Digital management: a necessary evil?
Do you see digital administration as no more than a necessary evil in your practice? Complete documentation not only creates more legal certainty and security but also facilitates your daily work. Read on to find out more!
Bulky filing cabinets are not helpful
Digital administration is becoming part and parcel of everyday life in increasing numbers of dental practices. Yet, it is often seen as an inevitable evil. This does not need to be so. "Digital administration helps dentists and their staff to efficiently manage the multitude of tasks and keep an overview," says Thies Harbeck, Managing Director of OPTI dental consultancy in Damp/Germany. Harbeck points out that complete and consistent documentation is indispensable in dental practices, in addition to an exceptional degree of care. "Bulky filing cabinets, chaotic appointment books and illegible patient records are not helpful."
Simplifying processes and minimizing sources of error
Digital administration simplifies daily workflows. It minimizes sources of errors and supports the team in their daily work. Digital appointment management, for instance, eases the workload at the reception desk. Electronic patient records make relevant data available in just a few clicks.
It is important to bear in mind that modern software does far more than save paper and time. As someone who runs a practice, do you plan to expand your preventive care progam? Then the software helps you to develop an effective recall system. You can apply filters to evaluate data sets quickly and in detail. "Among other things, patients can be categorized electronically and candidates that may be interested in advice on, for instance, esthetic dental treatment such as tooth whitening or veneers can be identified easily," Thies Harbeck explains. "A short note placed in the digital patient record gives the practitioner a clue."
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Complete documentation of all processes
In addition to the advantages for efficiency and workflow, the legal aspect also plays an important role. "In general, all processes have to be trackable before, during and after the treatment," Thies Harbeck emphasizes. "The range of accessible information ranges from the reason why the patient presents to the practice, counselling, description of various treatment options and provision of information to recommendations for follow-up care. Of course, the patient's declaration of consent must also be documented." In addition, it is necessary to identify who was involved in the treatment or surgical intervention and which instruments and medical devices were used.
Apart from all the facts that are directly related to the treatment, many other procedures fall under the obligation to provide documentation. Apart from the entire chain of hygiene, this also applies to quality management. Examples include the hygiene plan, work instructions or protocols for device management.
Data protection and identification
Data protection is another important point in digital administration. Password-protected access ensures that unauthorized persons cannot access patient data. This is important, for instance, when a patient is waiting for the dentist in a treatment room with a computer. It goes without saying that people running a practice are also obliged to protect their IT systems from viruses and hacker attacks.
Conclusion: Go digital and be safe
Digital administration supports dentists and their teams in all aspects of everyday practice. Furthermore, anyone who keeps an eye on legal security will have an ideal starting position in practice audits or court disputes.
OPTI Zahnarztberatung GmbH is a consultation company specializing in providing comprehensive consultancy services for dental practices in the areas consulting, organization, business management, management, personnel and marketing.