Dr. Howard Black in Scarborough, Ontario
As the owner of Pine Ridge Dental Centre in Scarborough, Ontario, Howard Black, D.D.S. and his team rely on new technologies, state-of-the-art materials and the latest treatment protocols to provide patients with the very best that dentistry has to offer in a caring, compassionate setting.
Every month, Dr. Black along with his team of four other dentists, 18 clinical staff and five administrative assistants see more than a thousand patients. Pine Ridge Dental Centre offers a complete range of family dental care that includes a comprehensive dental hygiene program complemented with a full scope of orthodontic and cosmetic treatments, including Invisalign and the services of dental specialists.
One of the vital technologies used in the practice is ABELDent clinical and practice management software. ABELDent is used to manage all aspects of the practice and as a means to help patients improve their quality of life through good oral health. "In a busy practice like ours, monitoring the oral health of patients and keeping track of schedules, follow-ups and other preventative appointments would be almost impossible without a system such as ABELDent," says Dr. Black. "ABELDent is at the core of our practice, helping us deliver the highest possible level of dental care."
Dr. Black and his team began using ABELDent in 2001 after switching from their previous U.S.-based software system. "Our former vendor informed us that it was going to shut down its Canadian operations and no longer support customers in Canada," explains Dr. Black. "As a result, we were forced to look for another system that would meet our growing clinical and administrative needs. My team and I completed the research and quickly realized that we should choose a stable Canadian company to future-proof our investment. Because ABELDent was based in Canada, the industry leader and well known amongst my colleagues, we knew that it was the right choice for us. I really liked what I saw in terms of specific practice features, ease of use and competitive price."
Before deploying ABELDent, Dr. Black and his team put a lot of thought into the practice’s workflow and how the software system would benefit both his patients and office administration.
"It was like starting from a clean slate," explains Dr. Black. "ABELDent’s practice management system gave us the ability to quickly become more organized and communicate with others on our clinical and administrative teams much more efficiently than our previous system could. ABELDent has been a great asset in the decade that we’ve been using it."
Office manager Bonnie Black says that because ABELDent is so innovative and scalable, the practice has gone totally paperless on the clinical side. The software is used for everything now, including patient charting.
"The doctors and hygienists find the charting features accurate and a real time saver. We can do everything from charting a complete examination to updating the patient’s medical condition, all in one place," says Mrs. Black. "We can even create estimates and highlight any procedure for pre-payment billing if necessary. It allows us to have a holistic view of the patient from both the clinical and administrative side."
Because so much of oral health depends on regular checkups and preventive maintenance, ABELDent supports patient care by helping the practice stay on top of scheduling recall exams, monitoring ongoing care and handling billing. "The software is useful in so many ways," adds Mrs. Black.
The staff at Pine Ridge takes training on the system very seriously, says Mrs. Black. "Our front-desk manager has taken the initiative to create training manuals for hygienists, dental assistants and administrators with step-by-step directions on how to use every function of ABELDent. This gives us overall continuity so that everyone in the practice knows how to get the greatest benefit and value from the system everyday."
She adds, "Our staff members are really good with computers and can usually figure things out for themselves, but should they have any questions, support from ABEL is just a phone call away."
Dr. Black says he is very happy with the benefits that ABELDent offers and would not consider changing systems. "ABELDent, more than any other system or paper-based operation, has helped us grow the practice and become more efficient, effective and professional," he says.
The dentist says he is planning to use ABEL’s new patient portal functionality. "Today, when we ask patients to update their personal information, like a new telephone number or insurance details, we hand them a paper form to fill out. We realize that this is inefficient and prone to errors because we have to re-key the information into ABELDent. It will be wonderful when our patients can input the information directly and securely into ABELDent for themselves."
Dr. Black and his staff look forward to seeing how this kind of innovation and future features can improve the quality of care they can deliver to their patients and enhance their management of their busy office.