When Family Dental Health Chief Technology Officer Chris Grimm and Chief Clinical Officer Mike Twitchell went looking for a cloud-based practice management solution, they knew exactly what features they needed to grow their practice. When researching options, they sought an option that provided everything they needed on one platform, including access to data, a strong ability to scale, and efficient communication and operations across their rapidly expanding DSO. After careful consideration, they chose Planet DDS to support their 33 offices (and growing) located throughout South Carolina.
“Cloud-based solutions are becoming more common with more multi-location dental providers,” Twitchell explains. “A non-negotiable for us was direct access to behind-the-scenes data, and this eliminated most competitors. After that it was scalability, with the tools we needed under one platform. We also wanted administrative features for things like online scheduling and easy communication.”
Grimm and Twitchell shared why they decided to use Planet DDS over other cloud-based practice management solutions, and their experience onboarding Planet DDS solutions Denticon Practice Management and Apteryx XVWeb. This includes converting practices acquired by Family Dental Health that had been using other solutions, as well as onboarding brand new practices joining the Planet DDS ecosystem.
Operational Efficiency for DSOs
Grimm and Twitchell required a cloud-based platform that provides comprehensive practice and clinical management solutions so that administrative staff and clinicians have the tools they need for optimal operations. When researching solutions, they visited other practices using Planet DDS and were able to see it in action, and the platform provided tools they were looking for.
Planet DDS securely houses everything in one place, including communication, scheduling, fee schedules and insurance plans, as well as x-ray imaging data and documentation. Additionally, as a cloud-based software, Planet DDS routinely makes updates with minimal disruption to end-users, and this was compelling to Grimm and Twitchell as they experienced major disruptions when using other platforms.
“We’ve been using a system where you have to take the whole thing down for 48 hours to make major updates and even basic updates. Planet DDS is systematically rolling out updates in ways that are more consistent and manageable, during evenings and weekends,” Twitchell says.
Tech Integrations to Support DSO Business Objectives
In addition to providing comprehensive solutions for clinical and administrative operations, direct access to behind-the-scenes data was non-negotiable for Grimm and Twitchell. They required a partner that could integrate with proprietary systems so they could build some of their own systems. This requirement eliminated about 80% of Planet DDS competitors and made Planet DDS a clear partner that would support growth and scalability in the way that aligned with Family Dental Health.
“We build a lot of integrations on our own. Not just the typical patient engagement or insurance. We are building a lot of internal automation, so having access to the data and a system that supports that is essential,” Grimm explains.
Implementing Planet DDS Solutions
With both de novo practices and existing practices requiring conversion from other systems, Family Dental Health required onboarding that could support both scenarios. The goal was to hit the ground running with a fast and smooth platform rollout.
“When onboarding whether it was de novo or a conversion, the communication was great,” Twitchell says. “I don’t think I have ever worked with a vendor who has been more responsive or easier to work with or shown us the ropes the way this team has. Implementation has gone amazingly well.”
Introducing Planet DDS to De Novo Practices
Both Twitchell and Grimm noted that training on a new system can be challenging for de novo practices. Planet DDS ran the first two trainings when Family Dental Health was getting started, and then supported Family Dental Health in developing their own internal training so they could effectively run as needed. They find the internal training system very valuable, and a perfect rollout for a DSO of their size in which they can have someone entirely dedicated to training.
“The pain points were things you’d normally expect with rollout, and that’ll happen even with the most perfect training program,” Grimm says. “More or less, the first week is tough and then people get it. The feedback is that it gets easier every day, and it’s been as smooth as it can be.”
Converting Practices onto Planet DDS
When it came to converting practices onto Planet DDS, organization was key. With several practices and a lot of moving parts and people involved, it required a high level of collaboration between Planet DDS and Family Dental Health.
“The biggest asset to the conversion process is the organization. Our implementation coordinator had all our timelines lined up and communicated them very effectively, making sure all the parts and pieces are moving in the same direction,” Grimm says. “We received a calendar invite for everything, so we know exactly what’s happening. That allowed us to focus on other things. I’ve done a lot of conversions, and these have been as smooth as they can be.”
Collaboration with Planet DDS
Both Grimm and Twitchell agreed that the support they needed was always available and problems were always resolved as efficiently as possible.
“If an issue came up, or there was something we were not familiar with, our implementation coordinator quickly connected us to the right resource. We were always able to get what we needed, and everyone was receptive and responsive. They always followed through to ensure everything was resolved,” Grimm says. “I don’t want to say there was a lot of hand holding, but there was a lot of hand holding!”
Family Dental Health found the level of support translated through to the data and analytics team, who always made themselves available for calls. Additionally, they found their implementation coordinator’s level of responsiveness never waned, even as the need for her support decreased.
“Every team has delivered,” Twitchell says. “If we asked for something to happen, Planet DDS made it happen. And everything has gone smoothly because of that. Planet DDS’s people have been some of the most responsive and engaged people that I have ever experienced. I would 100% recommend them, and the product, to anyone.”
Partners Committed to Your Success
“The resources Planet DDS provides makes the process easy,” Grimm says. “This absolutely has to be a partnership and the collaboration has been amazing. Our next step with Planet DDS is how to get even more out of it, and the team is excellent at showing us what those next steps could be. This is the phase we are in now.”
Planet DDS offers a range of solutions to support dental practices. Whether you’re a single office in need of secure, cloud-based solutions, or a multi-practice DSO requiring robust end-to-end solutions, we can help.