Ascent Dental Care owner Dr. Kevin Coughlin can be considered a pioneer in multi-location dental clinics, as well as an early adopter of cloud dental software. Early in his career, before people were thinking about ‘the cloud’ and how to streamline care and services, Dr. Coughlin was searching for solutions that could make it easier to run multiple dental practices, while making administrative tasks more efficient. He also established key business metrics he wanted to track, knowing that data-driven decision-making would be the key to growth.
When Dr. Coughlin starting in 1983, it was difficult to expand and then link practices so that information could be shared from location to location. The options for doing that were extremely expensive, slow, and ineffective. In the 1980s and 1990s, dentists owning or participating in multi-locations was a very small fraction of the dental population.
Dr. Coughlin introduced the cloud based Denticon Practice Management solution to his practice around 2004. “As soon as Planet DDS made this solution available, it met my needs. It made my life and my team’s life much, much better just for the flow of information and data from one location to another,” Dr. Coughlin says.
Streamlined Practice Management for Multi-location Dental Clinics
Because Denticon is a cloud-based solution, it makes it easy for multi-location practices to communicate and collaborate on a single platform. This includes scheduling, tracking and managing patient information, generating reports, managing financials and insurance, and much more. With Denticon, everything you need to manage an office is all in one place and can be securely accessed from anywhere.
“Before Denticon, I was spending close to $30,000 on server-based systems for data that ended up being not that efficient,” Dr. Coughlin explains. “It was slow, and it didn’t work the way I wanted it to. The management of multiple locations and so many different employees is tough, but Denticon makes it easier. We currently have four offices, and they are all integrated, so everyone knows exactly what is going on with every patient.”
Clinicians are able to easily add case notes, patient progress, and update charts that are instantly accessible to everyone who needs it within the system. This is more effective than paper charts which, aside from being static in one location, can also be challenging to read. Dr. Coughlin and his team are able to view patient X-rays via Apteryx XVWeb, the integrated imaging solution within Denticon, and access practice data for the clinical and business side of the practice.
“The ability to do clinical notes is terrific. Our progress notes are very efficient and effective because we can have them pre-categorized,” Dr. Coughlin says. “The prescriptions, the intra-oral photos, the diagnostic radiographs, everything to be able to show patients at a glance, what’s going on clinically and business-wise is a huge advantage.”
Elevate Patient Care for a High-Quality Clinical Experience
Denticon’s centralized scheduling and patient management enables Dr. Coughlin to provide patients with the quality of care they want and deserve. Denticon makes it easy to schedule patients, and for patients to be seen faster if they have an urgent need. Openings are visible for every office, making many options available, whether patients want to see a doctor they prefer or simply want to get into the first available appointment.
“The biggest disadvantage of group practice can be continuity of care,” Dr. Coughlin explains. “With Denticon’s centralized scheduling, we can label the primary dentist for each patient. Most patients prefer to see the same person, helping develop trust and a certain comfort level. If a patient wants to go to a different practice that has available appointments, using Denticon that’s much more efficient and effective. It’s a better experience for our team as well as our patients.”
Additionally, some offices specialize in certain areas that others do not. Denticon makes it easy to pull up available appointments based on a patient’s specific needs. “In most dental offices, the providers offer different levels of care. Some general dentists will not do extractions, some will not do molar root canals, some do not do temporomandibular joint treatment, some don’t do orthodontics, the impacted wisdom teeth. The list goes on and on. And by screening those calls, we can fit the care with the ideal provider,” says Dr. Coughlin.
Access to Impactful Business Metrics
The saying goes that you can’t grow what you don’t measure. Denticon provides instant access to metrics and reporting to help improve productivity and profitability. Dr. Coughlin finds in Denticon a solution that makes production quality more visible, which helps ensure patients get optimal care, while maintaining or increasing profitability.
“If you don’t understand your numbers, your production, your collection, the amount of time that each appointment requires, what the production is with all the different insurance companies, then you likely have suboptimal insurance fee schedules,” Dr. Coughlin explains. “Planet DDS allows us to predict with fair accuracy what is needed for providing care and treatment. This allows us to predict the amount of time needed and also the ideal provider.”
Planet DDS Offers Reliable Cloud-Based Services for Dental Clinics
“I don’t want to brag too much, but I’d have to say I’m somewhat of an expert after doing this for 40 years, and I made the decision to go with Denticon,” Dr. Coughlin shares. “I have not regretted it, and if I had to do it all over again, I’d still choose Denticon as our software for the clinical and the business side.”
“At the end of the day, dentistry is physically and mentally demanding. Planet DDS makes life easier for everyone, from dentists to admins. And if any issues come up, Planet DDS provides support. I’ve been happy with the care, service and follow-up.”
The aim of Planet DDS is to make clinical, administrative, and financial work more effective and efficient for dental providers. We offer several solutions to serve the needs of single office clinics, through to multi-office and even multi-state dental providers. Our solutions scale alongside your business needs.
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