Guide to Dental Practice Management Software Development

Dental practice management software is an administrative tool to help dentists and management team operate clinics efficiently. The demand for dental practice management software is fueled by advancements in the dentistry field such as EHR integrations and rise in oral problems in senior citizens.

The US dental practice management software market is surging due to adoption of cloud-based storage while developing software, and the market is estimated to 247.16 million by 2027.

Dentists can transform their workspace, by making it more organized through dental practice management software. This software comes with varied benefits and features which are created to enable faster dental services, thus augmenting customer satisfaction.

This article gives a comprehensive outlook of dental practice management software benefits, features, and the development process.

Top Benefits of Dental Practice Management Software Development

1. Fewer Cancellations and No Shows

No shows and cancellations leads to wasted staff prep time and gaps in schedules, thus leaving an impact in dental practice. According to a report in Sage Journals, 36 percent of no shows is because patients forgot appointments. Dental practice management software brings with it appointment reminder feature to avoid no shows.

Through this software, dentists can stick to one mode of contact, rather than scattering reminders across several platforms such as mails, messages, or calls.

Cancellations hamper daily schedules, however this gap can be filled by creating an active wait list for last minute cancellations. This reduces the amount of revenue lost due to no shows and saves time as well.

2. Quick Appointment Scheduling

Patient appointment booking is one of the essential aspects of practice management as it ensures patient satisfaction and convenience while booking. With cloud-based dental practice management, patients can quickly choose slots and book appointments.

Appointment scheduling provides advantages such as –

a. Spotting vacant slots

b. Access to schedules at anytime and from anywhere

c. Timely follow-ups and reminders

d. Improved patient engagement

e. Optimizes dentists’ time with patients.

Further, online scheduling gives a competitive advantage and reduces administrative burden on staff. With fewer tasks, team can focus on essential patient requests and in-person visits.

3. Maintains Accurate Records

Keeping records for any system is the most important task as this helps to take a broad perspective on dental operations. Accurate records are an ideal choice during inspections or audits; also when new staff come onboard, they find it easier to learn about management system.

Accurate records decreases chances of medical errors, which are one of the leading causes of death in the healthcare sector. Furthermore, patients tend to change their dental practitioners, hence dental practitioners can communicate with other dentists for patient treatment.

4. Secure Storage

Ensure that practice management software is HIPAA compliant for secure storage of patient records. If a dental practice management software is cloud-based, then developers need to make it compliant.

A HIPAA compliant cloud storage implements all the needed controls to assure integrity, confidentiality, and availability of ePHI (Protected Health Information). HIPAA compliance secures data transmitted to the cloud storage and provides access control.

Must Have Features of Dental Practice Management Software

1. Patient Referrals

Patient referrals are useful if a clinic doesn’t offer the type of services needed, and can be automated while developing dental practice management software. For dental practitioners, referrals are the easiest method to increase patient volumes, and to retain existing patients.

The software can be designed to track whether a patient has visited the referred specialist or not, thus creating transparency and improved dental care. The patient referral feature makes a dental organization efficient and better equipped to serve the patients.

Furthermore, referrals helps to improve patient access by giving them the power to schedule appointments as per availability of a specialist, thus strengthening patient retention rate.

2. Secure Payments

With increase in access to electronic payment channels, its vital that dental practitioners and administrative staff are aware of the implications on data security. Revenue and profits is likely to drop after experiencing breaches to payment data. This can be overcome by encrypting payment data as soon as it is captured during billing process.

Encryption prevents data leakage and decreases the risk of cyber attacks. Further, ensure to meet high level of payment compliance during dental practice management software development, as it is an essential part of risk management strategy for a dental clinic.

3. Appointment Reminders

Automated appointment reminders results in better patient engagement and a positive patient experience. Developers can design the software in which reminders can be sent by any channel – texts, mails, or calls. With reminders, patients can quickly reschedule, confirm, or cancel their appointments, thus decreasing no shows.

Automated reminder feature frees up administrative staff, and they can focus on in-patient visits or emergency patients. Waiting rooms are quieter and less chaotic, due to automated alerts, thus increasing comfort in clinics.

4. e-Prescriptions

E-prescription is a handy feature for dental practitioners as it gives a complete insight on previous prescriptions (if any). The dental practice management software can alert prescribers of potential drug interactions, allergies, pregnancy, duplicate therapies, and other issues that are harmful for patients while taking a certain medicine.

E-prescriptions reduces errors such as drugs with similar sounds or spellings, thus assuring patients that they have been given correct medication. Further, e-prescribing makes it easier to track data across pharmacies, thereby monitoring controlled substance prescriptions.

5. Managing X-Ray Photos

Developers can include an optional feature for managing X-ray pictures. This feature stores all X-ray images that are captured at clinics and then deliver it to patients. Every image is transferred to patients records in storage.

X-ray images are automatically transferred in dental practice management software as soon as they are captured, thus eliminating the risk of loosing them.

Getting Started With Dental Practice Management Software Development

1. Partnering With a Software Development Company

Finding an ideal software development company can seem intimidating at first, as the goal is to ensure long term success of the development project. Arkenea is one such leading custom healthcare software development company with more than a decade of specialized experience in the field of healthcare that assures high-quality team and project success.

Consider choosing a development company with sound domain knowledge – an understanding of industry, business, and processes. Domain knowledge accelerates project development and decreases expenses for complex projects. Further, flexible and a diversified team increases overall scalability of the dental practice management software development.

Outsourcing is another aspect that can be taken into account while finding a development company, as it brings in experienced developers to accomplish the work.

2. Cloud Vs. Server Based Platform

Dental practices with server based platform have to pay huge upfront costs to buy on-site servers, hardware, and software. Along with this, dental clinics are required to pay a monthly software fee, plus an IT staff to maintain the equipment. Server based platform need an additional VPN to connect remotely and access software from home.

However, with cloud platforms, dental practitioners can ditch on-site servers. A cloud-based practice management platform provides security measures, a backup system, and updates remotely (without the need of IT staff).

Practitioners can enjoy a modern and updated software, without additional on-site equipment and expenses to maintain it. Furthermore, on-site servers are vulnerable to natural calamities, which can result in loss of patient records. With cloud platform users can still access records and data is safe.

3. Third-Party Integrations

Third party integrations allows to add features quickly to a software that may otherwise take several months to create it. For dental practice management software, notable third-party integrations include –

a. Imaging Software: Third-party imaging feature can be directly incorporated in the software for storing and capturing oral images.

b. Integrated Bill Payments: This feature saves time and decreases errors by automatically feeding card transactions to POS (Point of Sale) terminal. Patients are automatically notified once the transaction is approved.

c. Remote Backup: A remote backup service automatically backs up data on a secure cloud storage platform during disaster events.

4. Coding

Coding and programming a software is the core step of the development process, and it encompasses –

a. Code arrangement

b. Usage of desired programming language – JAVA, Python, etc.

c. Code optimization

d. Language syntax

e. Debugging

f. Creating and using frameworks and libraries

5. Testing and Maintenance

Software testing is carried out in pre-release stage, which is essential to identify bugs and code errors before release. Post launch of a software, its maintenance requires constant upgrades and modifications to meet user requirements.

This is also essential to keep up with the current market trends and practices. Failure to upgrade a software makes it obsolete as technology is constantly upgrading in today’s time.

This was all about dental practice management software development!

Arkenea specializes in healthcare software development with over 11 years of experience in the field. We deliver software solutions that meet industry standards and customized features for enhanced user experience.

If looking for an expert healthcare development company, then simply get in touch with us to get best-in-class healthcare software developed for your practice.