customizations in your future dental practice management software.
What are the features?
One way to generate enthusiasm among your team to switch is to show them how their jobs get simplified with the new system. For example, depending upon the features of your new enterprise software, you can show front desk personnel how their daily workflow can be completely automated by modern software. Several upgraded software today can easily search for a slot, schedule an appointment and assign patients to exam rooms, all automatically with zero human intervention. Similarly, you can motivate the back-office staff by demonstrating how to speed billing and more effectively track claims.
How is the user-interface?
More than the enterprise leaders, it is the staff that interacts with the practice management software. So ultimately, the success of the system rests on the user experience it offers to the employees. A better user interface will convince your employees you have made the right decision and make them more enthusiastic for a change.
Does the vendor offer good customer support?
No transitions are smooth. Especially when a non-technical community is adopting technology that is ahead of them there will be an acute need for efficient and proactive service assistance. Make sure your vendor has a great team of guys who will help iron out the glitches and get things running smoothly and comfortably.
Does the new system have efficient data migration and integration?
It is important that all the data stored in your system must be carefully extracted to the new practice management system. This would include clinical and financial data, including the very vital claims process. Depending upon your needs, you may also be using other expensive business-critical systems at the practice. Make sure your new PMS can effectively integrate all these existing systems.
Also you could mull over possible alternative methods in data conversion and integration- like staged or complete module transitions. We would recommend data conversion, training, and implementation in stages, allowing practices to continue operating on their old system while switching to a new system to avoid work and cash flow disruptions.
How good are training and support?
It is important to make sure your employees get trained well-enough to feel confident of using the new system. For this effective training and FAQ management is vital. Team members must feel empowered and excited for the new system and be provided with role-based training sessions. This includes how their daily activities will change, new firm processes and the tools to improve their everyday workflow.
Not all employees in an organization will be equally tech-savvy or have same learning speeds, so a customized and adaptable training program is vital. Ensure your vendor has options for onsite, remote and self-paced training programs and that they respond in good time.
It is important to adopt modern technology to be ready to service the increasing demands of patients. So it is only appropriate that you should be considering practice modernization. Just keep our checklist handy when you start the process and if an option you are currently considering is checking right on our tips then you can expect a rather smooth transition- both organization and resource-wise.