Do you have to have a large practice to use EDR systems?

Purchasing an EDR system is a very important decision for a dental practice. It requires major investments of time, money and labor and has a profound impact on the way the clinic functions. Unfortunately, these are the same resources that small practices have a significant lack of.

When you have just one or two employees managing the entire office, the same person might be responsible for many different functions. Not only does it put them under increased pressure, it leaves them no time to learn and adapt to new systems. Practices with just a couple of dentists might also be hesitant to invest a lot of money in an EDR system.

Larger offices not only have the resources to implement large scale projects, they have the patient volume to justify the investment. They are also likely to have IT staff on premises that can help with any problems that may arise. These reasons often lead solo practitioners or those dentists who are part of small clinics to conclude that EDR systems are more suited to large practices or hospitals.

Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, smaller offices will likely see better productivity gains than large practices precisely because they have fewer resources to work with and an EDR allows you to utilize them more effectively.

EDRs automate a lot of the processes that are involved in the day-to-day working of your clinic. Coding, scheduling, charting, etc can all be done quicker and more efficiently with EDRs than paper records. While large patient volumes allows large practices to benefit from automation, it also holds true for small teams. Have only one person to manage appointments, billing and accounts? EDRs can enable him/her to get the same work done in less time which means happier and more productive staff.

Another concern of solo practitioners is probably the investment required for a comprehensive EDR system. Using cloud-based EDRs which usually operate on a subscription based model helps to keep costs in check. They are easily accessible through web browsers on your existing equipment, so there is no need to upgrade or buy new computers. Selecting a vendor who has consulted actual dentists while designing the EDR can also help to minimize the learning curve for you and your employees as well. Dovetail is a cloud-based EDR and practice management platform which was created by an experienced periodontist (click here to view Dovetail’s pricing table)

As you can see, small dental practices can benefit just as much, if not more than large ones, by implementing EDR systems in the office. Buying and using a good EDR may just be the best decision you will make for your practice.