Why You Don’t Need a Dental Lab Tracking Sheet

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Reading Time: 5 minutes

Reading Time: 5 minutes

Efficient communication between dentists or orthodontics and dental laboratories is critical for acquiring quality appliances. Currently, dentists and orthodontists are striving to improve the management of lab prescriptions to ensure timely and convenient tracking. Although associated with myriad inefficiencies, dental lab tracking sheets have been adopted by many practices to submit, manage, and track lab prescriptions. While certain practices consider the lab tracking sheets to have the potential to improve productivity, especially compared to manual tracking systems, their adoption has several drawbacks. In this article, we discuss the challenges of dental lab tracking sheets that should act as a wake-up call for practices to instead integrate novel systems for sending lab prescriptions.

Why the Use of a Dental Lab Tracking Sheet Derails Your Practice

Increased errors

Each case is unique to the patient and requires a high level of precision by the lab technicians. The cases are strictly tailored to the patient’s age, sex, and diagnosis for the best results. A high level of accuracy, along with the generation of complete lab prescriptions, is critical for producing accurate appliances.

Using dental lab tracking sheets is prone to human error from the multiple assistants entering the data in the lab prescriptions. Dental lab tracking sheets require multiple users or dental assistants because the systems are complex with many cells and columns. It is easy to send prescriptions with incorrect data. Such errors can lead to the preparation of the wrong appliance, resulting in appliances not being made to specification.  Poor results in procedures lower the quality of services, causing poor patient experience and loss in business.

The primary solution to this problem is the adoption of less-complex systems, ones that can send lab prescriptions with the effort of a single click. Using a cloud-based digital software streamlines the processing of lab prescriptions, making it easy to send as much patient data as possible. In this way, sending complete dental lab prescriptions is simplified, which is a prerequisite for the best performance by the lab technicians making the appliance. Errors in dental restorations are reduced just by having a well-designed, detailed, and complete prescription that’s processed and managed using cloud-based digital prescription software.

Time-consuming tracking sheets

Due to the growing number of patients, it is essential for practices to have a fast process of sending and managing lab prescriptions. With a dental lab tracking sheet, filling patients’ data for a complete lab prescription usually takes time because the process is complex and often requires multiple assistants. Juggling between the various columns and rows is expected. Analysis of data for reports is also slow and complex when a dental tracking sheet is the primary lab prescription tool. Delays in submitting, managing, and tracking prescriptions are vital challenges associated with a dental tracking sheet, leading to inefficient management of the patients.

One significant advantage of cloud-based software is the time saved in managing lab prescriptions. Unlike a dental tracking sheet, cloud-based digital prescription software is easy to use and offers an organized, efficient communication system between the practice and the labs. Dental lab tracking sheets are on-premise offline tracking systems that update slowly, while cloud-based software systems can provide real-time updates of results from the labs. The simplicity of the cloud-based system boosts the overall productivity of practices.

Prone to a security breach of patients’ data

Managing prescriptions involves dealing with sensitive patient data and clinical information. According to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), it is paramount to safeguard and secure medical information according to specific privacy guidelines. Maintaining the confidentiality of patient information is difficult with dental lab tracking sheets due to the nature of such a system. Also, having multiple users handling the patient data places the data at risk of being accessed by the wrong hands, and safely keeping backups of medical data necessary for maintaining data integrity is challenging.

So, if you use dental lab tracking sheets in your practice, you will have difficulty complying with HIPAA guidelines for protecting patient information. Fortunately, you can avoid the risks of mishandling patient data by integrating cloud-based digital prescription software. It has encrypted storage, offers multiple physical restriction methods, and makes it easy to keep backups, strengthening the integrity of health information.

Expensive up-keep

Using a dental tracking sheet in your practice has cost implications that inhibit future growth and productivity. First, you must host the dental lab tracking sheet system on-premises, creating a demand for hardware and constant upkeep of updates after the installation. Also, the complexity of using dental tracking sheets necessitates the involvement of several users, usually dental assistants, to write lab prescriptions and track the results, leading to higher running costs. Integrating security systems to protect health information is complex, further increasing the costs of running a dental lab tracking sheet system. The scalability of inflexible dental lab tracking systems is limited, making it hard to adapt to the expanding number of patients. Using dental lab tracking sheets limits the capacity of your practice to be more competitive in the long run.

Simple, easy-to-use, cost-effective, cloud-based digital systems are alternatives to rigid, expensive, and complex dental lab tracking sheets. Flexible digital prescription software makes it possible to achieve exponential growth in your practice based on expanding patient numbers.

Reduced users’ satisfaction and poor patient experience

Dental lab tracking systems are not only inconvenient for the users, but they can also have a profound impact on patient satisfaction. Using a dental lab tracking sheet requires juggling between many rows and columns during data input. Many users are likely to find such systems tiresome and complex to use, and this affects their motivation. A dental tracking sheet also leads to poor patient experiences, often because of delays in sending and tracking lab prescriptions. Delayed patients’ appointments resulting from slow tracking of prescriptions leads to worsening patients’ conditions and subsequently, compromise the quality of care. It is not uncommon to have inaccurate appliances delivered from the lab due to incomplete or wrong patient details in lab prescriptions sent through dental lab tracking sheets.

Compared to the dental lab tracking sheet, easy-to-use cloud-based digital software motivates the staff and results in better patient experiences. These systems are easy to use, leading to faster and more accurate tracking of prescriptions. Therefore, it is possible to have shorter appointments, minimizing treatment delays. The results from the labs are more accurate with the digital systems, leading to more precise results.

Conclusion

Incorporating a dental tracking sheet system to manage lab prescriptions is risky for any practice aspiring to grow and become more productive. Increased errors, time wastage, potential security breaches of patient medical information, high running costs, and a poor experience for users and patients are reasons that you should not consider a dental lab tracking sheet. It is prudent to adopt more efficient systems for managing lab prescriptions. With a cloud-based digital system, managing dental prescriptions becomes efficient and easy and improves patients’ experiences.

Here at EasyRx, we help orthodontic practices by giving them the tools that they need for comprehensive case management to streamline their workflows and achieve maximum clinical efficiency.


To see how we can help your practice get away from paper documentation, confusing spreadsheets, and costly workflow errors, contact our specialists today!