Saving Time With “Workarounds?” Think Again

How much software training do you think most new employees receive at a dental office? Perhaps less than you’d expect. There is rarely someone on staff who can spend a great deal of time with a new employee, teaching them the ins and outs of each program and application; because, their job is to stay patient-focused.

This gap in training can lead employees to pick up bad habits as they attempt to teach themselves, or miss out completely on learning to utilize applications properly. Employees simply do each task the way they were taught and this method can lead to inefficiencies and even errors that can cost a dental practice time and money.

Lack of Training Leads to Workarounds

When employees are not properly trained on software and applications, they can often adopt “workarounds.” For example, a data input screen may have required fields that a dental office does not utilize. Instead of learning why those fields must be filled in, someone on staff may have arbitrarily decided that “000” was an acceptable value for a field. Another employee may have decided that “123” was an acceptable value. On its face, this seems harmless enough but what if your staff did not know that that value was actually used to calculate critical patient data, and the “123” was actually causing errors in dental records?

And when hardware isn’t working, meanwhile, staff members often resort to hard resets in order to get things back online. But hard resets aren’t recommended for all types of hardware, and in some cases, hard resets can cause more harm than good.

Dental offices are typically full of these technology workarounds. Employees pick them up because they have jobs to do and patients to serve, and waiting around on a customer service call doesn’t feel like a responsible use of time. Employees don’t mean harm, but sometimes these seemingly innocent workarounds can lead to long-term, critical problems.

Waiting on the phone

“…waiting around on a customer service call doesn’t feel like a responsible use of time.”

Can You Get Access to Training?

Dental practices typically don’t have large training departments or IT staff to help properly educate staff members on how to use applications and hardware efficiently. And so, these workarounds can live on in perpetuity.

Employing a managed IT service provider means proper access to accurate training for dental office staff. Providers who specialize in dental technology can come into the practice and work directly with employees to ensure they are using each application properly, and that the office gets the most benefit from each application they employ. When the trainers are gone, they remain continually accessible to staff, so that they can connect directly if any issues arise with the “new” processes.

Technology workarounds aren’t sinister, nor are the employees that execute them; but, managed IT providers remove the need for these risky shortcuts altogether by properly training dental office staff. With expert training, employees can operate all applications in an efficient manner, helping to reduce errors, maintain accuracy, and keep systems running smoothly.

Micah Laughlin

Micah Laughlin is the founder of Canvas IT and a leader in technology management services, supporting organizations of all sizes and helping them to thrive in spite of IT challenges and organizational changes. His first-hand experience with Service Desk Outsourcing companies led him to create a better way of doing IT outsourcing, the way he’d want it done. Today his philosophy carries on at Canvas IT as he creates a custom solution for each client just the way they’d want it done. Micah’s service desk management philosophy has supported dozens of growing businesses, adding value to the IT services they provide. Prior to founding Canvas IT, Micah spent more than 24 years managing IT operations – with 18 spent balancing the need for open, flexible systems with the restrictions of the highly-regulated healthcare industry.

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