Dr. Joe Paolasini in Grimsby, Ontario

The Situation

As the owner of Dr. Joe Paolasini and Associates in Grimsby, Ontario, Dr. Paolasini relies on ABELDent clinical and practice management software not only to manage all aspects of his practice, but also as a means to help patients recognize that prevention is the key to good oral health.

"In a busy practice like ours, monitoring the oral health of patients and keeping track of schedules, follow-ups and other preventative appointments would be almost impossible without using a system such as ABELDent," says Joe Paolasini, D.D.S.

Every month Dr. Paolasini and his team of two other dentists, 14 clinical staff and six administrative assistants see more than 2,400 patients. The practice serves a range of dental needs including general checkups, emergencies, pediatric and cosmetic dentistry. Other services provided include denture applications and white restorations.

"ABELDent is the backbone of our practice, helping us deliver the highest standard of dental care," says Dr. Paolasini. "For example, we use the software to review our patients’ histories before each appointment and educate patients on the importance of prevention using the pre-installed 3D animations."

The Challenge

A long-time ABEL customer, Dr. Paolasini began using ABELDent in the late 1980s. However, in 2009, he decided to deploy another clinical and practice management software because of some newer modules and technology features that were being promised by another vendor.

"In hindsight, the switch was not a very good business decision," says Dr. Paolasini. "As we soon discovered, this software was a brand new practice management program. It wasn’t really ready for a busy dental clinic like ours. And because the system allowed users to input data without any error notifications or alerts, we had to deal with a lot of clinical code and billing errors."

For example, if an incorrect code was accidently tagged to a procedure, the system would allow the user to input that error. Also, if administrative staff accidentally double-booked a cleaning, or scheduled an appointment too early for insurance coverage, the software did not beep and/or notify the staff of the conflict. "As a result, we were not always billing accurately and scheduling was becoming a long-term problem," says Dr. Paolasini. "After almost a year of trying to get the program to match our needs and recover lost billings, we gave up in frustration. Clearly this system did not fit the clinical and business management requirements of our growing practice. So, we recently switched back to our trusted ABELDent solution and have not looked back since."

The Solution

"In addition to maintaining overall billing accuracy, the clinic was drawn back to ABELDent for its robust recall and appointment scheduling modules," adds Office Manager Stacey Gill.

"Our entire clinical and administrative team finds that these modules are very effective in helping us deliver on our practice philosophy of prevention," says Stacey. "We are supported by ABELDent’s ability to quickly generate reports that alert us to call patients to remind them of upcoming appointments, as well as by how swiftly the system automatically posts detailed medical information to patients’ records as soon as they check in."

The team also finds ABELDent’s notes and efficient user interface very helpful -- and missed these features when working with the other software system. "We realize that it’s something small but very useful because it keeps important patient information at hand," comments Stacey. "We appreciate the way that we can put detailed notes into a patient chart, and they display on the contact, treatment, financial or appointment screens so everyone can view the updates and act on the information accordingly."

In addition, the doctors and hygienists find the charting feature to be accurate and a time saver. "We can do everything from charting a complete examination to updating the patient’s medical condition, all in one place," says Stacey. "We can even post estimates and flag any procedure for pre-payment billing if necessary. It allows us to have a holistic view of the patient from both the clinical and administrative side."

The Relationship

A special relationship among Dr. Paolasini, his clinical/administrative staff and ABEL has grown over years because of ABEL’s in-depth training and ongoing customer support, especially during the switch back.

"The switch back to ABELDent was rather seamless," recalls Stacey. "ABEL took our data a month before the change over and converted it to meet ABELDent’s requirements. We were able to view patients’ date of birth, medical history and financials well ahead of time to ensure complete accuracy before we made the switch. Once we were satisfied that everything was in place, it only took one day to complete the change over."

Because Dr. Paolasini and his staff had previous experience with ABELDent, their training requirements were minimal. However, they did take advantage of some on-site training that brought the team up to date. "We had two trainers come to the office – one for the clinical aspects and one on the administration side," says Stacey. They gave us a day-long session that highlighted all of the updates and additions available in our new ABELDent system."

Dr. Paolasini says that ABEL’s responsiveness to ongoing customer support is amazing. "We had to call the other program’s vendor almost daily because of errors and issues. It cost us extra every time we picked up the telephone. Now, ABEL is available for any question we may have. They are receptive and get back to us promptly and professionally."

The Results

Now that ABELDent is squarely in place for good, Dr. Paolasini and his associates are looking forward to using more of the software’s capabilities, including the Office Communicator feature. "This will improve communication among team members," says Dr. Paolasini. "With a few clicks of a mouse, we will be able to inform clinicians when patients arrive, are ready for the hygienist or the dentist, etc. Discrete, timely communication achieved with minimal effort will make the days run much smoother for our entire team."

"Switching back to ABELDent has had a very positive effect on the practice," says Dr. Paolasini. "Accuracy has been improved and efficiencies gained – overall it was a great business decision."

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