Any new business software purchase can seem daunting, especially for something as critical as practice management software. With so many options out there, how do you narrow down your choices?
The best approach is a structured one, with a list of key requirements. Everyone’s list of requirements will be slightly different, and you’re unlikely to find software that will meet every single one of yours. But evaluating your options according to number of requirements met will help give you a sense of how they compare, and will help you make a more educated decision.
One important requirement that should be on everyone’s list: flexibility for growth.
Do you have plans to grow, by acquisition or with new offices? The re-emergence of Dental Support Organizations has exerted pressure on individual practices and smaller groups. To remain competitive with industry giants, many dental organizations have recognized the importance of scale, even if it’s just a few offices.
So ask the software sales rep: does their practice management software allow you to add offices easily? Or does it require you to build out expensive IT infrastructure, including servers, and to network your offices (if that’s even an option with the software) so they aren’t isolated data islands? Ask the rep to explain how you’ll add an office, or, better yet, ask them to show you in the system! If they punt or give you a vague answer, you’re probably not dealing with a very flexible solution. And even if you don’t have immediate plans for growth, you don’t want to invest time and money switching to software that will make growth a challenge in the future.
The answers should be pretty cut-and-dry if you’re asking the right questions. Don’t be afraid to ask!