Dentists: How Do I Choose A PMA?

Dentist practice management software is constantly evolving. Software is getting more robust and flexible. Therefore, a dentist who is trying to decide which software to incorporate into his or her dental practice is faced with a wide selection. The best way to select which software to use is to compare different offerings. When comparing products, there are a few things that you should keep in mind.

  • Try to determine which features you really need.  Most of the software is modular and includes patient registration, scheduling, submitting claims to medical aids, remittance advice and reporting.  Some offer integration with a financial package to balance the books, while other offer only the submitting and tracking of claims. Every dental practice is unique.  Decide what you need for your practice.
  • Involve your staff in the decision making process.  They will be spending the most time with the software, so make sure they feel comfortable with it.
  • Try different programs.  Most software companies offer trial versions of their product.  Create an imaginary patient and take him or her through the whole process from scheduling an appointment to receiving the remittance advice.
  • Is the software “pre-packaged” or can it be tailored to meet specific needs?

Training and Support

Training is often overlooked in the cost comparison process.  Some of the software includes training in their product.  Dental practice management software are large and complex.  Training is one of the best investments you can make.  Most dentist doesn’t realize how much money they will save in the long run when the staff is properly trained to use the software.

Ongoing support is another cornerstone of a successful practice management solution.
The following questions can help to compare training offered by several companies:

  • Does the program include support?
  • What levels of support is available (telephone, email, onsite)?
  • What are the hours for customer service and support?
  • How often is the program updated?

What are the qualifications of the support staff?

When it comes to practice management software we are really spoilt for choice.  The choice of a specific software solution is an investment in the future.  It is not just a selection of software.  Software is constantly evolving, and therefore the software company you choose should be a partner who understands your needs and is willing to help you deploy the best solution for your practice.