Pediatric dentist Dr. Sara Werb owns Werb Dentistry, a specialized clinic in mid-town Toronto that identifies and treats dental problems specific to infants, children and adolescents.
Dr. Werb, M.S.Ed., D.D.S., Dip(Ped Dent), F.R.C.D.(C), opened the clinic in August 2007. Today, she works with a team that includes three level II certified dental assistants, an anesthesiologist with two nurses, one office manager and a receptionist. They see more than 500 patients per month, focusing on youngsters that have special needs or behavioural issues that make it difficult for them to be treated by a general family dentist.
Dr. Werb relies on ABELDent’s clinical and practice management software not only to manage all aspects of her mid-sized practice, but also to help her young patients develop a positive attitude towards their oral health.
"We understand that visiting the dentist at a young age can be an exciting experience. New faces, new sounds, unfamiliar surroundings…and that's all before the child even sits in the chair," says Dr. Werb. "ABELDent is just one component that helps us to manage this process and create a smooth and relaxed dental experience for both the patient and the parent. The software’s robust scheduling, tracking, education and billing features makes a huge difference in helping us deliver our services in a relaxed and efficient manner."
Dr. Werb says that opening a new dental practice from scratch has had its challenges and its opportunities. "Not only did I have to purchase equipment and hire staff, but I had to find clinical and practice management software that would fit my needs right from the beginning," says Dr. Werb. "I used other electronic health record software packages during my internship training in the United States and at other clinics, so I knew that deploying a system for my own practice was a ‘no brainer, must have’."
Without a system such as ABELDent, Dr. Werb felt that monitoring the oral health of patients and keeping track of schedules, follow-ups and other preventative appointments would be almost impossible.
"When I started practicing in Toronto, I was fortunate to purchase space and equipment from a family dentist who was moving elsewhere in the city," adds Dr. Werb. "They were already using ABELDent. I was so impressed by the software’s flexibility and capabilities that I knew it would be the right solution for me. The instant the clinic opened, I purchased my own ABELDent license and system."
Dr. Werb explains that her staff appreciates the streamlined administrative and clinical benefits that ABELDent has to offer, and that she also receives great feedback from the parents of her young patients.
"They think it’s wonderful, one hundred percent," says Dr. Werb. "For instance, once parents leave the treatment room with their children after a procedure and return to the front reception desk, a three second walk, the procedure has been already billed and the claim is ready for submission to their insurance company. This is a big convenience because the child usually wants to leave the office right away. No one has to wait for the chart to come up to the front from the treatment room."
The staff also likes the way that ABELDent makes charting more efficient through the customized notes tab feature. "It saves us tons of time," says Dr. Werb. "We really like the way that we can put detailed notes into a patient chart, which then appear on the contact, treatment, financial or appointment screens so everyone can view the updates and act on the information as needed.
"And, if parents have any specific concerns prior to the child’s procedure, those details can be placed as a cautionary note and flagged for the next visit," adds Dr. Werb.
"Billing is also so much faster and accurate because everything is done through the charting tab," she continues. "When you make a change in the charting module and you bill it, it automatically appears in the patient’s account for processing."
The Office Communicator module is another efficient feature that Dr. Werb and her staff use daily. "If I’m in the middle of treating a patient and a parent has a question from the front desk, or if an assistant has something come up with a child during a cleaning, we are able to communicate with each other immediately. The message simply appears on the computer screen and we are able to take necessary action without time-consuming interruptions."
In addition, the kids are constantly asking the staff to see their charts online and to look at on-screen pictures of their mouths. "The kids really like this feature because it’s cool and fun," adds Dr. Werb. "But for us, we find that ABELDent’s Image Management feature is a great teaching tool because the kids love to see their cavities and fillings displayed in red. We can help kids track their oral health progress from their last visit and encourage them to brush and floss more often to prevent future tooth decay."
Because ABELDent is so intuitive and many members of her staff worked previously in dental offices where they used ABELDent, training requirements were minimal. "If you can operate a computer, you can maximize the use of ABELDent," Dr. Werb says. "You can generally configure and figure things out for yourself, but when we do have a particular question on how to customize any of the modules for our specific practice needs, ABEL’s helpful customer support staff is just a telephone call away. The help manual and online tutorials are also great. We like learning about all the software’s additional features as we go along."
Overall, Dr. Werb enjoys the benefits of using ABELDent both at work and at home. At work, it’s a management tool that helps her run her practice smoothly. At home, her return on investment is a better quality of life, plus being available to provide critical details in emergency situations.
"Because my client’s data is in the system, if a patient’s family calls with an emergency, I can log on securely, review the chart and follow up right then and there," explains Dr. Werb. "Or, if my office staff has a question about a treatment plan when I’m not in the office, I can review the chart remotely and provide the necessary advice. This flexibility gives me greater mobility and the opportunity to be with my own family, instead of running back to the office."
In summary, Dr. Werb finds that ABELDent is an essential part of her practice, helping her to manage an expanding patient base, and to create an environment that allows young people of all ages to develop a healthy attitude towards their oral hygiene.
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