Software for dental hygiene schools adds common sense to management

September 25th, 2014

Oral health care jobs are rapidly evolving to keep up with patient needs, and dental hygiene academic software can give universities the framework for standardizing new strategies throughout the curriculum.

After roughly four years, the Affordable Care Act continues to have a profound influence on the health industry as a whole. With more incentives to limit the cost of providing high-quality care to a larger number of insured patients, many professionals are noticing a sharp increase in their workloads and responsibilities. Part of the push for greater efficiency in the health care system is to invest more energy into primary care. In many cases, this means enlisting the help of separate specialists, such as dentists and oral hygienists, to contribute to an individual's own preventive and proactive health plan. An article published recently on the Physicians Practice website revealed that at least in the immediate future, this shift will likely present unique challenges.

Avoiding future complications
Adapting to this new focus on primarily care isn't something that can easily happen overnight. For example, dental hygiene schools may have already established routines and best practices for how they prepare their students for success in their long-term careers. However, these programs may not necessarily be up to date with strategies to address the growing need for collaboration with other health care providers. Faculty members who are familiar with doing things the old way initially equate this change with a busier schedule.

Dental hygiene school software that connects both clinical and academic operations without replacing existing process can help administrators pivot their degree programs to be more in tune with the current state of primary care in the U.S. According to a fact sheet from the American Dental Hygienists' Association, about 6,700 individuals graduate from universities with oral health certificates or degrees each year. Educators have an obligation to keep up with new technology and limit overhead costs, especially when producing such a large volume of young professionals ready for the workforce on a regular basis.

Using software for dental hygiene schools to eliminate waste
That said, a variety of factors can stand in the way of an academic institution leveraging the full benefits of an advanced management system. For example, universities are always looking for ways to obtain a consistent level of funding to finance programs and update their facilities. A recent article in The New York Times reported that rising tuition costs at both public and private schools have had little effect on bolstering long-term budgets. Specifically, the article pointed out that despite the fact that average tuition at public colleges has increased significantly since 1988, the amount of revenue collected per student has remained relatively static.

With an advanced dental hygiene academic software suite, administrators can continue improving their programs without worrying so much about overhead spending. In fact, many universities are in the habit of relying on multiple tools to manage the different aspects of their operations, such as using private practice technology to run clinics and strictly academic software to monitor evaluations and classroom activities. Being able to do all of these tasks in one platform simplifies day-to-day responsibilities and has a substantial impact on cost controls. Faculty members can also use these tools to gather the kinds of research necessary for securing grant funding from various organizations.

Finding a way around future faculty shortages
As oral health professionals play a more active role in the primary care process, dental hygiene academic software can also make it easier for both students and staff to organize their workloads. Diana Lamoreaux, a retired hygienist with more than 30 years of experience, recently wrote in RDH Magazine about the risk of a potential faculty shortage at universities in the U.S. She argued that while dentistry experienced a period of rapid growth in the 1960s and 1970s, today's recent graduates are less interested in pursuing careers in the academic realm. As a result, it's possible that many universities will be lacking the resources necessary to facilitate a quality education for such a large number of enrollees. Without the right technology, currently faculty members may suddenly find themselves with a more to do and less time to do it.

Software for dental hygiene schools creates a smoother daily operation for educators by offering access to a standardized evaluation system and a dynamic portal through with they can stay connected with their students both online and in the classroom. Universities that implement this kind of technology into their practices may even successfully convince more of their students to consider seeking more advanced degrees and ultimately stay in the academic sector as future faculty members and researchers.

Amid so many challenges in the health care sector, academic institutions need ways to simplify their processes. The easier it is to get work done, the more likely these schools will establish a strong reputation and maintain high enrollment levels. 

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