We chose System for Dentists to move from a 40-year old paper cards and appointment diary system to a computerised practice. None of the staff were previously used to having computers at work and the project was daunting in this regard. I am happy to say that in the three months since we installed, we have successfully moved most of the practice record keeping and patient administration processes from paper to screen with only mild inconvenience and time used. We went for a staged approach, which I would recommend to anyone making this sort of move, starting by opening "empty" patient records and using them to populate the appointment book. Once all future appointments (six months worth!) were moved to the system, we started using SFD to take clinical charts, and then clinical records. We are also using spare staff time to scan the old paper cards into the system. Now we are also using SFD to log financial transactions and invoice patients. We hope to start recalling patients using SFD in the next month. The logical and easy interface of SFD has helped our staff get to grips with computerisation in a stress-free manner.
Since installing System for Dentists our appointment time utilisation has improved because the on-screen diary shows available and used time more effectively than a paper diary. The "on-hold" feature is highly valued by our reception because it allows them to retain needed appointments until a time when they can be re-booked. This is particularly handy if the dentists need to chop and change their hours at short notice. We like the periodontal charts which can be pasted into reports to our referring dentists, and the inbuilt wordprocessor has done away with folder after folder of patient correspondence - everything now goes into one place. Note-writing is made more tidy, and if set up property with prefabricated frameworks - gets quicker.
We have yet to realise the full benefit of our investment in SFD, but I can already safely say it was worthwhile from one simple measure: I spend less time in the practice doing my administration after the last patient has left!
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