Our Practice Management Director, Alicia Dieujuste, worked in dental offices for 11 years before she joined DentiMax. This extensive experience gives her a unique perspective to design new features by collaborating directly with our programming team. She gets it! She is designing features to fix problems that she faced when working in dental offices — she is the user.
What kind of work did you do in the dental industry before joining DentiMax?
I worked for a local dental consulting firm, and I began my consulting position by training in a dental office. Dental consulting can be many colors and flavors, but the type of consulting we did was hands-on, “planted" in the dental office, working side by side with the office staff. It’s a great approach because you not only help the dentist fill a needed role, but could see where the office’s strengths and weaknesses lie.
During my 11 years with the firm, I worked with dentists to help put systems into place, such as recall systems, insurance and patient collection systems. I taught the office how to make and use resources to keep their schedule full, bringing in new patients and referrals, as well as how to streamline intra-office communications. I fell in love with dentistry and the environment that is created when a dental practice really wants to help their patients smile more. Some of the types of practices I worked in were Oral Surgery offices, General Dentistry, Periodontics, and Maxillofacial Prosthodontics with a specialty in full mouth reconstruction.
Why did you decide to leave dental consulting and work at DentiMax?
There are a few things that influenced my decision to work at DentiMax. I had reached the “top of the ladder" where I was at the time and needed a change of scenery. I also wanted to use my dental knowledge and experience in an applicable way with whatever I did next and I love helping people and came to love the dental industry too, and its ability to change people’s lives
One of the interesting things about moving from office to office was the various practice management software systems I had to learn. By the time I used DentiMax in a dental office, I had already worked with several other practice management systems, such as Dentrix®, SoftDent®,
EagleSoft®, and Practice Works®. The level of detail and accuracy required in a consulting firm is incredibly high, and I was putting forth a lot of extra effort with practice management systems, other than DentiMax, to get the required details in the software or relay information to the patient.
It Spoke to Me
DentiMax Software just spoke to me. DentiMax had tools that the others didn’t, that made my workday so much easier. Line item accounting was a miracle to me, and being able to add visible notes on the ledger, directly connected to the related charge was a lifesaver. Not only could I more quickly accomplish my job and show the dentist and accountant more transparency on the financial side, but I was able to share that information more easily with the owner of the company I worked with when I “reported in." I learned that I love software and I love thinking outside the box on how to make software more efficient and easier for the user, because I was the user.
I went after a position at DentiMax because I felt that my knowledge of dental offices, dental roles, and dental software would allow me to grow in a company where I could make an impact on a widespread scale and improve the work-lives of dental software users. And I firmly believe that a good software system allows the dental office to thrive inpatient care.
How did your experience in the dental industry influence DentiMax 20?
I have worked with many different dental practices, with different specialties and different challenges. All of the practices I worked with had different needs, but at the end of the day, software was the main tool in their tool belt.
Understanding the needs of different types of practices, billing procedures, patient collections, scheduling, all play a role in our software design enhancements and the office’s workflow. As I work with our programming team on designing these features, I ask, “if I were checking out a patient,
does this sequence make sense?" Nothing can replace the knowledge I gained from working in a dental office.
What is your favorite new feature in DentiMax 20?
This is a hard one! There are so many new powerful features in this version. All of our new features were designed to make the system easier, faster, and stronger. With that in mind, the new insurance calculation options are probably at the top of my list.
None of the software systems I had previously used had the ability to calculate insurance downgrades well, if at all, or alternate fee setting. When managing a dental office, the things that throw a wrench in your workday are the “out of the norm" type of things. When you have to hand calculate an insurance downgrade, and you have a patient itching to leave at the end of their appointment, and another patient that will need to go in that room, but the doctor wants you to hurry up and give them an estimate because they really need that work done ASAP, there’s a lot of pressure to get it right.
DentiMax 20 solves this problem by allowing you to mark an item as downgraded to another code, and automatically calculate the patient portion off of that downgraded procedure. It is such a time saver!
There are also cases where the insurance doesn’t cover an item for the patient, and you are allowed to charge your office fee instead of sticking to the insurance contracted fee. Before the new Alternate Fee option, you would have to manually override the estimate for the patient. With this new feature, you can select an alternate fee schedule for any item on the patient’s insurance plan that you’d like for automated changes. As long as you enter the insurance data into that patient plan correctly, the system will do the hard work for you!
Thanks again to Alicia Dieujuste for sharing with us.