The Virtues of a Paperless Dental Practice
Getting the Most from Your Dental Software
So, you successfully made the jump into the digital age by implementing software to help manage your practice. Maybe your contract is coming up for renewal, or you’re starting to wonder what else can be streamlined in your business by implementing more technology.
We’ve scoured the latest updates from practice management software providers to give you the list of problems in your dental office that the latest code can resolve.
A well-designed digital ledger means fast and easy access to patient financial information, completed treatments, insurance and claims submissions, billing, and even printed statements. By digitizing billing, you remove lots of human error risk, and the time it takes to complete, ensuring a faster response from insurance companies, and faster payment.
Explanation of Benefits (EOB) and Coordination of Benefits (COB)
When invoicing, speed and accuracy are everything. Having a system that automatically updates the insurance co-payment amount in the transaction based on EOB provides instant and correct calculations of a patient’s portion of the invoice. This facilitates accurate, real-time patient collections. If your patient has dual insurance companies, a software system capable of handling COB electronically will do the job of forwarding the portion unpaid by their primary insurance to the secondary insurance to determine the eligible portion to be paid, and then forward any remaining to the patient, enabling real time patient collection even in the trickiest case.
Electronic Data Interchange (EDI)
Submitting electronic claims is only one of the many things in a software system approved by CDAnet and ITRANS for EDI in Canada. You can learn more about EDI integrations through the Canadian Dental Association and their own CDAnet website. Some software systems can support all the EDI functions, such as the ability to transmit documents and dental images electronically, which speeds up insurance benefit adjudication, to future proof your investment.
Many software providers offer contract billing for ortho treatment to keep you on track for both treatment and billing. For ongoing treatments, you can automatically submit claims, send invoices, and update ledgers.
A staple of any dental practice software, the ability to integrate scheduling directly into calendars with easy viewing and updating is one of the biggest time savers you can find. Simplifying to the level of drag-and-drop, maximizing your schedule takes a second or two, instead of minutes or hours. A clear and easy boost to the art of schedule making.
An extension of expanded patient communication, automatic reminders remove the burden of early morning check-ins. Select a message for people a week before their appointment, starting their treatment, or who haven’t been in for a check-up for 6 months, and let the software take care of the rest.
Increasingly, patients are preferring to communicate over a silent text, rather than a call they might have to step outside to take. Comprehensive software will allow you to shoot out an SMS or email to confirm appointments, reminders, and everything in between. Automating reminders and confirmations takes even more strain off your front desk. Consider the increased value of group messages as well. Software that can message a single cohort means your staff can send one quick group message when trying to fill a hole in your schedule instead of calling or messaging each person individually.
Complete Patient Clinical Record
With built-in charting and imaging, x-rays can be fine-tuned to be seen in greater detail. Save even more time by automatically rotating, mounting, and labelling the image with the correct tooth number before attaching it to the odontogram. And, with periodontal charting built in, and click-to-include clinical notes, everything you need is just a click away.
Well designed, and easy to understand reporting is key to analyzing the metrics of your business. By visualizing the important day-to-day information, you can get comprehensive, at-a-glance insights into things like cancellations, comparative productivity, and average earnings.
Sharing pertinent information from operatory to front desk means that reception can pre-verify completed procedure codes, submit an electronic claim right after treatment is complete, and prepare an accurate patient invoice if required, before patient arrives for checkout
Staffing + Hours
Ensure there is coverage for all your patients and appointments with a system that allows you to see your schedule while also tracking staff hours from sign in, to sign out. Removing the manual counting of hours and the required comparison to the shift schedule will also translate to a smoother run of payroll.
Don’t get caught with low stock. An inventory management tool keeps track of quantities and can notify you when supplies are close to depleted. Top of the line inventory services will also provide vendor price comparisons, so you know when you’re getting the best deal.
If you’ve become accustomed to late hours in the office pouring over your schedule and checking in on patients, it’s time to consider support for mobile apps. Many software solutions now offer a way to securely access records and even connect with multiple practices or locations with much more convenience. A few companies will even offer tablet or iPad apps to speed up patient check-in and record review!
Want to learn more about what practice management software can do for your office?