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Why Every DSO Should Centralize with a Cloud-Based Practice Management Solution

By Planet DDS
August 26, 2021

Centralizing non-clinical functions is a common trend among DSOs. And for good reason. By centralizing, DSOs relieve much of the burden of running a practice so that individual offices can focus on patient care. There are three main reasons why a DSO should use a centralized practice management solution to support its practices effectively: 1) standardized workflows, 2) scalability, and 3) accurate, enterprise reporting. 

Before we get into the reasons, let’s talk about, “what IS centralization?” In the context of a DSO, centralization means to bring non-clinical support services under centralized control. The easiest and fastest way for a DSO to centralize is by moving to a cloud-based practice management solution.  

Pitfalls of Decentralized Systems 

For most DSOs, achieving steady and scalable growth is one of the primary business goals of the organization. With this in mind, let’s look at how a decentralized system impedes and even prevents DSOs from reaching their growth goals. 

One step to achieving steady and scalable growth is for DSOs to accurately track and benchmark their locations by collecting data. However, when each individual practice is operating on a different practice management solution, collecting and synthesizing data becomes difficult, if not impossible, to complete and identify trends. Additionally, as DSOs look to grow by acquiring new locations, it becomes increasingly complex to add a practice that has yet another practice management solution. All this together makes have a decentralized system inefficient and creates complex workflows for DSOs, wasting time and money. 

Frustratingly, by running on a decentralized system, a DSO struggles with the very thing they’re tasked to do: provide steady and scalable growth via centralized support services. 

Contrast this with a DSO that has centralized access to all locations through a common cloud-based practice management solution. The right practice management solution can support the steady growth of a DSO to excel in each of these key areas: efficiency, scalability, and reporting. 

Why Centralization Pays 

As a DSO organization grows, it needs to become even more efficient as it manages more office locations, staff, patients, IT systems, etc. A cloud-based practice management solution provides this much-needed efficiency through centralized access. 

Centralized Access to Patient Data 

First, the DSO can increase efficiency through centralized access to data. That means all patient x-rays, charts, billing, and other records are accessible as a single record from any location. Offices don’t need to waste time transferring patient records or images, allowing for easy referrals within the DSO. Patients can visit multiple locations within the DSO and still have a single patient record, eliminating duplicate records across the DSO. This streamlined workflow helps each location by allowing dentists and staff to do their jobs more effectively and provide a better patient experience.  

Enabling Centralized Support 

Going beyond patient data, a cloud-based practice management solution can also support practices with centralized functions, including scheduling, marketing, and billing. Enabling this central access means schedules can be accessed and updated in real-time across all locations. The DSO can also lead marketing efforts and patient engagement through centralized patient communication via emails, texts, ads, and social media posts. And with a central billing office that can view billing records for all locations, a DSO can take on billing and collections for the different locations as well. 

Smaller IT Footprint  

Having one practice management solution across all locations also allows for a smaller IT footprint. As the DSO grows, if your IT team has to work with different systems both on-premise and in the cloud, it will become increasingly more difficult to manage each location’s IT. With piecemeal work arounds, you increase your DSO’s vulnerability for cyberattacks and put unneeded stress on your IT team.  

With a single solution across all offices, your IT team can manage IT centrally with ease. The best practice management solutions also offer added security and control for IT team to track user trails and control permissions. It’s the easier and more secure way to manage IT for an DSO.  

The Power to Scale 

For a DSO to grow their existing locations, as well as acquire and open new ones, it needs the right software solutions in place to scale its growth. Without the right solutions in place, bottlenecks will begin to arise as it relates to accessing location and patient data, managing IT services, and supporting different locations non-clinical needs.  

However, with a centralized solution that can scale, a DSO can quickly provide support and resources to integrate a new office now and into the future. The technology of the practice management solution must meet your DSO’s needs today just as much as it needs to meet them for your DSO tomorrow. 

Accurate and Reliable Reporting 

Another aspect of the business where a DSO should not compromise is reporting. Consistency in data, reporting metrics, and KPIs are essential to ensure success across the entire organization and its multiple locations. 

When a DSO tries to consolidate data across locations without a centralized practice management solution, much time is wasted manually collecting data. And there could be numerous discrepancies and inaccuracies that make the data unreliable when making important business decisions. It’s incredibly challenging to run a successful DSO without having access to accurate and reliable data. 

Fortunately, there’s a better way. With a centralized practice management solution, practices can enable enterprise level reporting by easily running reports and viewing dashboards to visualize the health of each office and the entire DSO with a click of a button. There’s no difficulty in comparing and aggregating data across 4 locations or even 100. With enterprise level reporting based on real-time, accurate data and analytics, DSOs can make better business decisions.   

With far better reporting and financial control, it’s no wonder why DSOs that have centralized operations tend to command the highest valuations by private equity firms. Centralizing = increasing the value of your DSO.  

Centralizing with Denticon for Growth 

Are you interested in learning more about the benefits of centralization? Migrating to a cloud-based practice management solution is the fastest way you can centralize your DSO.  

Nearly half of the top 25 largest DSOs in the US now use Denticon. We would love to chat with you about how we can help your DSO centralize too for better reporting, scalability, and more efficiency. No other solution comes close when it comes to helping DSOs grow their business. Contact us today. 

To learn more about how Denticon makes DSOs more valuable to private equity firms, read our ebook.