Increasing consolidation by Dental Service Organizations (DSOs) and group practices, is reshaping the dental industry. As DSOs and multi-location group practices continue to grow, they must rely on technology solutions to scale sustainably.
So what is sustainable scaling, and how does it impact long-term profitability and value? For group practices and DSOs, scale is not just about growth. It’s the ability to grow without losing customers, reducing quality, or changing the organization’s core values.
Multi-location dental organizations achieve their full potential with cloud-based practice software that meets their unique needs. Cloud-based systems don’t require extensive hardware purchases, and new offices can be easily set up online by authorized administrators. They are browser-based, which means you can access them from anywhere and from any device.
Before we explore the value-add from cloud-based systems, let’s look at the available alternatives.
Legacy systems predate cloud technology and are still being used widely in the dental industry. They store information on local devices and servers, thus requiring one’s physical presence at each location to do the work. These old ‘bolt-on’ software, as they are aptly named, come with pre-set features that lack flexibility, have higher maintenance costs, and require constant upkeep.
Moreover, practices have to employ dedicated manpower to maintain both the hardware and software for each practice location. The frustration to collect and compile data across locations and the inherent security risks lower the appeal for these outdated systems. While 83% of healthcare organizations have adopted cloud-based solutions, this technology wave is yet to catch up in dentistry.
The cloud-based systems are here to stay, especially with both Group & DSOs targeting sustainable growth. Let’s look at how cloud-based solutions help multi-location dental organizations achieve this.
The subscription-based cloud-practice management software not only lowers cost but also provides value with the many advantages provided through its ‘pay for what you use’ payment models. They require little in the way of local hardware beyond computer workstations and internet access. A major portion of these savings comes from limited maintenance and upkeep. Traditional multi-location legacy systems require extensive hardware, trained personnel, and frequent maintenance. This includes upgrades and maintenance to both hardware and software.
The vendor charges you for the legacy software as upfront costs. This doesn’t include the hidden costs of the infrastructural backbone necessary to support legacy software. Costs increase over time for comparatively limited benefits, especially when scaling your business across multiple locations.
With centralized data, both patients and providers can travel to different locations without the need for duplicate records. It brings clarity to provider compensation and streamlines collections. Moreover, cloud-based systems reduce data duplication and end piecemeal reporting, fragmented scheduling, insurance processing, and billing.
Issues such as collection delays, the duplication of bills and patient records, higher staff turnover rates, stagnant growth, and patient dissatisfaction are strong indicators to consider adopting cloud-based solutions for a centralized data structure. Embracing data centralization can optimize your organization’s workflows for key business functions, as you continue to expand your practice locations.
With legacy desktop systems, locations aren’t on a centralized system, and management has to pull reports from each system and compile them for a comprehensive overview of their performance at the enterprise level.
Modern cloud-based practice management systems provide access to vital practice data across multiple locations from anywhere and on any device. This level of access negates operational and administrative hassles while increasing the overall efficiency and productivity of the business. They provide a single source of truth for groups and DSOs to access and monitor real-time data on practice performance.
Legacy systems have the practice’s patient records and other sensitive information stored locally, on-site, on computer hard drives, or practice servers. This leaves them vulnerable to theft or damage, despite backups and security routines. HIPAA breaches result in heavy fines and loss of credibility in the eyes of your patients.
Unlike bolt-on systems, where you single-handedly shoulder all the risks, cloud-based systems have much more robust features. A qualified team gets solely tasked with monitoring risks. In the eventuality that a breach might occur, cloud-based providers stand alongside you for resolution and support.
With cloud-based PMS, users log in to access the latest version of their software. These seamless software updates are a far cry from the cumbersome upgrades for desktop systems. There is no need to keep track of license versions, downloads, and setups. Moreover, cloud practice management software incorporates the latest updates on industry and regulatory changes on recurring release schedules.
The benefits of cloud-based PMS to achieving sustainable scaling are undeniable. The cloud-based practice management solution from CareStack provides you with centralized control of patient information and practice metrics. Moreover, regular updates, cost savings, data accessibility, and improved security are factors that contribute to the organizational scalability of your multi-location dental organization.