By Brad Royer, Product Manager, Dentrix
Once a tool for record-keeping, practice management software is a central hub that drives today’s practice.
Twenty-five years ago, practice management software began a digital revolution. Today, electronic dental records, complete with images and add-on electronic services, are the standard. Now we are witnessing a new shift as practice management systems evolve into a platform providing total integration at every level of the patient interaction, lab communication, and beyond.
“We’ve seen exponential growth in both the software segment and ancillary e-service add-on products,” says Brad Royer, Dentrix Product Manager, who has watched the industry move from systems designed to store patient data to those that simplify disparate workflows, such as scheduling and billing. “We feel that there is a new evolution happening in the industry, moving from practice management systems to practice management platforms,” Royer observes. Dentrix, which is owned by Henry Schein, initiated this change in 2012 with the release of Dentrix G5. “We extended Dentrix to other third-party applications via our Dentrix Developer Program (DDP). This allows users more flexibility to choose solutions that will continue to make their practices more efficient.” Dentrix also opened a “marketplace,” much like an app store, where people can see what applications connect to Dentrix and purchase them.
The Dentrix Developer Program (DDP) allows third-party applications to interface with Dentrix and access as well as insert data such as appointment confirmations. Products outside of Dentrix can now be seamlessly integrated. “We’re continually expanding that API so third parties have more access. Allowing people to choose the product that works best for them is important to us,” Royer says.
Today, technology components are being developed that can independently send information to the provider about a malfunctioning part or a bad filter or any one of myriad possibilities. “Today, there is the idea that all things can talk to each other. As we continue to expand the platform, we see a day when Dentrix will ‘speak’ to and receive information back from any of these products,” says Royer.
Prior to Dentrix launching integration with 3M, 3Shape, and Planmeca last December, scanner software was completely disparate from practice management software, requiring patient information to be entered into 2 different systems. Allowing these systems to talk to each other eliminates duplicate data entry. “Software platforms have gone from record-keeping to driving outcomes and pulling all systems together for a seamless workflow and improved experience,” Royer says. With the Dentrix integrated platform, all add-on products, services, and technology being run in your practice create the spokes of a central hub that allows you to run your business more efficiently.
As part of this transition, Dentrix has partnered with a company, Simplifeye, to extend Dentrix to wearable technology whereby the dentist can use an Apple Watch to get all of a patient’s routing information, including name, what they are coming in for, their health history, etc. If that sounds pretty far out, rest assured practice management software companies are always looking into the next generation of possibilities.
Learn more about Dentrix or request a demo at http://www.dentrix.com/products/dentrix
As originally published in Dental Product Shopper.