If you are considering a move to Dentally, but would like to know more about what each stage of the process involves - especially during the current Covid-19 situation, then read on...
Dr Richard Michael (RM) from Pemros Dental Practice talks about his experience of moving to Dentally for their practice management software.
Why did you decide to change your patient management software?
RM: We had previously been using a system called Dental Plus (Admor), and although it was functional and adequate, we were particularly interested in improving the capabilities of our clinical workflow and, at the same time, reducing our reliance on external IT services and unpredictable software updates. Whilst cyber security can be adequately contained within the confines of the dental practice with correct protocols, we felt that a modern system is a necessity for maintaining current data compliance and protection of our patients and our practice information.
Why did you choose Dentally?
RM: I first came across Dentally in their early days, when they had only just launched into the market. I had previously had a background in engineering and so I was very interested in modern dental developments and was especially intrigued in software products which would work on a Mac platform. A few year later, I was involved with a dental practice that was using a purely paper-based system, and I helped them move successfully to a completely digital system, using Mac OS hardware and Dentally software, along with Planmeca digital radiography as recommended by the Dentally team. Roll on a further few years and myself and Dr Beattie had purchased a dental practice in our local town, which although the practice was well-appointed with a relatively modern feel, it would benefit from an update to the IT infrastructure.
Why did you decide to make the switch during the Covid-19 crisis?
RM: Although a change to Dentally was a future possibility following our practice purchase, we decided to take the plunge earlier than we expected, due to the Covid-19 shutdown. A month previously, we had already commissioned a new fibre internet facility and were ready to slowly replace some of the IT hardware on a requirement basis. Prior to our formal and expected shutdown, we contacted the team at Dentally who had provided our previous training. In less than 24 hours, Sam (one of their practice consultants) had provided us with an outline of the current Dentally revisions, a pricing proposal, along with a potential installation and flexible training timescale. The training would comprise online webinar style CPD sessions when required by us.
Despite the uncertain immediate future, this opportunity seemed to be an obvious investment and with us only being able to provide a limited dental advice service for a period of time, we took the opportunity to change to Dentally immediately.
How did you find the first phase of the handover?
RM: Working with Sam, Adam and the onboarding team, in less than a week, we had a contract signed, arranged a timescale for data migration and staff remote training. We also had access to a trial ‘sandbox’ version of the software which was initially for my re-familiarisation of the software and then later for staff training.
How did you find the data migration process?
RM: A few days later, with remote access to our current server, all our current data had been imported, checked and agreed. Although the Dentally team will customise the Dentally interface with practice, user and treatment details, this process can easily be completed by an admin user and, due to my previous experience of Dentally, I completed these details easily and quickly.
The sandbox account (also containing a copy of our live data) was invaluable for me to trial various treatment scenarios and practice details before committing the information into our live database. The onboarding team were also able to return my email questions almost immediately during this time and help me arrive at a very polished set up exceedingly quickly and efficiently.
Due to the software being browser-based, we were able to complete all the installation and training without having to alter any of our existing hardware or software. This enabled continuity of data access, along with a testing period, which would likely be the same procedure without the current Covid-19 practice shutdown.
How did you find the remote training experience?
RM: A few different remote training sessions were quickly arranged to familiarise the staff with the new system and provide some CPD training during the shutdown period. The trainers (Adam and Michelle) provided some great online sessions, whilst also helping some of our staff through their first experience of online webinars. They also provided additional targeted CPD webinars for the reception, financial and management aspects of Dentally.
How did your team find the training?
RM: We had good feedback from the staff with all being able to quickly grasp the basics of Dentally. The trainers were very patient and explained all the features and processes at a personal pace for everyone. Dentally also has many short training videos and help sections with ‘how to do’ guides on both their website and within the Dentally browser interface which provide revision and self-practice opportunities during the shutdown time and beyond.
What do you see as being the key benefits of Dentally?
RM: Dentally has allowed us to update our practice IT systems and clinical software in a cost effective way and, most importantly, with minimal disruption to our standard working pattern. This would also be the case under non Covid-19 times. Being browser-based, both the IT infrastructure and any external IT support can be significantly reduced and also has the massive advantage of being able to easily access all clinical notes from any computer.This is of great benefit to allow clinicians to work from home if required, such as being able to finalise clinical notes and treatment plans after initial contemporaneous records have been completed.
Having previously worked with many of the main clinical dental software programs, another major advantage of Dentally is the complete lack of issues during updates as these are completed at source, rather than installed at a local practice level. I have previously experienced significant periods of clinical notes being unavailable with other systems due to either clinical software updates or local IT issues.
Dentally have also appeared to be very responsive to their customers’ requests for additional features to be added with a very extensive list of updates, including useful features in response to Covid-19 specific working circumstances.
Would you recommend Dentally and why?
RM: I cannot think of any concerns or regrets with our recent transfer to Dentally. Whilst some of the other major dental software may have additional features compared with Dentally, these can often be under-utilised or provide a more complicated workflow than is actually required. We have found Dentally to provide a straightforward and extensive clinical interface, a manageable platform with reliable access and redundancy, and provided by a customer-driven team.
The Dentally price structure is also very clear and fair on a per surgery basis. This allows multiple additional access and even multiple patients open on different browser pages.
We honestly cannot think of anything that could have been done significantly better. Well done and we look forward to continuing to use Dentally once the current restrictions are eased.
Pemros Dental Practice
Directors: Dr Richard Michael and Dr Clare Beattie
A family-orientated private dental practice in Plymouth, providing general dental care to the local community and beyond. They have two active surgeries and a team of nine. Pemros Dental Practice was established by its previous owner over 20 years ago in a popular area of Plymouth, close to the Devon and Cornwall border of the River Tamar.
If you would like to know more then please do talk to our team, email us: firstname.lastname@example.org
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