by Sharon Thomas, Practice Administrator, Forever Family Dental
Challenge: Achieve seamless integration of imaging systems and software solutions to streamline the workflow
Solution: RVG 6100 and RVG 6200 intraoral digital imaging systems, CS 1500 intraoral camera, CS 3600 intraoral scanner, CS SoftDent, eForms
The Forever Family Dental practice is fully integrated with Carestream Dental technologies—technologies purchased through Benco Dental. When asked about the benefit of working with a dealer, Practice Administrator Sharon Thomas replied, “We love Benco. They always steer us in the right direction.”
When asked if there is a downside to using software and systems from just one manufacturer, Thomas enthusiastically responded, “Absolutely not. It’s a huge benefit.”
Thomas’s perspective is somewhat unique because of her background, which is not dentistry but rather accounting software. Her role as practice administrator involves managing the hardware and software decisions as well as running the office. She understands the significance of choosing information systems that work together efficiently. She also knows the tremendous effort required to achieve that efficiency. That’s why Thomas values the seamless integration between her office’s imaging systems and practice management software. Every image acquired by their RVG 6100 and 6200 sensors, CS 1500 intraoral camera or CS 3600 intraoral scanner is loaded directly into the appropriate patient’s CS SoftDent chart. “The ability to access all of a patient’s images within the chart—without multiple clicks—is invaluable,” said Thomas. “All the information you need is easy to find because it’s all in one place.”
Enhanced Patient Education/Improved Case Acceptance
This integration is most beneficial when it comes to patient education, which the office actively promotes. A new patient appointment takes approximately an hour and a half because of the detailed dental record that the staff builds. They capture photos, x-rays and an intraoral scan, and all of the images are automatically saved in the patient’s chart. “It’s a huge wow factor for the patients and highly educational,” said Thomas. “It’s amazing how you can tell patients that they have an issue that should be addressed, and their response might be lukewarm. But when you show them all of the images that you’ve just pulled into their chart, and they see the problem for themselves, the reaction is most often, ‘Can you fix it today?’”
Thomas sees advantages on several levels with the addition of the CS 3600 intraoral scanner to the practice. “The integration—again—is huge,” said Thomas. “Having that digital model right there in the patient’s chart is so convenient. And the fact that the CS 3600 is powderless—or nearly so—is enormous. Let’s face it. A tiny amount of powder on an implant abutment is a whole lot different than powdering up a patient for a scan.”
The absence of a trolley or cart is another significant benefit—especially when it comes to the practice’s protocol of scanning every new patient. The staff can acquire an impression in any treatment room without any logistical considerations of moving a cart.
Upgrading the practice’s intraoral sensors was another priority that Thomas had been considering for some time. Due to the practice’s large volume, a bottleneck would occasionally occur with x-ray imaging. How did Thomas determine that now was the right time to buy? “We were waiting for a sensor without a button! Now we have it, and it is amazing,” said Thomas.
A button is not the only thing missing from the RVG 6200 intraoral sensor. It’s thinner, which Thomas appreciates as well. A sturdier, more flexible cable and new diagnostic options are additional improvements. “Dr. Soper is impressed with the shading features that reveal decay—plus the ease with which you can switch views,” said Thomas.
Thomas recognizes the role that SoftDent itself plays in driving efficiency in the practice. By adding a third-party software enhancement to their practice management software, Thomas believes they have new insight into appointments and scheduling. “The fact that the system generates notifications when a patient is overdue for a six-month appointment is a real benefit. That information is priceless.”
With HIPAA rules and regulations constantly changing and becoming increasingly strict, due diligence in obtaining patient signatures for medical history review is extremely important. For this reason, Thomas recognized the need to add eForms to the practice. Thomas believes that eForms ensures that their practice is fully compliant. “You’ve got to get those signatures on file,” said Thomas. “You just can’t risk it.”
Seamless integration with SoftDent was another obvious benefit to adding this new eService. “eForms feels like it’s part of your software. There’s no syncing required,” said Thomas. “eForms is a completely hassle-free solution for addressing our HIPAA-compliance concerns.”
According to Thomas, the usability of the software and systems is instrumental in maintaining consistent staff compliance. Thomas said, “When ease of use goes up, so does staff compliance. We have that whole checklist of to-dos for every new patient, and the process can be time consuming. If, for example, lugging a cart around were part of that list, the intraoral scan with the CS 3600 might not always happen during the new patient visit. Usability is everything.”