The last decade has seen many dentists adopting EHR systems to keep their practices running smoothly. Although the software has evolved to meet changing needs and legal requirements, many users struggle with confusing interfaces or features that don’t live up to the benefits promised by their vendors. Recently there has been a movement toward modern EHRs that offer a clear and functional interface, short learning curve, and solutions to frustrating issues that practices have been struggling with.
If your practice has been experiencing any of the following symptoms it may be time to explore alternative EHR options.
1. Implementation hardships
Has your practice struggled with EHR implementation consistently being delayed? Practices can use up their entire budget by the time they’re halfway through the implementation process and are presented with another sizeable investment that they hadn’t planned for. Meanwhile, their staff can be stuck juggling two systems at once for an extended period of time as some charts are still in paper format while new patient data has already been entered into the system.
2. Usability issues
Most users research their EHR thoroughly before buying the software but see navigation or design problems begin to surface once they have actively started using the program. This can lead to wasted time while working to enter data and retrieve information from a cumbersome application. Some processes take multiple clicks to complete or require opening multiple windows, forcing users to constantly switch between them.
3. Non-existent or minimal support
Is your EHR vendor unhelpful when it comes to answering your questions? It can be incredibly frustrating when calls go unanswered, promises to train employees go unfulfilled, the support agents don’t really understand the problem, or you are not able to get support when the system breaks down in the middle of a busy day and staff has to scramble to find paper records.
4. Decreased productivity
Most EHR software is built on the one-size-fits-all approach. This often causes issues as it does not fit the workflows of many practices and actually ends up creating more work. Not only is the practice lacking the vendor-promised benefits, the unintuitive system reduces productivity which leads to a stressful environment for staff and patients.
Many dental practices spend months or even years trying to adapt to their EHR due to the time and resources they have already invested. In this case it is beneficial to cut your losses and look for an alternative solution that can better serve the needs of the practice. When researching practice management solutions, look for a cloud-based system that automates frustrating processes, simplifies practice workflows, and offers an intuitive interface that can be customized to the individual user.
– Pietro Di Battista
Dr. Pietro Di Battista, Dovetail Founder & Chief Executive Officer, runs a successful private periodontics practice, and is a senior lecturer at different dental venues, study clubs and professional conferences. Pietro has served as Director of Clinical Periodontology at McGill University. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Biochemistry from Concordia University, and a D.D.S. and a M.S.D. from Case Western Reserve University. His hobbies include hockey and mixed martial arts.