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August 2012

DentaLab NewsAugust 2012
from Mainstreet Systems & Software

FAQDentaLab News

Thinking About Fall Group Training

We have had a couple of† inquiries asking whether we would be offering group training on DentaLab for QuickBooks this fall at our offices here in Pennsylvania.†† If there is sufficient interest, we will be happy to do this.† Please let us know if you are interested, whether a Saturday or Monday would be preferable and some possible dates in October. † Not available in our schedule are October 13 and 15.† Otherwise, this is a beautiful time of the year to travel here, typically with lots of Indian Summer days and terrific fall foliage. †

In addition to the basic training, we would include extra focus on whatever topics you would like to have covered and also introduce the new tablet app for tracking workflow.† You do not have to be already licensed or have a service agreement to receive group training.† Please contact us by September 5 if you would like to come.†

Our First Tablet App:† Tracking Workflow

We have on our to-do list for upcoming development several tablet apps.†† The first of these will focus on case item assignments and tracking workflow through the lab.

You may be wondering just what will differentiate an app from the software applications you have been using for scheduling, tracking, billing and reporting.† Essentially the term app has been derived from application and conveys limited focus and functionality.†† When talking about tablets, it also means mobility and touch capability.

We chose workflow for the first app over some of the other areas where we determined mobility would be beneficial (such as marketing and sales) because it was smaller in scope.†† Included will be:

  • selection from items pre-assigned to a specific technician and those simply assigned to a work center
  • touch entry to record start and completion dates and times with pause/restart capability
  • reporting on the workflow for each case as well average times by item.††
  • completion dates and time as well as the technician will also be displayed in the standard DQB case item grids
  • the DQB master schedule will, of course, all be updated for completions†

We will be looking for a few beta-testers.† You will need to have an Android, Apple IOs or Windows 8 tablet.† Our target for the beta-test phase will be late September.† Let us know if you are interested in giving us your feedback and suggestions on the live use in your lab.††

Looking Ahead to September

We typically expect January and August to be the slowest months of the year, but somehow August was as busy as ever.† We have one long weekend to look forward to, as our offices will be closed for the USA Labor Day holiday on Monday, September 3.†† As always we will take time to check voicemail and email for those in other countries.

Easy, versatile software for the modern dental laboratory.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q:† Can we scan in barcodes for the product, batch and lot information needed for materials disclosure?

A: Yes, when you setup materials sets and then edit these as batch and lot numbers change, if you have a barcode provided by the manufacturer and a barcode scanner, you can quickly scan rather than entering the codes on the keyboard.†† When working with cases, you can relate the item(s) to a material disclosure set and whenever needed, update that set.†† Then when you generate an invoice from the case information, you can also request a materials disclosure form to accompany this to send to the dental office.†

The disclosure information remains in the system and if ever there is a recall or another reason to find exactly which materials went into a case or which cases included certain materials, this can quickly be accessed and reported.† The disclosure form sent to the dental office can be made part of the patientís record.†

There are some labs trying to add the disclosure information into each invoice,† but that is the hard and time-consuming way to do it.†

Q:† We occasionally experience a slowdown when doing our daily work on the computer.† Can you tell us why this occurs?

A: If it is an occasional slowdown, the most likely culprit to check on is other software running at the same time.†† Some possibilities are online backups, scanning for malware by anti-virus software, automatic updates from various vendors involved with your system.† You can check the icons on your taskbar and/or right-click on the taskbar to bring up the Task Manager and see which applications and processes are running.†††

If, on the other hand, you are starting to notice a general slowdown, it is best to first pinpoint when this is occurring and what applications you are running.† † Then call us and we can either guide you or work with you in a remote session to see what is happening with your DQB database and your QuickBooks company file.† Although both are renowned for reliability and rarely need repair, it is possible that files can become damaged or need re-indexing.†

If your volumes have increased substantially, it might also be worthwhile to consider improving your computer speeds and capacities.†† In most instances, this is not something to be handled without experience.†† Call upon both your software and hardware/network tech support to guide you through.

With the same look and feel of QuickBooks.

On Everyone's Mind:† Compliance Issues

In all of healthcare there has been an increasing concern about patient safety and along with this, new compliance regulations from professional organizations and governments.†† We have been continually adding software support to help make it easier for labs to keep complete accurate records and to then access this information quickly whenever needed.†† We have also been developing a white paper that provides a comprehensive review of all the ways DentaLab for QuickBooks helps to easily keep you in compliance.†† If you would like an electronic copy of this, please let us know.

Ideas Worth Thinking About....

One the the hot topics on the Internet Dental Forum (IDF) this month has been on ways to help energize this industry, particularly for the under-20 techncian labs that comprise the majority of independents.†† Here are some of the ideas....

1) More focus and training on how create a "brand" for those labs that do not have a unique product.

2) Alternatives for free or close-to-free marketing.

3) Teaming with larger labs to benefit from resources they have such as marketing staffs, expensive equipment, brand recognition.

4) Learning to use the benefits of your software to compete through excellent customer communication and service, analysis, cost efficiences, responsiveness.

5) Gaining greater recognition for your expertise and professionalism from both the dental offices and patients.

Let us hear your ideas too....we will pass them on and be ever mindful on ways that our software can help support your efforts.

Oh...and don't forget!

Just like training your children to take 10 seconds to clean up the bathroom or pick up their clothes, we have a tough time getting labs to remember to do these things:

1) Backup your information....both QuickBooks and DentaLab.†† It does not matter if it is a local or remote backup (actually doing both is best), but see that this is taken care of.†† If you find you can not remember, setup for automatic backups at least once a day.

2) Be mindful of securing your system through uninterruptible power supply (UPS) for power spikes and outages, through firewalls and other malware protection if connected to the internet, through a series of logins and passwords to prevent unauthorized access to your business information.

3) Keep your staff informed on the resources associated with your system, where things are located, who to call if there are issues or if guidance is needed.

Statistics show that the labs that elect to be self-sufficient are typically the most neglectful.†† Most of these measures take very little time and expense but not taking care of these can result in far too great amounts of wasted time, money and energy.

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