Top 4 things you need to consider when you purchase your dental software – integration, scalability, security, and cost.
For dentists opening a new practice, there is so much more to think about than simply price and software reputation. After talking to many offices, we listed the top four issues dentists regret not considering when purchasing their dental software.
A good dental software should integrate multiple features or applications your practice needs. According to a 2014 report by Software Advice, 93% of dental software users pick improve integration as the top reason why they replace their software. The most must have functions are patient scheduling, billing, and EHR. Some top-requested features/applications that are less common in dental software include digital sensor/imaging and recall system/reminders.
If you purchase a dental software that does not have a built-in email reminder, for example, you will probably end up having to purchase a separate add-on. This does not just mean extra costs, but also a possibility that the add-on will not function properly due to incompatibility with your existing software.
When your business grows, you may hire more staff members that will access the dental software. As required by PIPEDA, they need unique login IDs. Many dental software vendors charge based on number of users in the office, they more staff require to access the software, the higher the fee.
Multi-office management can be a challenge for some dental software especially desktop-based ones. If data is stored in one local server, you cannot easily duplicate the data to your new office; you or your office manager will have to manually put together statistics of different offices to compare performance; scheduling conflicts may also occur as appointment data is not updated across all locations.
If you are planning to use a cloud-based software, check with the vendor how much storage you have. As the number of patients increase, you need more space for the data.
Patient data breach is a major liability. Your dental software should have built-in functions such as audit trail and auto shut off as required. Our previous blog article also explains security issues of dental software. For further information, you can refer to a detailed guide by the College Of Dental Hygienists of Ontario.
Cost and return on investment should definitely be a major concern. In our blog, Dr. Lorne Lavine wrote about hidden costs of dental software. It is wise to take into account these costs when you evaluate a dental software.
Many dentists also need to take out loans to open their first office, so the payment schedule can also matter. Most software vendors require an upfront payment for licensing and training, and then charge you a monthly fee afterwards. A high upfront fee puts more pressure on you even before you start to generate revenue; pay close attention to all f those hidden costs. They add up.
About the Author
Feda Bashbishi is the CEO and co-founder of iKlyk Inc., a Canadian dental software provider dedicated to raising the bar of quality in dental practice management software, patient privacy, and data security. Feda Bashbishi holds an MBA from Wilfrid Laurier University as well as a Master of Science in Software Development from San Jose State University in California. Prior to establishing iKlyk, for years, Feda has worked on enterprise level cloud-based applications. You can connect with Feda through https://goo.gl/ZLJiRV or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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