How can dental schools run more like efficient private practices?

December 30th, 2013

Dental academic software makes it possible for universities to access many of the same management technologies currently boosting the efficiency and quality of private practices around the country.

Many people believe oral health programs at schools are inherently distinct from other professional clinics serving patients. However, dental universities are often composed of complex networks that include real-world care providers, educators and students. As a result, these organizations often end up juggling the same nuances of private practice operations in addition to the standard academic procedures in the classroom. In other words, the nature of student management uniquely positions administrators to reap the full benefits of dental school software and other forms of advanced technology.

Management tools lead to financial payoffs
No matter what size, academic institutions are constantly looking for ways to do more with less. The ability to maximize productivity with a limited number of resources can go a long way toward boosting student satisfaction and enrollment numbers in the future. More importantly, schools can rein in many of the hefty overhead costs associated with running their operations.

Cathy Jameson, founder and chief visionary officer of the dental advising firm Jameson Management, wrote on the website of the oral health industry publication DentistryIQ about the relationship between greater organization and financial success. Whether it's a small, family-run private practice or a major public institution, fiscal uncertainty can place unnecessary strain on the quality of care available to patients.

"Establish management systems in your practice so that servicing your debts does not cause overwhelming stress for you, your team or your family," Jameson said.

The same concept holds true in an academic setting. The more students a school accepts into its programs, the harder it can be to operate as efficiently as possible. With the right dental school software, administrators can not only cut costs, but they can also have a better chance of graduating a larger number of individuals in the future.

Addressing patient satisfaction
In regards to the clinical aspects of oral health programs at universities, dental software can ultimately lead to stronger relationships with the community. According to Dental Practice Management, an online publication, word often gets around quickly between patients when they are dissatisfied with an experience. In fact, one of the most common complaints about dentists is the fact that they rarely are ever able to start and end appointments on time. The day-to-day responsibilities of most oral health professionals rarely mix well with inflexible schedules and plans. However, clinics can leverage technology to keep better records and make more efficient use of available resources on a daily basis. Dental school software makes it possible for universities to integrate their clinical operations with the rest of the institution's work, such as student management and recruiting. With this sudden increase in flexibility, school clinics can develop stronger relationships with their patients while simultaneously allowing students the chance to gain real-world experience running an efficient practice. 

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