Dental software equips clinics with tools to manage more patients

November 1st, 2013


Oral health clinics that invest in dental enterprise software may experience a variety of benefits for both patients and employees. Incorporating advanced technology into daily operations at any medical clinic is one of the most important steps care providers can take in meeting the challenges of of today's health landscape. More than ever before, dentists must leverage new tools to maximize efficiency and avoid disorganization amid an increase in patient activity.

A variety of recent events in the health care industry suggest today's dentists may soon have to treat more patients than usual. For example, CBS News reported one of the consequences of the technological difficulties associated with online enrollment in the new government-operated health insurance exchanges created by the Affordable Care Act is that many low-income Americans are forgoing private insurance options and instead opting for Medicaid. In fact, the network conducted a survey of 15 state exchange programs and found a significant increase in Medicaid enrollment across the board. In Washington state, 87 percent of 35,000 who have signed up for insurance through the exchanges have chosen public options. Similarly, 82 percent of 26,000 new insurance enrollees in Kentucky are now Medicaid members. According to CBS News, industry experts said many Americans have simply found it easier to enroll in public insurance instead of private options.

A rapid increase in Medicaid enrollment isn't necessarily bad news for clinics that choose to invest in high-quality dental software programs. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services even offers a monetary incentive program for enterprises that successfully implement electronic health records technology into existing operations. In other words, now is as good of an opportunity as ever to prepare for an increase in patient activity as a result of expanded public insurance coverage by updating clinical software systems.

Medicaid expansion and improved coverage for children
Another recent development in the dental industry that will likely impact enterprise operations is the announcement of a new grant program from the nonprofit organization Oral Health America that will aim to eliminate the prevalence of tooth decay among American children. The program, known as Smiles Across America, has already resulted in OHA distributing a total of $300,000 to clinics around the country that focus on providing quality oral care to young people.

"The grants distributed by SAA support programs that provide care to underserved children throughout the country," Tina Montgomery, the programs manager for OHA, stated in a press release. "For many of the children, they would not have access to dental care without the work of our SAA partners."

Dental enterprise software programs can equip clinics with the tools and technology necessary to improve care for children. In addition to monetary rewards and grants available for adopting EHRs in the workplace, oral health professionals will be able to enhance the efficiency of their operations. With advanced technology, dentists can have instant access to relevant patient data and industry research that will ultimately improve the overall health of the U.S. population.

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