Directors interviewed: Adrian Watts, Specialist in Restorative Dentistry and Implant Surgeon and Ben Cross, Specialist Orthodontist and IT Director (two of the six founding partners of Bristol Dental Specialists).
Bristol Dental Specialists is a multidisciplinary specialist only dental practice, offering services for patients and referring dentists throughout Bristol and the South West. They offer orthodontics, restorative dentistry, periodontics, endodontics, prosthodontics, paediatric dentistry, oral surgery, dental implants, whitening and hygiene.
Why did you choose Dentally?
Adrian: I have used a number of practice software applications including Ortho track, R4 and SOE. As a brand-new, entirely specialist referral practice we needed our PMS to be adaptable. We wanted to be cloud-based, rather than tied to an in-house server as we all work on different sites and we need to be able to access records easily. This was very important. Digital imaging at BDSWe also wanted to work with a forward-thinking outfit, who were all keen to collaborate with us and other companies. In addition The Planmeca integration is something that lead us towards Dentally – having software that is able to allow data transfer between different areas of practice, was important for a seamless workflow.
Ben: Our clinicians all work in several different locations, so we wanted a system where we could collaborate on patient care remotely. We had all been frustrated by not knowing what our day list would look until we arrived at a practice and were unable to look at patient records unless we were physically in the building where patients were registered. We have also set up the practice to be completely cloud based, so Dentally was an obvious choice. All imaging (photographs, radiographs, intraoral 3D scans) are securely accessible wherever we are in the world. This allows the different specialists to collaborate on a patient without the need for expensive joint clinics or the need for patients to travel to our practice for multiple appointments, whilst benefiting from input from a broad range of clinicians.
How did you find the experience of moving to Dentally?
Adrian: We were starting afresh, but the transfer of our large referral base was straightforward. The Dentally team have a ‘can do attitude’ and since they are all off-site, working remotely - as a home-based team, they seem to work without restrictions.
Ben: We are a new practice, so it was great to see how Dentally could be set up with the parameters that we set, rather than just being a static, off the shelf product.
What do you see as being the key benefits of Dentally?
Adrian: The main benefits for us are its cloud based, simple, adaptable and integrates with other software due to the open API.
Ben: Remote communication and access.
During Covid-19 how have we supported you and your practice?
Ben: Dentally have continued to innovate during the pandemic and have brought in several systems to allow our new SOPs to run smoothly. Patients have always been able to complete and sign their medical histories from the comfort of their own homes, but they can now also be prompted to do this by SMS and complete it from a link on their phone.
Changing the questions on the medical history is a straightforward process and the usual Covid-19 related questions went straight on. When guidance changes, we are able to act immediately, rather than wait for a printer to create more paper copies which would need to be scanned onto the record. Patients can send an SMS to let us know that they are near the practice and available, this goes straight into the Dentally record with no input from our staff. When we are ready for a patient to attend we can call them directly from the computer to invite them with a warm welcome into the practice. Payments can be taken remotely, with a prompt via SMS. We’ve completely closed down our reception to allow the receptionist to chaperone patients around the practice to prevent the need for them to open doors themselves. All of these new services (provided at no extra expense) have been supported by comprehensive webinars and all functions in Dentally are backed up with clear instructions with pictures and video on the Dentally Help Centre.
Adrian: Yes, I agree. The webinars that Dentally have run during this period have been great, showing us all sorts of aspects of Dentally designed to help us.
What have been the advantages of using Dentally during Covid-19?
Adrian: Webinars and documented help. We have tried to do the same with our patient journey, using a live document to which we can add developments and procedures. This seems to be how the Dentally team work with a clear support available backed up by a ‘documentation’ online help area and webinars, video help, etc.
Ben: I am also based at a number of other clinics that don’t use Dentally, and for the first few weeks of lockdown I was unable to access patient records at these practices. This meant I couldn’t reach out to my patients to explain that I was still there to help them. However, this was not the case at all for my work at Bristol Dental Specialists. I had access to everything I needed. The complete record was available, we worked hard to ensure that we were able to offer ongoing patients virtual check-up appointments and were actually able to attract new patients to the practice.
Have you found our support team helpful?
Adrian: Absolutely. They answer quickly and explain what we need to do. I never feel like a luddite, when I open up a chat to the support team. I also like the fact they will always give you a suggested article or guide to look at too, I think this is a great idea. Other companies could learn from this approach.
Ben: There is always someone at the other end of the support tab within the software to point us in the right direction, do your team never sleep?!
How easy have you found the new product features?
Adrian: New products all make perfect sense – the new Task lists feature will be a great way of tracking processes.
Would you recommend us and why?
Adrian: Yep, unreservedly. As for why? Well because of all of the above.
Ben: I’ve been really happy with the support from Dentally too and have been telling my dental friends how easy our experience of working remotely has been.
How do you rate our service?
Adrian: Top drawer. Just keep listening to your customers.