In many ways work flow is data flow. In the past when the data was on paper or film or even a plaster model, it (the data) could only be in one place at a time and moving it from place to place was time consuming and relatively expensive. Thus we assigned work to a specific place (like a front desk) and a specific person (the front desk person) to that place.
The result was the back office – front office divide. Work flow meant; where does the chart go and who does what task. Once a dental office develops a paperless (digital) system of records, charting and scheduling the work flow changes significantly. Digital data can be accessed anywhere there is a computer, in the back, at the front or somewhere in the cloud. Workflow can now be described in terms of tasks not places. People are freed from the drudgery of filing, typing, looking for lost records and doing all the rest of the busy work needed to keep a dead tree system working. This new pattern of doing things has been called Front Desklessness.
Front Desklessness is not about tossing out a piece of furniture or eliminating a staff person. It is all about doing the non clinical business functions in a different way because technology allows us to handle data in a much more efficient manner.