When it was time for Dr. Daniel Spagnoli, former chairman of the Department of Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery at the Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center School of Dentistry, to choose practice management software and cone beam computed tomography (CBCT) imaging for his residents, a number of options were available. In this interview, we ask Dr. Spagnoli what went into his decision-making process, as well as what his advice is for residents going into private practice.
CSD: Which factors did you consider when you chose CS WinOMS practice management software for your department?
I’ve been a CS WinOMS user throughout my professional career—from as far back as when I incorporated a computerized system. Having researched several products on the market, I found that other programs don’t have as complete a service or as large of a user group as CS WinOMS. I think the comprehensive offering provided by the software, and large user group is important to the evolution of the product going forward. When purchasing practice management software, you don’t buy it for how it operates today, but rather for how it’s going to operate over the next few years. We have worked closely with the WinOMS support team to personalize the EMR notes and other features of the software. The support is always available and accurate.
I appreciate the fact that CS WinOMS allows us to do everything from scheduling and billing to tracking and more. The fact that it’s a comprehensive system really made it stand out in my mind.
CSD: You also chose the CS 9300 system for your department. Again, what factors led to this decision?
If you really want to look at the full face or the airway; perform orthognathic surgery; or deal with trauma or facial reconstruction, then one of your main options is the CS 9300 Premium. When it comes to cone beam computed tomography, it’s one of the big players in the maxillofacial field.
The CS 9300 has vertical field capability that permits the application to Orthognathic surgery and Virtual surgical Planning. The resolution of the CS 9300 is better than other systems, which is extremely important for our treatments.
The software is also much easier to use. With the CS 9300, you can image an implant site, cross-section, make angular adjustments and take measurements without having to manipulate the software like you do with other systems.
Another advantage of the CS 9300 is that patients can stand, or the machine can be adjusted to accommodate patients in wheelchairs. It’s a huge plus if you’re treating geriatric or trauma patients. You can’t do that with other systems. The real benefit of the system is that it gives you a unified chart which provides electronic medical records (EMR), patient data and point of care. You are able to access radiographs—whether a pan, ceph or 3D image—with the click of a button. Another positive point of the system is that all cartography is efficiently saved in the same chart and is easily accessible.
Overall, we’re really pleased with the CS 9300.
CSD: How was the implementation process?
It has been a really great experience. One thing I can tell you about the Carestream Dental team is that they are very professional. Everyone I have dealt with has been great and really takes their job seriously.
Let me give you an example. Everyone’s happy when things are going well but I find you can judge people best based on their reaction when things go wrong. We had a problem when our CS 9300 was damaged during shipment and, although the damage was not caused by Carestream Dental, the company worked hard to diagnose the issue. Though a number of repairs were performed over the course of a few months we were still having a lot of trouble with the unit. What really impressed me was that, after speaking to a few of the VIPs at Carestream Dental, we received a brand new machine two days later. It speaks to Carestream Dental's commitment to making things right. I was impressed by how they took the bull by the horns and fixed the problem when no one else could.
Even with a lot to learn, our training went well. The software’s platform is quite intuitive. If you learn the basic segments, you can navigate your way through it. It’s just well thought out.
CSD: What advice would you give residents who are going into private practice and investing in technology?
Investing in technology is like buying an airplane—there is no one plane for every mission. You have to define your mission first. What do you want to do? How do you want your practice to run? What do you want to accomplish? These are just some of the questions you need to ask yourself. I think young people who are starting their practice should consider safety, ethicacy and efficiency, and invest in technologies that will help them achieve their goals in those areas. In today’s world, you have to meet those three criteria to survive.
If you have an efficient system, like the CS 9300, you can keep records well; schedule well; keep notes well; properly bill insurance; safely take radiographs and save and categorize them; and meet all of your goals in relations to your 3D and 2D imaging. The CS 9300 comes together as a system that works extremely well for people. In particular, the resolution on the CS 9300 is excellent; all of the visiting doctors, and others unfamiliar with the machine, have been very, very impressed.
Setting up a practice is a big expenditure and when you’re spending that much money you have to do your due diligence before investing in a technology. I’ve owned competitive units in the past so I have experience with both sides, but after my experience with Carestream Dental and their products I am more than happy with the choice I made. I’m glad I brought the CS 9300 to LSU and am looking forward to many years of use.