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How Do You Decide Which Software Management Program Is Right for Your Dental Practice? 

How Do You Decide Which Software Management Program Is Right for Your Dental Practice? 

Here Are 3 You Should Consider 

(Comparison/Features) 

With so many dental practice management programs on the market, how can you decide which one is right for you? As an IT Service Provider that works with dentists in Southern Utah, Idaho, and across the Western United States, we believe there are only three dental practice management solutions to consider: Dentrix, Open Dental, and EagleSoft. We compare their features below.

Overview 

Dentrix: Dentrix was developed by Henry Schein Inc., a worldwide distributor of healthcare products and services. Dentrix leads the market because it can help you manage both the clinical and business side of your practice.

With Dentrix, your office staff can schedule tasks to run automatically on daily, weekly, monthly, or yearly intervals. This saves them time and frustration and keeps your accounts up to date. You can use Dentrix Pay to expedite the check-out process – it’s integrated into the main platform to save your staff and patients time and effort.

Dentrix also helps you gain insights into the financial performance of your dental practice and measures the performance of your teams. You can also manage your practice from any location using your mobile phone or tablet. Users find that it’s straightforward to use, that charting for treatment planning is efficient, and scheduling is clear and customizable.

Open Dental: Open Dental was designed by a dentist with the goal of keeping administrative costs low and data easy to control. It’s a complete practice management solution that includes on-premise electronic charting, billing, practice management, and imaging applications. It also includes web-based features that enhance access for providers and patients and improve the patient experience.

Open Dental is very customizable. You can send, add, and modify preauthorization treatment forms and modify fees for individual procedures. You can also color code appointments to distinguish between different dental providers.

Open Dental is suitable for both small and large dental practices. It allows for third-party plug-ins so you can integrate it with other systems. It even works with older equipment.

EagleSoft: Eaglesoft is a powerful practice management system designed for dental practices of all sizes. It’s an on-premise dental office practice management system. It provides specialized time-savings tools to assist dental practitioners with every patient visit.

EagleSoft is ONC-ATCB and Meaningful Use-Certified, and can easily be customized for the way your practice operates. It seamlessly integrates both practice management and clinical functionality. And its intuitive interface helps your staff manage your dental practice easily and efficiently.

EagleSoft is suited to practices of all sizes and comes with a clinical chart, patient scheduling, and billing/accounting applications. It also includes periodontal templates. The treatment planning module lets you present your treatment plans to patients and collect consent forms with a paperless digital signature feature. It also provides financial information so your patients can make informed decisions about their treatments based on insurance coverage estimates.

The patient record module centralizes and shares data across the platform. You can see a patient’s history from any location that’s connected to the system. It also allows you to e-prescribe via the system, eliminating the need for paper prescriptions.

Features

All three of these practice management programs have features that are widely used in dental offices around the country. Here’s a list of each for comparison purposes.

Dentrix

  • Mobile Practice Management
  • Appointment Management
  • Appointment Reminders
  • Claims Management & Validation
  • Clinical Charting (3D)
  • Patient Account Management
  • Patient Billing
  • Patient Records Management
  • Claim Validation
  • Insurance Eligibility
  • Mobile Practice Management
  • Clinical Tools
  • Submit and Monitor Lab Cases
  • Sync Digital Images With Patient Records
  • Prescription Information
  • Medical Alerts
  • Treatment Planning
  • Daily Huddle Reports
  • Measure Financial Progress
  • Profitability Coaching
  • Available in English
  • Available in Windows, Linux, Android, iPhone/iPad, Mac, Web-Based
  • Integrates with 3Shape, JakariCare, 3M, Imagn, EasyRiter, Practice Safeguard, AutoCollect, Personable, RecordLinc, Reputation.com, Podium, Demandforce, DPP
  • Support via email, phone, live support, and tickets

Open Dental

  • Mobile Web Application
  • Appointment Management with ASAP Scheduling
  • Appointment Reminders
  • New Patient Appointment Scheduling
  • Electronic Appointment Confirmation
  • Reminder Rules
  • Email & Integrated Texting
  • Claims Management
  • Clinical Charting with Graphical Tooth Chart
  • Imaging
  • Patient Account Management
  • Patient Billing
  • Online Patient Portal
  • Patient Records Management
  • Treatment Planning
  • Built-In Graphic & Custom Reports
  • Electronic Prescriptions
  • Available in English, Turkish, Dutch, Polish & Swedish
  • Available in Windows, Linux, Mac, Web-Based
  • Integrates with business intelligence, cloud hosting marketing, imaging, credit-card processing, website building, dental systems, and other 3rd-party software and services
  • Support via email, phone, live support, training, tickets

EagleSoft

  • Clinical Charting
  • Patient Records Management
  • Treatment Planning
  • Scheduling
  • Practice growth
  • Patient communication
  • Accounting
  • Digital imaging
  • Available in English
  • Available in Windows and Mac
  • Support via email, phone, live support, and tickets
  • There is no information about integrations

Break Fix vs Managed Services

The Battle Of Break-Fix IT vs. Managed Services

(A Comparison)

This is one of the most common questions I’m asked and one that needs to be addressed objectively. Full disclosure here… I work for a Managed Service Provider and not a Break-Fix IT shop. However, I will never try and convince someone that they need a full Managed Service Plan if they don’t.

Let’s get right into The Battle of Break-Fix IT versus Managed Services.

What is Break-Fix IT?

Break-Fix IT is a term that applies to an IT service company that charges hourly for the support they provide. These shops make money on hardware sales, licensing, and of course, hourly support. A business will call them when they need a project completed or assistance with their network, computer, security, etc. They charge an hourly rate between $75 to $150. A Break-Fix tech will complete the task, bill the client, and they may not hear from them again for many weeks.

There are still many IT groups in each market that specialize in break-fix work. Most are quasi-break-fix businesses where they charge monthly for certain services, such as data backups, anti-virus, or Microsoft Office 365.

It’s important to keep in mind that computer networks have grown increasingly complex over time, so many of the mid-sized to larger IT companies have transitioned away from this model.

What Are Managed Services?

Managed Services is a broad term that describes a business that charges a per-user or per-device management fee. This fee typically covers support (remote and/or onsite), data backups, security, proactive services, etc. This is a more comprehensive relationship because the MSP (Managed Services Provider) has thorough documentation of the network, the techs are well versed in the client’s business and know their key users, and they are on a “retainer”, so the client is prioritized if something were to go wrong.

This model may seem like the ideal route, but it does come at a cost. To have all of your IT services included in a single agreement, and to have a team on call to assist requires an investment that ranges from $50-250 per-user or per-device per month. Some business owners get sticker shock because they may have spent as much on IT service in the past year as a Managed Service Provider would expect for a quarter.

The Benefits & Drawbacks Of Each

Break-Fix IT Benefits:

  1. Very little to no monthly cost (Invoices are only accrued when service is rendered.)
  2. They are typically from smaller tech shops, so you will develop relationships with everyone that works there, including the owner.
  3. Many have a “do-it-all” mentality which may include security cameras, application development, website maintenance, phone system support, etc. They can be considered a “jack of all trades” in some respects.

Break-Fix IT Drawbacks:

  1. They may not have the same level of reporting and documentation because a business owner might not want to pay the hourly rate for proactive services.
  2. They typically have a smaller staff so response times may take too long.
  3. “Doing it all” may lead to staff that are generalists and not specialists.
  4. They get paid to fix things that break. That incentive may not be in the best interest of the business owner.

Managed Services Benefits:

  1. It’s easy to budget for. The agreements are typically comprehensive, so your statement will almost always be constant, except for large projects and hardware upgrades.
  2. They are known for having specialists on staff to thoroughly understand each aspect of a computer network – data backup and business continuity, cybersecurity, Office 365, phones, etc.
  3. Managed Services almost always provide SLAs (Service Level Agreements) that detail expectations for response times, resolution times, customer satisfaction, etc. An MSP with a response time over 3-4 hours should be reconsidered.
  4. Payment is consistent, so the more efficient the MSP can make your business, the better it is for both parties.
  5. Managed IT Services typically include Remote Management & Monitoring (RMM) that can get to the root of problems to fix them for good. RMM also proactively catches issues and resolves them before they create downtime or interruptions in your IT operations.
  6. Servers, routers, computers, etc. actually last longer and perform better when they receive regular maintenance with Managed Services.
  7. Managed Services Providers usually offer various service packages that can be customized, so you get only what you need at a price that fits into your budget

Managed Services Drawbacks:

  1. You’ll be locked into a monthly contract that is typically more expensive than working with a Break-Fix shop. Most have a minimum of 30-day notices, while others require a year or longer contracts.
  2. They typically specialize in computer networks but will assist in vendor management for other technology services for your business. They will have “preferred providers” for phones, copiers, marketing services, etc.
  3. Depending on the structure and size of the business, you may never meet the owner or develop a relationship with techs like you will with a Break-Fix shop.
  4. This space is increasingly occupied by large corporations, meaning you may not be supporting your local economy working with some MSPs.

So, Which Is Better?

That’s a good question, and I wish there were an easy answer. I’m going to have to answer like an economist; it all depends.

Are you a small business with 8 employees? Honestly, a break-fix shop is probably your best bet. Being locked into a monthly agreement when your network is very simple may be hard to justify.

Are you a healthcare entity with 20+ users? If you’re using a break-fix shop, you’re in trouble. Each industry has unique requirements and regulations for its technology. A break-fix shop will most likely not have the competency it takes to adhere to everything that applies to your computer network.

Are you an enterprise business with 1,000 employees? If so, you most likely have a budget that can support an internal IT team that could manage every aspect of your network. You may still want to work with an MSP for infrastructure support or help desk overflow, but to solely rely on an MSP in this space would not be recommended.

It all depends on what you think is best for your business. If you’re okay with not having a dedicated IT team and would rather have your buddy help when you need him/her, then go for it. If you only have 4 employees but have a relatively complex network because of your industry or applications, it might be best to work with an MSP that specializes in your industry.

In Conclusion

There are pros and cons to both. It’s up to you to decide what you need. Reach out if you need any assistance, and I’ll be happy to provide objective advice on what route would be best for your business.

Are You Using Social Media to Market Your Law Firm? 

Are You Using Social Media to Market Your Law Firm? 

18 Tips to Help You Get the Most From Social Media Marketing

Social media marketing is a powerful tool to attract clients to your firm. However, it’s not always easy to know how to go about using it. What information should you post? Where should you post it? Should you use hashtags? We’ll help you navigate the social media landscape with the tips below.

Facebook

This is the most popular social media site. Facebook marketing is essential today if you want to market your law practice. What should you post? Essentially, anything that’s helpful or interesting to your clients or leads.

  • Set up a Facebook profile for your firm. You can include information in the About section that tells users who you are and how long you’ve been practicing law. Be sure to include your contact information and a link to your website. Also include photos of your office and staff, engaging copy, and interesting legal articles.
  • If you work with vendors that you’d like to promote, tag them and their services. The more information, the better. But keep it interesting and relevant to your clients and prospects. Engaging content is the key to finding new clients on Facebook.
  • Ask your satisfied clients for testimonials you can post on Facebook. Just remember that you need informed consent from clients, and you should make sure nothing confidential is included in the testimonials. Also, engage with those who like and follow you.
  • Use Facebook to promote your services, events that you hold or attend, and any awards or honors you or your staff have received.
  • Include a link to your Facebook Page on your website, in emails, sales letters, newsletters, and other collateral materials. Spread a “wide net” to attract as many followers to your Page as possible.
  • Remember to include a Call to Action, so people know how to contact you.

Twitter

Twitter can be very useful for lawyers. It provides a fast-paced, real-time engagement for clients and prospects.

  • Unlike with Facebook, your posts must be less than 280 characters. If you want to include an article, you’ll need to provide a website for readers to link to.
  • Include photos, engaging content, and a Call to Action. Use the hashtagsymbol (#) before a relevant keyword or phrase to categorize your Tweets and to help them stand out. Use them to promote events or promotions. For example, if you’re holding an online event to educate clients about the importance of specific legal services, use hashtags like #wills or #trusts. Then people can follow your hashtags wherever you place them.

Instagram

Instagram is popular because of its visually appealing presence.

  • Set up an Instagram Business Profile for your law practice. Be sure to include information about your location and contact information and link your profile to your website. It also provides users with a way to see how others are engaging with you.
  • You can also use hashtags and location tags to organize photos and improve search functions. This is where you want to share interesting photos that highlight your law practice. Include engaging captions that share where you are and how to reach you.
  • Add hashtags in the caption or comments of your post. Include a photo or video with a hashtag. You can use up to 30 hashtags per caption.

Pinterest

This is another platform that attracts people for its visually appealing content.

  • The target audience for Pinterest is women, so keep this in mind when posting. Include engaging photos and appropriate hashtags just as you would on Instagram.
  • Pinterest should supplement other lead generation efforts. Use it to create boards for clients and followers based on your services. Include your accomplishments with comments, likes, and “re-pins.”

LinkedIn

LinkedIn is a great way to attract clients (mostly business people) to your law practice. When you provide helpful information that appeals to business people on LinkedIn, they will look to you as the expert you are. This builds interest and trust and allows you to promote and sell your legal services.

  • Create your own LinkedIn Group. This is a great way to attract followers who want up-to-date information about specific laws. Develop a subject as a reason for your group and position yourself as an expert in the field (perhaps a subject like tax litigation).
  • Participate in other LinkedIn Groups. By doing so, you can highlight your profile and attract followers. Once you’ve positioned yourself as a legal expert, and a knowledgeable resource, you’ll have an opportunity to promote your practice.
  • Promote your LinkedIn Page via other marketing vehicles. Just like you did with Facebook, include a link to your LinkedIn Page on your website, in emails, sales letters, newsletters, and other collateral materials. Spread a “wide net” to attract as many followers to your Page as possible.
  • Take advantage of LinkedIn Follow Ads. Follow Ads can be promoted to people in your area. They help you reach and attract the right followers — those who are interested in the legal services you provide, and in an area that you cover. Be sure to add a LinkedIn “Follow” button to your website.
  • Ask your employees to be LinkedIn “Ambassadors.” After all, they are some of your best advocates. Ask them to create personal LinkedIn profiles that include your firm’s name, and a link to your website.
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