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The Paperless Dental Office: Expert Tips

by Tam

You can also read this article in Spanish.

This article offers expert advice to help dental practices reduce or even eliminate paper.

Paperless Dentist Appointments

A dental office going paperless or at least reducing paper can take a first, small step by enabling patients to book their dentist appointments digitally: All you’ll need is a calender tool, e.g.:

  • Calendly
  • Sprintful
  • Meetingbird

Additionally, you can ask patients to fill out their information beforehand. This is especially important given the current pandemic, as Dr. Alexie Aguil, DDS, owner of Exquisite Dentistry in Los Angeles knows: “Our dental practice has made significant strides toward becoming a paperless office, primarily driven by the need for touch point safety in the era of COVID-19. Every document that a patient touches is another potential transmission of the viral disease. This starts even before arriving on site. Each new patient is sent their paperwork digitally and asked to fill it out in advance of their appointment. This way, patients don’t need to fill out their medical history on paper with a clipboard in the lobby. New patients who haven’t filled it out by the time of their arrival can do so on their mobile device.”

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Patients can submit their medical history digitally and in advance.

Paperless Dental Office Software

If you’re a dental office going paperless, one of the best things you can do is to adopt a comprehensive software solution for maintaining your patients’ dental records in a digital format. Dr. Aguil confirms: “We maintain an Electronic Dental Record System (EDR). The cloud-based system manages patient information, keeps medical imaging, and tracks treatment plans and other key information that would have been kept in paper form just a few years ago. My advice to other practices for reducing their paper use and helping to improve their safety is to look into adopting an EDR. These systems are also called Electronic Health Records (EHR) and Electronic Medical Records (EMR), depending on the field of practice. There are many options and some have better features for practices with multiple locations, for instance.”

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An Electronic Dental Record System (EDR) manages patient information, keeps medical imaging, and tracks treatment plans and other key information.

Other Paperless Office Tips for Dental Practices

Just like with any other type of paperless office, a paperless dental office will be easier to implement if you heed the following advice:

  • Make sure your employees fully understand the benefits of going paperless and truly believe in this endeavor.
  • Before you start scanning and shredding like there’s no tomorrow, check whether certain documents need to be stored in paper form for legal purposes.
  • Switch to paperless billing by not only sending out digital invoices but also scanning—i.e., digitizing—the invoices your suppliers, partners, and others send you.

For more information about these general paperless office tips, head on over to our main article detailing how to go paperless in the office.

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For more paperless office tips, head on over to our main article detailing how to go paperless in the office.

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Tam
Sr. Content Strategist