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February 2020

DentaLab NewsFebruary 2020
from Mainstreet Systems & Software

FAQ  DentaLab News

 

Getting through the northeast winter

We are now more than halfway through our winter season and so far have not had to close our offices due to ice and snow.  In about four weeks we will start seeing signs of spring.  

In the meantime if you cannot reach us immediately,  it is best to send both an email and a voice mail including the best way to contact you.   If your issue involves an error message, be sure to click Send to Mainstreet to have it come directly to our weblog.  

We use Verizon Digital Voice to receive the office phone calls on our smartphones and one of our locations includes a Generac standby generator.  As long as there is power, we can tune in to our office network. 

Technological advances worth exploring

In our world there is a steady flow of advances in technology.  We need to continually review these and determine which ones are worthwhile for us and for you, our customers.  Here are some of these that are definitely worth a look. 

  • For remote access anytime anywhere, technology has advanced so that you can choose whether to keep control and maintain privacy in-house or with a webhosting service or give these up in favor of having another company take care of your records.
  • As an alternative, you can choose to have specific reports emailed to you on a notifications schedule of your choice, then just use your smartphone to review these anytime anywhere. 
  • You can choose how much of the internet you want to use, which components of your system you want to make available to customers and others and which you want to keep private and secure.   
  • For automatic backups, you can now choose the schedule, the locations and media, the level of encryption for security. 
  • Mobile devices used to take quite a bit of time to recharge plus remembering to do it but now advances have greatly reduced the recharge time for many of them and there are many spots available for recharging and WIFI connections when you are away from your office or home.
  • Having a website and including a web portal for your customers to submit prescriptions and digital files and lookup the status and history of their cases has become very inexpensive and cost-effective for marketing, communications, accuracy, convenience and speed.  You can determine whether your website will be very dynamic or primarily covering the basics and design it accordingly.

The success of the advanced backup protocol

When we commit the funding and resources needed to add new capabilities to your dental lab software, there is always the hope that these will be useful and well-accepted.   We count adding the Images supplement for scanning, camera work, and receiving digital documents and files as the #1 success.   The labs that offer the DentalRx web portal to their customers particularly value the role of Images when receiving and being alerted to incoming prescriptions with digital files.

Coming up fast, however, is the Advanced Backup Protocol.  This provides for a variety of choices for automatic backups, where to direct them, the level of security measures needed.   As scans and other digital documents increase, the protocol can be enormously helpful in handling the volume of data involved.  Installation by our technical staff is required for security setups.  The fee to cover this is $200.

 

    Easy, versatile software for the modern dental laboratory.

To answer your questions...

Q: We have been using QuickBooks Pro to synchronize with DQB.  Can we switch to one of the QuickBooks Online Editions?

A: Yes, this is possible.  Since we adapted DQB to also synchronize with QBOE, here is what we learned:

In DQB we use the QuickBooks (QB) internal codes to identify each record synchronized from QB.  When you convert from one of the QB desktop versions to QBOE, these internal codes change. This means that they no longer match those in DQB and you will need to restart your DQB database.

QBOE is more limited than the desktop versions.  One of the important differences is that you have at least 7 custom fields in the desktop versions to transfer case fields such as the patient, pan, shade, tooth numbers, request date and time to the QB invoice. In QBOE, you are limited to 3 custom fields.  

To synchronize with QBOE, Intuit requires that security/authorization codes be refreshed at specific intervals. This means that both QBOE and DQBOE require subscriptions to keep up with the security measures. 

Q: We are setting up standard procedures with items for each type of material involved with a crown.  Would it be possible to show the daily item counts for each type in the schedule?

A: This would complicate the master schedule, which now shows the daily limits with units scheduled and completed and then the specific cases for each work center and date.  To get the detailed counts, we recommend that you set up one of more product groups and then specify the product group in reports designed to give you these.

In the Cases menu, we recommend Case Items Sorted to see the item counts and the specific cases.  In the Reports menu, we recommend Product Group Analysis, which for the scheduled date range provides not only the item counts but analysis on the invoiced and remake (lost revenue) amounts. 

      With the same look and feel of QuickBooks.

As we envisioned tablets in the lab

When we first began development of the DQBT tablet workflow app, we were working with a lab that wanted each and every one of their technicians to use touch technology to record the progress of their cases.  This lab was, however, bought by a corporation and the project was squashed.   As we continued on with the development and offered it to our customers, most of the labs chose to have only a handful of their technicians use a tablet.  

This year, however, a Canadian lab owned by dentists has moved ahead with giving every one of their technicians a tablet with the DQBT app.  They will still print work tickets to identify and accompany the cases but the technicians will have all the benefits of the app at hand to guide their work.   This will include information on the case, its enclosures, the doctor's preferences by item and/or work center, digital images and documents, case alerts, communications and plans.   The technician will be able to record any special notes and enter actions required.  

Because they will be able to pause and restart their work on any case item in addition to the standard start and finish actions, timings will be more accurate and precise.  The tablets will be kept in house and turned in at the end of each day for safekeeping and recharging. 

All of this provides for a more professional environment for the lab personnel and a more precise tracking and measurement of the workflow for management.  Let us know if you would like to have more detailed information or would like to schedule a webinar to see how DQBT works.

When thinking about workflow and cost efficiencies

From the phone calls and emails we receive we know that a number of the labs in our user group are thinking about ways to improve their workflow to save time and money as well as assuring that cases are accurate and delivered on time.  One of the factors sometimes missed in this process is the time wasted in finding things.  Sometimes this means finding the cases, the accompanying enclosures and digital files, requested information, determining who to notify, gathering the facts to resolve issues. 

In coordination with some of the more active participants in our user group, we have been adding features to DentaLab for QuickBooks and DentalRx to provide ways for your software to support your efforts to provide smooth convenient workflows and eliminate time-wasters.   Many of these have become available through the quarterly releases provided to those with a service agreement.  

We urge you to take a little time to tune in, to keep your service agreement and your software up-to-date.  Let us know if we can be of more help in providing you with more details, discussions and/or interactive webinars on how these features work.

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Contact us at 1-800-257-4535 or www.mainstreet-systems.com.

"Your product is phenomenal!"

Damien Moreno
Creadent Dental Lab
Utah, USA


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