Denticon Practice Management Solution Provides Secure and Seamless Cloud-Access
This case study examines the Denticon customer journey of Midtown Dentistry, a multi-location practice in the greater Houston, Texas area, founded and managed by Dr. Jonathan Penchas.
Denticon is a cloud-based dental practice management solution by Planet DDS. Denticon provides practices with robust reporting, cloud-based centralized access, and advanced security to safeguard data.
- Needed secure access across all locations
- Wanted robust, centralized, enterprise-level reporting to track KPIs and goals
- Wanted to protect data from natural disasters and cyberattacks
- Cloud-based access across locations anytime, any place
- Centralized data and standardized tools for clinicians, billing team, and remote staff
- Enterprise-level reporting for flexible and customized reports providing visibility over the entire practice, individual offices, and by individual provider
- Secure cloud storage safeguards patient data from natural disasters and cyberattacks
Changing Needs from One Location Multi-Location
Before moving to Denticon four years ago, Midtown Dentistry tried a few cloud solutions, and before moving to the cloud, the practice was using the server-based solution, Dentrix, by Henry Schein. Founder and managing partner of Midtown Dentistry, Dr. Jonathan Penchas, explained that security issues aside, Dentrix more than met the practice’s needs when there was just one office.
However, when he expanded his operations to multiple offices and tried Ascend, Henry Schein’s cloud-based practice management solution, it failed to keep up with the practice’s growing needs.
“Ascend is a very expensive software and they didn’t have all the modules that we needed. One of the things I also don’t like about Dentrix by Henry Schein is that you’re held hostage because they won’t share their API, which caused many problems for us when we wanted to switch to a different solution. We resolved it with some legal help, but I know Planet DDS does not do that and will release your data instead of holding it hostage,” said of his experience with Dentrix by Henry Schein.
In his search to find a cloud solution that would meet his multi-location practice’s needs, Dr. Penchas also tried QSI Dentaland, another cloud solution, but ultimately decided to move on.
“Like any other arena, there’s a lot of startups with flashy, great ideas, but they can be underfunded or have some other problems. Or it can be software from a big-name company, and it’s still being built. As a business owner, I can’t afford to do that because onboarding and switching software is costly and time-consuming,” explained Dr. Penchas.
Finding the Right Fit
“With Denticon, the conversion time was shorter and it’s a relatively simple software to learn. We went with Denticon because they had been in the cloud market the longest and had the most robust software,” said Dr. Penchas of his decision to move to Denticon.
“We were looking to reduce costs and get the most value and it’s worked very well for my group,” he continued.
“Experience is everything. If anyone is looking for a 100% perfect solution, they’re being unrealistic. That’s true of any software. With Denticon, the price point is good, and the software and support answer our needs,” continued Dr. Penchas.
Incidentally, Midtown Dentistry is also a client of Apteryx Imaging, an advanced dental imaging company that Planet DDS acquired in late 2020. Midtown Dentistry subscribes to Apteryx Imaging’s cloud imaging software, XVWeb.
“Now with the addition of Apteryx Imaging, there’s a lot of room for growth because dentistry is becoming digital.” Managing a multi-location practice required Dr. Penchas and his staff to be able to access his data from anywhere with continuous uptime.
“We are based in Houston, and hurricanes are the norm here. And now we have pandemics, too. With a cloud-based solution, we’re up and running 100% of the time,” said Dr. Penchas.
Customized and Flexible Reporting Across Locations
“We have doctors who can still log in and do everything they need to do if they’re on vacation abroad. We also have employees in the Philippines, and they have secure access, too. As a DSO, we also have some of our accounts receivable and collections services teams working all over the country remotely during the pandemic. It’s like a window for everyone on the team. I can imagine working any other way.”
Denticon’s enterprise-level reporting allows Dr. Penchas and his executive and administrative teams to have visibility across all offices.
“I can view based on a single office or all offices as a single entity. Denticon has such robust reporting built-in, and you can do a dive deep depending on your needs,” said Dr. Penchas of Denticon’s reports.
“Denticon has the most detailed reporting of any company I’ve seen. Whatever KPIs or goals you want to track, Denticon’s centralized reporting makes it a winner.” With five locations throughout the greater Houston area, this practice had multiple levels of reporting needs for the overall practice, each office, and individual roles.
Benefits of the Cloud
“We use reports to track production and collection for our practice. Our hygienists have their own reports in [the morning huddle dashboard], and our associates are paid based on the allocation report,” said Dr. Penchas. “We use the clinical dashboard daily, which automatically gets sent to all the doctors to help them be better business owners.”
Since Denticon has so many ready-made reports available, Dr. Penchas says any practice can decide what reports work best for them. “I’m glad that you’re able to pick out which ones are most useful for your practice and different team members,” said Dr. Penchas.
Long before most dental practices were looking to cloud solutions, Dr. Penchas began investigating his options to move away from server-based systems. “Back then, when I told my other doctor friends that I wanted to move my data to the cloud 15 years ago, they thought I was a nut job. Of course, today, there are still people who don’t use a SaaS cloud solution and use local software. They’re on antiquated systems that put their entire practice at risk,” said Dr. Penchas.
“I cannot tell you how many doctors around me have had their server hacked. Their data has been stolen and scrambled, so they have to pay a ransom to get the data back,” said Dr. Penchas. Protecting his practice’s data against ransomware attacks was just one reason to move to the Denticon cloud.
With his practice based in an area known for natural disasters, Dr. Penchas didn’t want to take any chances risking his data. “Being in Houston, I can’t afford to have a server that could be lost in a fire or flooded by a hurricane.”
With cybercrimes on the rise for the healthcare industry, housing patient records in-house is becoming an increasingly unmanageable and high-risk burden. Whether paper files or server-based systems, having patient records on-premise leaves practices vulnerable to expensive cyberattacks and natural disasters. Having heard colleagues experience devastating security breaches of their servers, Dr. Penchas wanted a more secure way to store his data. He shared another cautionary tale of a friend whose server was hacked.
“My good friend was hacked, and even though they had paid for a backup service, they couldn’t quite reconstitute the data correctly. It was such as mess that they ultimately elected to pay the ransom.” When confronted with the risk of leaving data vulnerable to natural disasters or cyberattacks, Dr. Penchas said Denticon buys you peace of mind. Unlike paper or server-based systems, Denticon is
backed by state-of-the-art security features to safeguard data, reducing the risk of a HIPAA breach.
“My business is dentistry, not cybersecurity. So, it’s better to have professionals handle that for me. I had a friend also in the Houston area that had their office flooded. Their server was flooded, and even though they had paid for backup service with a local company, even that company got flooded!” exclaimed Dr. Penchas. “Meanwhile, we are up and running 24/7. We don’t need to worry about backups because Denticon does it all for us.”
Aside from paying ransoms and having significant disruptions to a practice, Dr. Penchas also touched on other “costs” of having your server hacked. “As a fiduciary, if you’ve been hacked, you have to let everyone know. When you let your patients and business associates know, people will think that you’re not really on top of your game, so you can lose a lot of brand value, which is unfortunate when you’ve spent a lot of time and money building that up.”
“I need software that works every single day. Denticon does the job. And the software is consistently getting better through upgrades, which is also important. The people and support you receive matter, too,” said Dr. Penchas. “If I had to choose again right now, I would not move to any other software. At this price point and what you get for it, there is nothing out on the market that will save me more money or give me better results,” concluded Dr. Penchas.