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02/11/2014

CDA helps dentists transition to electronic health records


Dental electronic health records (EHR) are changing practices rapidly as it relates to benefits and clinical operations. There are many options in terms of vendors and software offerings in addition to federal EHR incentives, new HIPAA rules and the push to move everything to the cloud.

Despite the complexity, dental practices need to stay up-to-date.

Dentists must be aware of how to evaluate vendors, negotiate contracts and assure successful implementations of dental software. To help dentists in these situations, CDA Presents The Art and Science of Dentistry on May 15-17 will host a lecture to provide guidance on how to deal with purchasing new, or updating old, dental software.

The lecture, Your Dental Electronic Health Records Transition — Leveling the Playing Field, will be led by Mike Uretz, a nationally recognized dental software and electronic health records expert who specializes in evaluation and selection, contract negotiation and vendor management.

Uretz will show attendees what to expect with this new generation of software features. He will demonstrate how to handle the process of evaluation and selection, price and contract negotiation, implementation and training.

“As dental software changes, or as your present vendor changes and comes up with new software, it is going to be very important to understand the features of the software, what is important to you as a practice, as well as how to properly select and purchase it,” said Uretz, who also is the executive director of DentalSoftwareAdvisor.com. “Even if you have an existing software vendor, you would do yourself a disservice by not exploring what alternatives are on the market in these times of changing technology. Some vendors will continue to innovate and others will fall behind.”

When purchasing or getting new software, dentists are typically presented with new contracts. Uretz will share with attendees his unique perspective of more than 30 years in IT and negotiating health care software, EHR and cloud software contracts with attendees.

“Most of the time, the contracts are really one-sided to the vendor,” Uretz said. “Now remember, your contracts are going to be with you for the length of your software use, so it is very important to get what you need now and understand what you need in terms of contracts so the process with your vendor goes smoothly both now and later when you implement it and you ask for support."

Uretz says dentists should not rely on traditional ways of choosing dental software, such as solely talking to colleagues, searching the Internet and watching demos. He suggests the search should start from within the practice.

"You need to get a team together. In other words, the front desk, your back office people, the clinical people; get input from all the people involved with using the software before you make a decision,” Uretz said. “You also need to ask the right questions of your vendor so that you find the right software to fit your practice's needs.”

Attendees will leave the lecture at CDA Presents with these three takeaways:

1. Manage practice transitions effectively using new electronic health records/practice management software.
2. Learn insider tips for evaluating vendors and getting the best price and a favorable contract.
3. Understand differences in software technology and prioritize system features for your practice.

For more information on this course and CDA Presents in Anaheim, visit cdapresents.com.