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Technology can improve patient experiences

WINNIPEG, Manitoba – As medical professionals make plans for 2019, it could be time to consider upgrading office technology or medical equipment, a move that can improve every appointment for both patients and the office staff.

“Technology that will enhance the patient experience as well as make professional offices more efficient and productive continues to evolve at an incredibly fast pace,” Alex Zlatin, CEO of Maxim Software Systems, a dental-practice-management software company and author of Responsible Dental Ownership, said. “That means it’s crucial to create a well-rounded experience and squeeze the most out of the technology you have or the technology available to you.”

Just as an example, medical offices can provide an app that lets patients book appointments on their smartphones. Zlatin said there are several other ways medical professionals are improving their patients’ experience by updating technology.

They are using management software. It’s now standard practice to have a digital scheduling system, patient management system for billing and personal information, digital charts and integrated digital X-rays.

“Having a digital system enhances the patient experience, allows your practice to keep accurate records and saves time by having automated systems at its disposal,” Zlatin said.

Such technology as digital X-rays and 3D sensors are creating significant changes, providing for a more efficient and accurate diagnosis, Zlatin said.

“It also shows patients you are on top of new developments, which likely also indicates you are aware of medical advances,” he said.

One way medical professionals can enhance their practice is with an intelligent phone system that not only identifies callers, but also identifies their account balance, birthday and next appointment.

“This is a powerful tool for a medical office’s front staff,” Zlatin said. “It saves them time they have to spend looking up the patient’s profile. It raises efficiency by providing crucial information in one place, so nothing is forgotten, and it increases the front staff’s confidence level when speaking with the patients over the phone.”

With so much information about a practice and its patients stored on computers, it’s crucial to back up data, Zlatin said.

“The more digital records you produce, the greater risk of something going wrong,” he said. “I cannot stress enough how important it is to have two separate backups and to invest time to ensure the backup is restorable. Patients don’t want to hear that something happened to their records. There are many other valuable technologies that can enhance a dentist or doctor’s practice. Regardless of how you feel about technology, it is your first and best tool for achieving success in your practice. Those in the medical field should explore what is available and find trusted advisors who can guide you through the jungle of evolving technology.”

Alex Zlatin, the author of the book “Responsible Dental Ownership,” http://www.alexzlatin.com, had more than 10 years of management experience before he accepted the position of CEO of a company that makes a dental practice management software, Maxident.  His company helps struggling dental professionals take control of their practices and reach the next level of success with responsible leadership strategies.  He earned a bachelor’s degree in technology management at Holon Institute of Technology in Israel and earned his master’s degree in business administration at Edinburgh Business School.