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Paperless Solution to the Semi Paperless Medical and Dental Office
Monday, 14 September 2009 00:00

We spent years in the dental practice management software industry convincing dentists they could have a paperless office. Modern day dental office management systems do nearly everything from keeping track of the patient ledgers, to electronic charting and perio charting, and digital x-rays. No matter how hard we sold the idea of the paperless dental office there was always one truth that kept an office from going paperless. What does the doctor do with their existing charts?

Those manila folders full of years of bitewings, panoramic x-rays, progress notes, treatment plans, and patient information are get thicker every year, and of course once a practice is healthy, they consume valuable office space.

As we would work to close the deal, that familiar question came up every time we’d ask the doctor to spend 20,30, 40, and even over $50,000 on a new practice management system with all the tools to go into a semi-state of paperless euphoria.

What do we do with all our existing charts?

Well doctor, there’s years of work in everyone of those files and you are going to have to go through a phasing out period. At first, you will find yourself recalling your paper charts as you transition into your paperless practice, but as each year goes by, you will use the paperless chart less as your build up more data in your electronic charts.

You see, as long a doctor sees a patient, they can’t part with the contents of the paper chart. They must keep the chart for seven long years after the patient leaves the practice as well. The truth is there really isn’t a simple way to go paperless by using traditional dental practice management systems.

All this adds up to storage needs of the charts, scrambling to get a chart when the doctor needs additional information about patient history, and of course the lack of organization from years of throwing patient documents into the chart. Back in the day when we sold dental software, we was unaware of great products like PaperWise that could actually give doctors the freedom from paper they sought when they began looking to upgrade their practice management systems.

With document management, doctors can truly have a paperless office. Charts and x-rays can be scanned into a database for easy retrieval from chair side. Past patient data can be brought up in seconds for a doctor’s review. PaperWise can work with your existing medical and dental practice management software to give you the truly paperless experience you were promised.

 

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