Where “We” Are Going – Part 3
Building on a Solid Foundation
As practice management systems (PMS) progressed from financial centric to time centric (with the appointment book) the interface moved from character-based to a graphic approach. Most systems then added a decent visual chart with some incorporating 3D tooth graphics. Over the past decade, the more advanced systems have integrated x-ray and photographic images into the chart. Some of the systems utilize a low-level integration bridge tool.
In our simplified approach we have broken the “Cycle of Care,” into two phases, “Getting it To Do” and Getting it Done.”
Getting it To Do.
We foresee the next arena of development is the area the delivery of care and the digital dental record. Whether you refer to this electronic health record as an EHR or electronic dental record (EDR), it will be the core of the next phase of digitizing the dental office.
Digital technologies have affected the entire cycle of service in the clinical area. It all begins in the diagnostic arena. We have now moved beyond digital x-ray sensors, digital SLR’s and intra-oral cameras.
The leading developers will integrate additional sophisticated digital diagnostic devices (e.g. CBCT, TMJ and Neuromuscular devices, perio-systemic tools, cancer screening and more.) The data from these devices should all be integrated into an advanced comprehensive EDR. This will require data from these specialized and sophisticated devices to be in universally readable format.
One of our clients who uses multiple advanced diagnostic devices has to gather data from 4 or 5 software programs that work on various versions of the Windows operating system. Very few share data or integrate into the PMS. As a result, to utilize all of this valuable data and create a CarePlan it takes 2 to 3 times longer than it should. The information is not in a patient friendly format to co-generate a plan at the review of findings visit. To state the obvious this is an area that must be addressed to create a comprehensive record that is not only Simple, Reliable and High Performance, but also Seamless and Transparent.
All this sophisticated diagnostic data requires a sophisticated operating system and hardware configuration to handle high bandwidth multimedia with ease. Our experience has proven that the Apple platform handles it with ease. Currently many of the specialized diagnostic tools are integrated on the Windows platform in proprietary software, we expect that the integration of many of these devices will migrate to the Apple platform in the coming years. In the meantime, virtual machines (VMware Fusion or Parallels) can be a practical bridge.
With this platform you also get the seamless integration of a form factor platform. From the iPod Touch, iPhone, iPad, MacBook Air or Pro, an iMac or Apple TV, you can transparently move from one form factor to another. The result is that you have “The right information in the right form at the right time to make the right decision.”
We will delve into this area in more detail in future posts, but next we look at “Getting it Done.”