Dental software developers constantly make choices about how to allocate development resources. When a new feature or service needs to be developed, often developers must consider whether to do it themselves ‘inside’ or tightly integrated within their own product or to leave it to a third party to provide an alongside offering to their clients, sometimes faster, and possibly with less development investment required.

Here are a few software features that illustrate how additional time and investment by a developer can benefit your practice.

The evolution of the patient experience enhances staff efficiency

A Mobile App like MacPractice Patient Check In for iPad replaces a sign in sheet in busy practices and protects the patient’s identity without the ‘up and down’ otherwise required of staff. Because of the direct connection from the app to MacPractice DDS, when the patient checks in on the iPad, everyone in the office immediately sees a change in appointment status.

MacPractice Clipboard for iPad interoperates with practice management software to present the patient with their information that was entered when staff made their appointment. It makes it possible for patients to add and commit the remaining registration and health information themselves, take their own photo, and sign the HIPAA release. No data is stored on the iPad, data between desktop and iPad is encrypted, and all the data is entered into the patient’s account and EHR, the same as if staff entered it except without their effort.

Online Registration and EHR forms and Online Scheduling are examples of services inside a Patient Portal that make it possible for new patients to provide their information online before they arrive. The patients enter discrete data themselves, providing convenience for patients, but equally important, saving staff time.

Integrated Network Fax and Secure Messaging

By tightly integrating with an online service such as Updox, instead of dedicating an employee to getting up and down to use the fax machine and to file faxes in paper charts, every front desk and clinical staff can fax anything inside (or outside) from within MacPractice. Incoming faxes can easily be assigned to a provider for review and signature and can be filed in the patient record in Attachments where every user can find them whenever needed. Everyone is a more efficient team member.

Protect your patient’s information – and protect your practice

Protecting your patient’s data should be a priority in your practice because it’s the right thing to do. And one un-secure email can cost a dentist a $50,000 HIPAA fine and their livelihood since no one will go to a dentist who isn’t vigilant about protecting patient information. That’s why MacPractice built in a Messaging Ability so users can compose and receive secure emails to and from other providers with attachments, such as x-rays and photos in the built in Digital Radiography Ability, without fear of unintentionally exposing patient data to hackers. Secure communications of doctors and staff with patients via the Patient Portal are also created and responded to in Messaging, and everything is protected with encryption inside the MacPractice database. Everyone can share secure email and communications through the practice management software, eliminating the need for and use of personal email and web surfing on the practice’s computers, which are the primary vehicles for Ransomware and other hacking.

While it may seem that all dental software is the same, it’s time to take another look. There are important features that don’t exist in most software. When a dental software developer chooses to build in or tightly integrate capabilities and online services, the users gain ease of use, productivity, efficiency, time-savings and security. Think about it. If all EPHI can be contained in your software, then all EPHI can also be protected by built in encryption and you patient and your practice are safer as well as being more efficient. MacPractice is Mac dental software.