Dentrix G5 Integration

by Larry Emmott on March 27, 2012

in Software

I have long been an advocate for open practice management systems that encourage the development and integration of various third party applications to enhance our use of technology. For various reasons the major Practice Management System providers have for the most part resisted this. With Dentrix G5 they have taken a huge first step in allowing third party developers to integrate directly with the main product. The following is copied from a Henry Schein release.

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Dentrix® G5, a new version of the Dentrix practice management system. Dentrix G5 includes new features, the largest of which is a new database architecture which not only improves performance, but also allows Dentrix to become an “open platform” for enabling other dental applications and technology to link directly into Dentrix.

“Just like the Apple iPhone is a platform for thousands of iPhone applications, Dentrix G5 is now a platform for Dentrix-integrated applications,” said Kevin Bunker, President, Henry Schein Practice Solutions. “Dentists will be able to use Dentrix G5-connected versions of their favorite applications that will access the database or become a new feature of Dentrix.”

“Dentrix G5 will further enhance practice efficiency by enabling a multitude of integrated applications to share data and functionality with Dentrix, effectively creating one digital office solution,” said Steve Roberts, Director of Product Strategy at Henry Schein Practice Solutions.

The move to make Dentrix G5 an open platform for third-party applications was made possible by its new SQL database with encryption that improves performance while adding advanced security to patient data. 

To support the many developers writing for the Dentrix platform, Henry Schein launched the Dentrix Developer Program, which provides software developers with tools and a certification program for developing applications that work with Dentrix G5. “More than 37 developers are now writing Dentrix-compatible applications that read from and, in some cases, write data directly to the Dentrix database,” Roberts added. “We also have dozens more who are in the process of joining the Dentrix Developer Program. This means dentists will soon see a multitude of Dentrix-integrated applications that improve their use of Dentrix and build out their digital dental office.” 

Once developers certify their Dentrix application in the developer program, they can add a new “Dentrix G5 Connected” logo on their marketing materials, said Michael Allsop, Director of Marketing for Henry Schein Practice Solutions. “The Dentrix G5 Connected logo helps Dentrix users easily identify applications designed for their system, and they can purchase with confidence knowing that the G5 Connected product will not only work with G5, but also with subsequent upgrades to Dentrix.” All Dentrix G5 Connected applications will also be showcased on the Dentrix.com website, Allsop added.

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Tim Rolfes March 28, 2012 at 12:33 pm

Dr. Emmott,

This post does an excellent job identifying a new piece of dental practice management technology with potential to make a significant impact on the industry in the years to come. In my previous work experience at a dental practice it was immediately evident that efficient organization is a crucial aspect of how the business operates. While I was there, the office updated to a newer version of dental practice management software and the results were significant. After reading through your post and investigating the Dentrix G5 it is quite evident that this software offers all of the basic practice management operations significant to a practice electronically and in one place, a tremendous asset for a busy office. In your post you state your appreciation for “open practice management systems that encourage the development and integration of various third party applications to enhance our use of technology.” I had never thought about the possibilities of a platform for dental applications and find this idea to be quite terrific. It seems to me this will bring a convenience aspect to dental practice management by allowing the choice and combination of any applications to suite the need of specific offices. Am I correct on this assumption? If so it is only a matter of time before the “developers writing for the Dentrix platform” create a selection of applications that dental practices can choose from for their specific needs.

What I find most promising about this advancement is the idea that as it catches on the possibility for creative and innovative applications is endless. However, the initial generation process of recruiting dentists to use the platform and software developers to create more applications seems to be the biggest issue the Dentrix G5 platform faces. Is this one of the “various reasons” you referred to as to why major practice management system providers have resisted developing this technology? Furthermore, what timeframe do you believe it will take before a platform for third party dental applications will take off? Despite this, the application possibilities and convenience generated by platform technology make it seem almost inevitable that it will play a tremendous role in practice management systems in the years to come. Thank you very much for your post on yet another useful piece of dental technology.

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