Sodium Dental Helpful Hints for HIPAA Hiccups – Practice Management
This video and article goes over some information that I think will be very valuable in helping you pick your practice management software for your office.
It is difficult to get good user reviews in the dental technology industry. In most cases when a user is giving a review of a dental practice management software they are giving it to you without ever having used a different practice management software. This leads to reviews that have very little comparative value. You might still believe that they can still provide you an accurate display of their feelings and it is useful.
I put it to you to consider that a person 15 years ago with a 1.6 Mega Pixel Digital Camera who has never used another digital camera, might rate that camera 5 start for image quality. Their experience might be accurate from their point of view, but if you gave them a 24 megapixel modern digital camera and let them use that for 6 months. They are likely to redefine their view on their 5 star rating on the other camera. People used to think an automobile traveling 20 MPH was very fast because their bases of comparison was a horse and buggy.
Here are the categories that I believe are important for helping you pick your practice management software.
- Ongoing Support Costs
- Database Technology
- Cloud Vs Local
HIPAA is here to stay and dental practices need to accept that they need to live up to the rules that are put in place as of 2014. Although some of the rules may seem like annoyances they can also protect your practice in many ways that you might not otherwise have considered.
- Please make sure that your dental practice management software you are picking is set up for individual users with individual passwords
- Make sure the dental practice management software has an audit record that records every user action, including what was changed, created or deleted
- The software needs a deleted record, meaning it records whatever is deleted so that you know exactly what is deleted.
No Delete helps protect you from embezzlement
A common way a trusted employee may embezzle from your dental practice is to accept payment from a customer for a treatment in cash, then delete the treatment from the patient’s record so that they can steal the cash. When you compare what you were supposed to collect to what you did collect it will still match up because they deleted the procedure that was collected in cash.
Dental practice management software is the hub of your practice to which all spokes need to be connected. The software can be made to work well with many different software vendors so you can choose those spokes, or it can be deliberately closed off with the end result that it forces you to purchase that companies options for the software.
- Dental Imaging Software
- Dental Sensors
- Digital Pano
- Patient Recall Services
- Electronic Claims Software
- Many more….
For each of these spokes there are many different options that are available in a wide array of pricing. If you choose the wrong practice management option you may locked into having to buy the most expensive option for all of these spokes. Don’t let your practice management choice force you to purchase other options you don’t want or have a very high price that doesn’t represent an equivalently high quality or value for your practice.
“If they are proud of telling you how only one option works with their software, be proud to ask them to leave your office”
On Going Support Costs
On going costs could be extensive if you make the wrong choice of software.
In my opinion these are the things you should get from your software without having to pay for a support contract.
- A support number that you can call to get hourly billed software support
- An online support forum that is open to anyone who wants to read it that you can post problems you are having and get responses from a community of users, hosted by the manufacturer.
- Incremental updates should be available for free download without having to pay for a support contract. You should only have to pay for version updates.
This is a difficult topic to discuss because it is highly technical, but there are some things I can suggest to ask about your software.
- How many users is this software designed to support?
- Is the database SQL or MySQL database because either of these would be great options for a database.
Cloud Vs Local Practice Management
First, let’s go ahead and just point out that a cloud practice management solution is simply a server on the internet that is hosting a web based software to your office.
Problems I see with Cloud
- If your internet goes down your office is completely down
- If there servers or internet go down your office is completely down (ever had your Netflix, XBOX, or Sony not able to attach to its cloud even though they have billions of dollars to keep their networks up?)
- Cloud service providers are centralized locations of valuable data that may encourage hackers to steal that data
- What happens if the cloud service provider goes out of business?
- Expensive monthly fees
The holes I see in the argument for cloud
- You still need good computers in your office so the only likely reduction in your office is the fact that you may not need a server. You certainly won’t want to go buy cheap terrible computers because you still have to plug your digital xray into them and the web based cloud solution still demands a lot of resources from a computer.
- You will still need an IT guy or IT services because you will still have computers, a network, printers, scanners, digital sensors, digital pano and more high tech peripherals.