Office Manager Pam McDonald has spent more than three decades getting to know her dental office’s patients in Magnolia, Ark. “We’ve always had a practice that serves our patients first. They feel that way; we’ve always taken good care of them and done our best to build this practice to be what it is,” she says. Even with strong internal dental processes the team built in place, change inevitably knocked on the door.
Change of pace
In 2019, a new dentist, Dr. Cody Clark, bought the practice and the decision was made to replace the office’s practice management system, SoftDent. McDonald says she was initially overwhelmed. “I’m not very computer- savvy at all. I was very nervous and afraid. Anyone is to change, but especially for someone who had done things for 34 years one way and at my age, 55.”
Enter Patterson’s unmatched expertise and support. McDonald relates the Patterson Technology Center team and tech advisors immediately took on the job, in person and by phone. “They came in for three days and trained us. They also have a support team you can call. It was also nice because the whole staff was able to learn the new system together.”
Beyond her experience with the listening ears and helping hands from Patterson support during transition, McDonald is pleased with paperless platform.
“It all flows really well and it was simple to learn,” she says. “Paper takes up so much space. You’re no longer trying to cram in charts. That’s one thing we always hated, at the end of the day dealing with charts. And then sometimes we couldn’t find a chart because it was filed wrong.”
Now, she explains, the process is painless. The front office team scans in old patient records as they go. As they welcome new patients, they then scan in the new records. “As soon as we get a referral sheet, we have the notes and we scan all of that into the SmartDocs so we have everything on that patient just right there at a click. You look through everything and the patient history and see what was done; it’s just right at your fingertips.”
For someone who takes pride in offering a customized patient approach, McDonald says Eaglesoft has elevated her skills to new heights. “If in the back they decide to change the treatment plan, I can just pop it up on the screen and see what was changed before the patient even comes to the front, whereas with the paper chart, I wouldn’t have known that.”
She also describes how that immediate, valuable knowledge becomes power for challenging front office patient conversations. “If there’s something financially I would need to discuss with the patient, I can have that information before they’re staring me in the face. I’ve worked here a long time and you just know how it’s best to approach something with each person.
Everyone has a different way to be approached. If they’re thinking it’s going to be a $189 bill and then it’s $935 for a crown, you kind of want to know that instead of having to say, ‘Oh, by the way…’. Plus, the people working in the back office don’t really know the financial issues. I’m usually the only one in the office who knows the patient’s balance. It’s just good business to be prepared.”
Change for the better
Despite her apprehension, McDonald says going digital with Eaglesoft was the best choice for her office. “It helps organize your business and gives you everything you need in the back and front offices to help your practice.”
Using that framework of positive, paperless change, she’s continuing to construct an even stronger practice for the future. “It really all worked out for the better; the transition was a lot easier than I thought it was going to be. You don’t need to stress about it.” And for McDonald, less stress during a critical time of office transition left her more energy to deliver exceptional patient care.
Make the switch to Eaglesoft by contacting your Patterson rep or calling 800.294.8504. Learn more about Eaglesoft at pattersondental.com.
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