Sarah Huxtable is Practice Manager at Quay Dental Practice, an independent mixed practice that focuses on providing quality general family dentistry. A short time ago the practice introduced Clinipad, which has not only saved staff valuable time and reception space, it has introduced some of their more mature patients to a whole new world of technology!
“In common with many dental practices we suffered from the familiar problem of our staff having to deal with the administration and storage of endless numbers of paper forms and patients’ medical history. Although our patient notes and digital X-ray records were being stored electronically, we were still keeping large numbers of paper copies of medical histories, consent forms and various other essential records.
Our receptionists had a daily routine task of going through filing cabinets to pull out that day’s patient records, and then filing them all away again at the end of each session. Not only was this a time consuming process but the piles of notes at reception looked messy and unprofessional, and also raised concerns about patient confidentiality and data security, despite the fact they were securely locked away each night.
I was introduced to Clinipad at the same time as we upgraded our practice management system to EXACT V11. I could immediately see the benefits of Clinipad and the way in which it would not only allow us to dispense with our paper records by storing them electronically, but also allow us to remove our filing cabinets, freeing up valuable space in reception, and safely and securely storing all our essential patient data off site.
Clinipad is now available for our patients on two iPads at our reception desk. Clinipad allows our patients to electronically sign and update their own medical history, conforming to NHS regulations that require these details to be updated each time a patient starts a new course of treatment. One of the innovative features of Clinipad is that it immediately shows if a patient has filled in all the necessary details correctly and flags up to the receptionist if something has been missed.
When we first started using iPads we were very conscious that not all our patients would be familiar with tablet technology, especially some of our mature patients. Older people often aren’t as familiar with technology as younger people are and it’s understandable for them to be nervous. In fact, one of our staff members was also slightly nervous about using Clinipad, but Software of Excellence’s training team took great care in gently introducing her to the way in which Clinipad and the iPad itself work. Now she is confident enough to show patients how to use this technology herself.
We thought long and hard about the consequences of moving over to electronic forms, considering how our patients would cope and how they might react. But six months since the introduction I can honestly say that any initial concerns have disappeared and we have had absolutely no problem with patient acceptance of the new technology. If anyone needs a bit of encouragement our reception staff are happy to show them how to use the Clinipad touchscreen, how to scroll up and down and how to write onscreen with a stylus pen. In fact, we tell our patients that they can come to Quay Dental Practice for not only quality dentistry, but free IT training as well!”