Researchers at Oxford estimate that as many as half the jobs people are doing today will be eliminated by technology. This includes dentists and dental team members. There is one sure fire way to ensure you still have a job during the high-tech revolution. Become the “Practice Technologist.”
If a dental staff member believes her job is to pull charts, type forms and phone patients, then she is likely to lose that job in the future. If she believes her job is to understand and use technology effectively, then she will be the MVP, the most valuable professional in the office.
Here are four simple examples:
1. Practice Staff Person: Pulls charts every day, spends time hunting for the lost chart, then puts them all back again at the end of the day.
Practice Technologist: Knows the management software well enough to create and maintain completely paperless records.
2. Practice Staff Person: Hands a clipboard to patients to fill out forms, then re-enters all the information into the computer.
Practice Technologist:Sets up and uses online forms that synch with the electronic records. There’s no paper and no dual entry.
3. Practice Staff Person: Spends considerable time every day phoning and mostly leaving messages with patients to remind patients of and hopefully confirm upcoming appointments.
Practice Technologist: Sets up and maintains an online e-service that sends daily reminders with no additional input from office staff.
4. Practice staff person: Mixes PVS, puts it in a tray then vibrates and pours plaster into a model which may or may not have a slight tear on the distal margin.
Practice Technologist: Sets up the digital impression scanner, links to the patient chart, saves and sends the image to the lab or a mill. Most importantly the technologist understands the system well enough to trouble shoot problems and link to existing applications.
The team member who knows how all the technology works, can easily add new systems to the mix and embraces change will become indispensable. He/she will be the MVP.