The Next “Magic 50 Feet”

By Robert Staub, Director, Henry Schein TechCentral

TechCentral looks forward, and back, at dental business technology. What will the next five years bring?

I remember demonstrating the remarkable ability of Dentrix, a new practice management software. At that time, about 20 years ago, few practices even used computers chairside. I posted completed procedures to a digital chart that was immediately accessible to the front desk for patient checkout and future appointment scheduling. When the demo was over, the doctor proclaimed, “You just fixed the ‘magic 50 feet’ in my practice!”

To my blank stare, he explained, “You know, the ‘magic 50 feet’, where patients get charged incorrectly because some procedures changed chairside, or somehow, the follow-up appointment doesn’t get scheduled before the patient walks out.”

This savvy doctor realized new technology would help him keep patients and improve their experience.

In the years since, a lot of “magic” technology has been introduced to improve patient care, attract quality team members, make practices more productive and improve the professional image of the office. As we move to pervasive technology in the dental practice ecosystem, we can look forward to:

  • No more cables.
  • Easier-to-use software interfaces, hardware and integrated business workflow.
  • Smaller sizes and footprint for computing devices.
  • More accessible and easier-to-consume data and communications.

Which new technologies will really make a difference for your practice? Where should you invest? What’s the next “Magic 50 Feet” you should focus on?

To remain successful five years from now, I recommend three technology strategies for your dental practice:

  1. Invest in a solid network
    Expect a lot more interconnectedness in your dental practice. Any device that can gather patient data will be secured, networked and able to communicate with other devices that have input to the patient’s file. Your practice will be the network; this will revolutionize the way you select your equipment.
  2. Lease any technology equipment that may quickly become obsolete Computer hardware, monitors, phones, and other equipment will change faster than you can research them. Lease this technology. You don’t want your practice productivity hampered by antiquated technology. Own your practice management
    system, digital X-ray and sensor equipment and cameras—technologies with long life cycles—and lease the rest.
  3. Evolve your practice management, website and messaging to facilitate patient communication Instantaneous communication, 24/7 data availability, and mobile devices are revolutionizing how businesses communicate with customers. Your patients will expect quick responses and timely information. They want to instantly schedule appointments by clicking a button, not picking up a phone. The practice that can deliver faster and more patient-friendly answers will be more successful.

TechCentral’s integrated technology solutions are designed, tested, and certified for reliability.

TechCentral’s integrated technology solutions are designed, tested, and certified for reliability. Best of all, because we are part of the Henry Schein Dental team, you can trust TechCentral to provide the
highest levels of quality, security, performance, and customer service.

Your choice of technology partner can shrink the ‘magic 50 feet’ down to a very manageable size, indeed.

Contact Henry Schein TechCentral at 877-483-0382, or for expert assistance on every step of your technology journey.