The ease of use of Software of Excellence’s EXACT Practice Management software makes it stand out head and shoulders above the competition, according to Parkside Dental Surgery’s Charlie Roberts, who co-owns the business together with his wife Jennie.
The Dubbo, NSW, practice switched to EXACT several years ago from another large software provider, after finding their previous system ‘clunky’, says Charlie. “We found some of the old system’s processes weren’t that good,” he explains. “We knew there had to be something better.” That ‘something’ was SOE’s EXACT dental practice management software.
“We dug a little deeper into EXACT and realised it was so much easier to use, so it wasn’t a difficult decision to make,” he says. “Any software programme has to be simple and easy to use and staff need to be able to pick it up how to use it quickly. Observing our new clinicians over the years, we’ve found this is definitely the case with EXACT.”
Charlie and Jennie also like the reporting tools that form part of the EXACT system. “There are plenty of reports to help with tracking and business performance,” says Charlie. “And if we need something customised, we just get in touch with the Software of Excellence support team and they sort it out.”
He adds that he and the team have found the level of support to be excellent. “When you ring up, there’s always someone to answer your questions or log on and sort things out,” he says. “It’s great that you don’t have to leave a message for someone to ring you back and you’re not sitting in a queue for ages.”
He explains that they also value the training provided by the Software of Excellence team. He and Jennie have made the decision that every new employee has an initial individual training session, with a second follow-up period if necessary. “This way, we can be sure that new staff are learning the correct and most efficient way to operate the system, rather than someone else telling them what they think is correct."
“Software is constantly updating,” he adds, “so with our new staff training sessions, it enables one of our team to learn the new tips and tricks that are being introduced by the SOE development team.”
Parkside Dental have embraced all of the system features in EXACT – utilising automated recalls, online booking, short notice cancellation bookings and Clinipad, to maximise their practice’s efficiency.
Charlie says EXACT’s Automated Recall Manager with SMS reminders and EasyPost has freed up valuable Patient Coordinator time. “We used to spend several days a month manually sending out recalls,” he says. “We’ve been able to utilise the time that’s been saved to be more proactive with our patients and give them more attention.” He says they have also cut the postage costs associated with the old manual recall process.
“Automated recalls have eased the pressure and stress and ensured our appointment book is full – especially for our dental hygienist and dental therapist. If their appointment books are consistent, that flows through to the dentists too.”
He adds that they have experienced a steady increase in online bookings since they started using EXACT. “The number of people booking online is steadily growing. I think this trend will continue as people spend more and more time online on their phones. Everyone leads such busy lives – anything we can do to make it easier for our patients to make an appointment is definitely a win for them and for us.”
He says the online booking system integrates very well with the automated recall feature in EXACT. “It quietly works away in the background, so it’s not something we have to allocate time to each day. Patients can see the available appointments and can just book a time that suits them.”
Patients generally don’t develop a bad toothache during normal operating hours, he says – it’s often late at night, or on a weekend. “New patients can just do a search for a dentist in Dubbo and our website or Facebook page usually comes up. They just click through to the online booking, find an appointment time and have peace of mind knowing they have a confirmed booking.”
Charlie says the online booking system, together with automated recalls, has also reduced their Fail-to-Attend rate. “The strategic use of the SMS system means patients get a reminder a few days before their appointment, with the option to confirm the booking or opt out. It puts patients back in control of their appointments and also gives us enough time to fill a gap in the diary if someone cancels.”
He says that Clinipad was the final step in converting their practice to a paperless working environment, which gave them cost, space and time savings. “It’s been a big time saving especially,” he explains. “Our patient coordinators would previously spend a lot of time scanning in medical histories and other patient information. For a busy practice like ours, it takes up a lot of time, and it’s inefficient. Clinipad has removed all the inefficiency and waste and our patients love it.”
He adds that the Clinipad Smile Survey is a very useful feature that provides Jennie and other clinicians with insights into areas that a patient may not be 100 percent happy with, enabling them to give the necessary attention and fix them.