I am sitting on my flight home from the Chicago Midwinter meeting where Henry Schein announced the launch of their beta version of the new Dentrix Ascend web-based practice management software. While I was at Midwinter, I sat through three demos, grilled Adam and the team with questions, and then went to the Dentrix Ascend booth and played around with it on my own. Even though it is still in beta (the testing phase), I am extremely excited about this product and its potential to effectively manage the dental practice. Now, I am definitely not abandoning Dentix. Dentrix is by far the most robust, customizable, and comprehensive practice management system out on the market. However, the new Dentrix Ascend will become a part of my professional life.
I want to share with you what I saw and highlight some of the amazing features of Dentrix Ascend
- GPS … which stands for Goals, Problems, and Solutions. This is freaking brilliant! On the office overview screen, the dashboard can be customized for your job description in the office. For example, if you are the financial/billing coordinator, your “dashboard” would show you problems that need attention – 3 unpaid claims, 2 claims unsent, 5 claims need attention, 4 unpaid accounts, etc. If you click on the unpaid claims, for example, the software would then forward you to the next screen to show you the unpaid claims. You could then click on each one and see exactly what the issue is. If the claim needed an X-ray, you could attach the X-ray right from that screen. The GPS eliminates you having to generate a report, research the problem, and then go to a different screen to solve it . . . the GPS technology guides you through it from start to finish.
- NUI stands for Natural User Interface. This software is so smart that it starts to think for you. Using the NUI technology, the computer begins to recognize your behavior and the behavior of your insurance companies. For example, if Metlife usually pays your office at about 14 days, then the unpaid insurance claims for Metlife will show up on your list of problems at 15 days. No more having to print an Insurance Aging Report, calling the insurance company, or researching online.
- Multi-location environment. Many of my offices have multiple locations and find it challenging to switch from one location to another. Dentrix Ascend makes it easy and seamless to switch between locations. Also, they have included “push notification” into the software. If you are scheduling an appointment from anywhere, the appointment book at the physical location will see the change immediately without delay.
- Any computer, any tablet, any platform. Period! You can use Dentrix Ascend on a Mac or PC, iPad, tablet, or Linux (Jay’s favorite). All you need is Google Chrome and it works.
- Patient-centered navigation. Once you have a patient selected, everything you need for that patient is on one screen. It is very clean, very detailed, and easy to find more information. When I was on my own using the software at the booth, I found the navigation to be extremely user-friendly. There were not a lot of excessive clicks or maneuvers.
- All the eServices will be included. Not only will they be included, but you don’t have to run anything … everything processes behind the scenes. No need to watch and make sure your eClaims finishes processing or your upload is done because it is all done automatically.
- Ortho Max. Yeah!!!!! This is one small detail that will make a huge difference in the lives of the billing/insurance coordinators. Now you can separate out the general dentistry maximum from the orthodontic maximum and keep them both accurate. With so many offices doing Invisalign and Six Month Smiles, this will be a refreshing addition.
- Multiple insurance plans for each patient. Patients can have up to 10 insurance plans. Not that we need that many, but it is nice to have that amount of flexibility.
- Fee schedules are attached to the treating provider and not the primary provider. This is huge! For the offices that have multiple doctors, you will now have the ability to use different fee schedules for each provider and bill out the correct fee without any manual editing. For example, if you have one doctor who is PPO for five insurance plans and the other doctor is PPO for only one or if you have a specialist who comes into your office once a week, you can now bill out the correct fees based on who is treating the patient and not worry about forgetting to fix it on the patient’s ledger.
- Patient appointments can be scheduled with two different providers. This will be extremely useful with hygiene visits where the patient will see the doctor and the hygienist. In the future, this feature will also allow you to bill out the exam to the doctor and the prophy to the hygienist.
- Ledger has a statement view. Within the patient’s ledger, you can view the history in multiple ways (my favorite was the statement view). This will allow you to see exactly what the patient is looking at if he or she calls you with questions about the billing statement.
- View the schedule by provider or operatory. You can organize your appointment book by the providers or by operatory. Also, you can rename the operatories at any time.
What do you think? Are you ready to become a beta tester for Dentrix Ascend? If I was still working in a dental practice full-time, I would love to be a beta tester for this amazing product. For more information on how your office can participate in this program, click here to be directed to the webpage.
Remember, some of the features I mentioned will be in future versions of the product. However, I was extremely impressed with the forward thinking of the Dentrix Ascend development team and the direction this software is heading. In the practice management world, Henry Schein will now have the best web-based software AND best in-house software available.