Two things are required to help an office get the most out new technology. First the dentist must be involved and committed to the process. It is amazing how many dentists do not want to have anything to do with the computer. In fact some of them seem to be actively hostile. The dentist will never get the full benefit of the system unless they take the lead and actively use the computer. The improvements in office efficiency and the benefits from easy access to practice and financial data will easily pay for the system and ultimately increase office income. However it is unbelievable how many dentists not only don’t use the system but actively undermine office productivity by refusing to use the systems they have paid for. For example, some offices use the scheduler but still keep a paper book. That is absurd…burn the book.
Once the dentist is committed the next step is to get the staff involved and learn to use the whole system. One good way to do this is to develop a series of goals and rewards. Another means is to plan continued training on a regular basis. Some really motivated offices may want to try and do everything all at once but this can also cause problems. People and groups can only accept so much change at once. If you try and force things too quickly you may burn people out, indirectly sabotage your plans and lose staff members. Another common problem is people who want to read the entire manual and know it all before they start. Computer programs really don’t work that way. Some basic training and understanding of the software is required but the best way to really learn a complex software program is to use it.