Operating a public or private university that offers an active community dental clinic while simultaneously educating students in an academic setting is a much easier process with advanced dental school software. As many institutions around the country head into winter break, now may be an especially opportune time to strategize ways to meet some of the biggest challenges facing the oral health care industry in 2014. Dental programs across the U.S. have a unique responsibility for setting examples for students and staying at the forefront of new technology and thinking. While educators should always ensure their course offerings are relevant enough to prepare enrollees for future professional careers, schools can also solve many industry-wide problems by investing in high-quality management technology.
The oral health publishing network DentistryIQ recently compiled responses from dental professionals around the country highlighting many of the biggest issues facing clinics, universities and private practices in the new year. Here is a summary of three major problems and how dynamic dental software tools can make it easier for academic institutions to stay ahead:
1. Growing student debt
Linda Miles, founder of the dental consulting firm Linda Miles and Associates, said there is no shortage of challenges facing health care providers in the near future. However, the rising cost of a high-quality college education is an especially alarming issue. Not only has the time it takes to pay off loans after graduation become a deterrent to higher education, but it may also lead to a shortage in dentists if not enough people decide to pursue these careers. The cost of tuition is largely out of the control of most university officials- especially at public institutions that depend on state budgets. Still, a comprehensive management software program can make it easier for administrators, professors and even students themselves to keep track of progress. When individuals are able to measure of their own performance, they have a much stronger chance of graduating on time and thus avoiding any extra fees.
2. Fewer visits from patients
Americans view dental care differently than they did in the past. In fact, Miles said 50 percent of the U.S. population regularly visited an oral health care provider ten years ago. By 2015, industry experts expect that number to reach as low as 20 percent of the population. With dental software, universities can breathe new life into their fully operating clinics. For example, rather than losing touch with patients, managers and employees can benefit from greater organization of contact information. This may ultimately create new opportunities to communicate with patients on a regular basis and drive up the number of yearly visits.
3. Higher health care costs
Many clinics across the country are trying hard to make care as affordable as possible. According to the Healthcare and Technology blog, the growth of electronic health records has led to greater flexibility for health operations around the nation. University clinics can use these tools to make their clinics more efficient. As a result, these institutions will have an easier time controlling costs and satisfying a larger number of patients in the long run.