The competitive edge

Featured Products Promotional Features

  Posted by: Dental Design      17th June 2024

In a rapidly expanding market, dental practice owners are increasingly aware of the need to maintain a competitive edge. Most healthcare professionals don’t have an MBA, and some aspects of managing a business can be daunting. Analysing metrics may be far from the mind of the principal dentist, but developing an insight into the drivers of profit and loss helps business owners succeed.[i] It is important for practice leaders to align internal processes to meet the needs, opportunities and challenges within their business environment.[ii]

Internal processes

 According to Forbes Magazine, the number one factor giving businesses an advantage over competitors is humanised services.[iii] It may seem counter-intuitive to suggest that streamlining services using digital systems enables practices to offer a more personal service, but they can provide practitioners with the time and headspace – as well as the tools – to focus on patients.[iv] And in a society where almost every service we use – from shopping to banking – maintains a simple, seamless and secure digital user-interface, expectations are high.

Quick access to comprehensive patient notes, including high-res scans and images, is an essential part of the clinician/patient relationship. For patients, seeing that their up-to-date records are at the fingertips of their clinicians goes beyond customer care or convenience,[v] it builds confidence and trust. A poor data-management system could affect clinical outcomes,[vi] and could leave practices open to serious consequences, including legal action, fines and reputational damage.[vii]

Increasingly in today’s market, patients will spend much of their journey between seeking treatment and the time they sit in the dental chair using digital platforms, and they will expect a seamless, efficient experience in the practice too. A completely streamlined practice management system avoids the risk of a disjointed experience for patients, and for the dental practice, it avoids a wasteful duplication of processes, or relying on third-party integration tools,[viii] which can be unreliable and costly. Complete software integration prevents disruption to daily workflows.

Analysing metrics – for example, looking at the relationship between patient retention and the relative demand for a certain procedure over the course of a year, against costs and potential income – will enable a practice to develop a robust strategy around services. They will be able to better measure their successes, as well as identify where they need to direct more energy, enabling them to develop meaningful and relevant Key Performance Indicators (KPIs).

Practice management systems may well collect useful data, but if the information is not fully integrated, or is multiple clicks away, the process may be fragmented and laborious. Clinicians may find themselves monitoring their performance less regularly, meaning they lack the insight of competitors.[ix]

Dental software – meeting business needs

To remain competitive, practice systems and procedures should be effective and efficient. If you decide you need to make a change, procuring the right fully integrated business management system takes research. In addition to ensuring the system works to cover all your required functions, things to consider are security, affordability scalability and flexibility. A few questions might be:

  1. Security:
    1. Does it comply with all statutory regulations?[x]
    2. Do safeguards interfere with performance?
  2. Affordability:
    1. Does the system offer benefits that equal or outweigh the costs? What are the long-term costs and benefits?
    2. What is the cost and timescale of data migration and is the process fully supported?
    3. What does ongoing training and support cost for the system?
  3. Scalability:
    1. Does the system suit the needs of my existing business, and will it grow and develop accordingly?
    2. Can it be used seamlessly across multi-site practices?
  4. Flexibility:
    1. Does the system use technology that is likely to be continually updated alongside other common systems?
    2. Do new users adapt to the system intuitively and easily?

Finally, when deciding on a shift to a new system, it’s important to consider the company. Are they well-established? Do they have a successful track-record of innovation? And does their operation indicate they are responsive to the changing needs of clients as their practices develop?

Sensei Cloud Enterprise, from the practice and patient management brand of Carestream Dental, has been developed by dentists to provide an answer to the needs of any dental practice. Sensei Cloud Enterprise is a cloud-based, centralised business platform. With intuitive visualisation tools, it makes analysis easy, and insights can inform your business in real time, straight from your dashboard. Sensei Cloud offers built-in support for patients with a fantastic online bookings interface, alongside user-friendly security for a system that safely retains data for easy access, whether your practice is multi-location or based in a single site.

From safely managing your patients’ data, to pulling financial reports for auditors, to providing relevant analytics to move your practice forward, a practice management system that is fully integrated and streamlines processes will give any dental practice a competitive edge.

For more information on Sensei Cloud visit  

[i] Business Acumen Skills: Definition and Examples. September 2023. Accessed February 2024.

[ii] Mind Tools. Accessed February2024.

[iii] Eight Key Strategies To Overcome Your Competition And Stand Out In A Crowded Market. April 2021. Accessed February2024.

[iv] How can you use technology to streamline your service operations for a better customer experience?

[v] Mastellos N, Gunn L, Harris M, Majeed A, Car J, Pappas Y. Assessing patients’ experience of integrated care: a survey of patient views in the North West London Integrated Care Pilot. Int J Integr Care. 2014 Jun 9;14:e015. doi: 10.5334/ijic.1453. PMID: 24987321; PMCID: PMC4059210.

[vi] Stewart MA. Effective physician-patient communication and health outcomes: a review. CMAJ. 1995 May 1;152(9):1423-33. PMID: 7728691; PMCID: PMC1337906.

[vii] Accountability Framework. ICO.

[viii] What Are Third-Party Integrations? (Plus How They Work). February 2023. Accessed February 2024.

[ix] Tips for Keeping Up With Business Trends to Stay Competitive. October 2022. Accessed February 2024.

[x] The Data Protection Act 2018. 2018. Accessed February 2024.

No Comments

No comments yet.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.