If you have an in-house lab for your dental and orthodontic cases, you can cut down on expenses and turnaround times to create a more satisfying patient experience. Less than 5% of dentists and orthodontists have their own labs, so it can also be a competitive advantage.
Still, you’ll need a reliable and consistent way of tracking in-house dental lab work to ensure that you’re handling case management efficiently.
If you’re doing things manually—using paper forms, sticky notes, email, or Excel spreadsheets to manage your cases, for example—it’s time to upgrade to a digital workflow to streamline your systems and improve your tracking.
You need an easy way to manage and track your in-house dental work, which includes organizing and tracking cases, saving time, and improving communication.
Five Tips for Tracking In-House Orthodontic/Dental Lab Work
Here are five ways to improve your end-to-end tracking and production.
1. Digitize Your Workflow
The most important thing that you can do to improve your tracking is to digitize your workflow. Ditch the paper and orthodontic/dental case tracking templates, and replace them with a comprehensive case management platform that integrates with your dental practice management system.
By using a single system for your prescription management and tracking, you will always know the progress of your cases.
2. Create Digital Models
Dental labs today must have digital tools that make case management easier. For example, integrating STL files from Itero scans or other intraoral scanners to replace physical models can make tracking simpler. You can attach all your X-rays, photos, images, and other digital files to your case so everything that you need is in one place.
You can also use digital tools to annotate, base models, and optimize the cases to eliminate communication errors.
3. Match Up Physical Impressions
If you are doing physical impressions, you will want to create unique prescription ID numbers to track them. You also may want to consider implementing barcode scanning to tag models so you can easily match them up to lab cases and look up prescriptions.
4. Manage Prescription Workflow
The right case management software will enable technicians to mark when cases are received, in progress, completed, and ready for patients. This makes it easier to schedule patients for appointments, as you’ll always know the status.
5. Improve Communication
Even with an in-house lab, communication can sometimes be a challenge. You may want quick answers to your questions, but if the tech assigned isn’t available or if it’s after hours, you may not be able to access the information that you want. A comprehensive case lab management platform will store all the relevant information, making it easy for you to get what you want.
EasyRx In-House Lab Management
EasyRx Practice Premium comes with an in-house lab module that is automatically configured for managing, controlling, and tracking in-house dental lab work. You get most of the same powerful features that large-scale commercial orthodontic or dental labs have to digitally design, create, and track prescriptions.
With EasyRx, it’s easy to create user profiles for lab technicians and assign permissions and cases. From a centralized dashboard, you can view all your cases and drill down on each one. You can also set up your own part list to make choosing appliances simple from pre-configured sets. This enables in-house labs to set pricing and practices to see exactly what your in-house lab is charging.
Templates make it easy to move through the prescription process quickly, providing labs with all the information that they need. You can attach digital files or intraoral scans quickly, so everything is included in each lab case.
When a new case is created, the dashboard automatically updates to flag technicians. You can also save specific views within the platform. For example, you can pull up which cases require same-day completion. This enables you to track in-house dental lab work that needs priority attention.
From each case, you can check a box to let the practice know when a case has been checked in, is in progress, or is completed. Within the EasyRx platform, you can also track and manage all your clear aligner cases.
If you have a 3D printer at your in-house lab, you can also open up your STL files in EasyRx 3D cloud basing software. The software will automatically optimize the files for 3D printing, but you can also make manual adjustments, base, or label models. When it’s time to print, EasyRx 3D integrates with most dental appliance 3D printers so you can print models and mark them as printed.
The in-house lab and the practice can see what cases are checked in, which are in progress, and which are completed with just one click. You can continue to track cases until they are complete. For example, when you’re printing a retainer, you can then check off when it’s completed and has been delivered to the patient.
Comprehensive Case Management
With EasyRx, you get the digital tools that you need to manage your workflow and track in-house lab cases so you can streamline your processes and eliminate communication roadblocks.
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!