Open Dental

Questions & Answers with an Open Dental Expert: Lead Clinical Analyst

Open Dental is a practice management software that’s packed full of features, and as a result, we have a team packed full of experts. Technicians come from backgrounds in dentistry, IT, customer service, and more. Some technicians know it all and do it all – others find their niche and specialize in a specific area. In this blog series, we’ll interview Open Dental Experts with various specialties.

This week, we are interviewing Michi (pronounced like Mickey) who specializes in clinical features and is our Lead Clinical Analyst. We discuss her background in dental, her favorite Open Dental features, and some tips and tricks she shares with offices.

Introduce yourself – how long you have been with Open Dental and your specialty.
I am Michi! I have been with Open Dental for five and a half years and in the dental field for 22-ish. I am the Lead Clinical Analyst – what that really means is I am a little involved in everything. I mostly focus on training our customers and staff on Open Dental, work with large groups that are coming to us, and work with our engineers to make improvements to the software.

22 years in dentistry! What did you do in dentistry?
I have done a little of everything except working in the mouth. I got my start at a dental insurance company. I have worked for small practices and managed large group practices. This is actually my second stint in software. I really fell in love with dentistry many years ago and have never wanted to leave the field.

What’s your favorite feature in Open Dental?
This is so hard because there are so many. The one that sticks out the most is downgrades. When I first started and they told me Open Dental could calculate the downgrades I didn’t believe them. So I tested it and tried to break it. When I couldn’t, I actually had a tear in my eye. I can’t even begin to count the number of people I have had to teach how to do downgrades over the years and what a struggle that was.

You work with a lot of offices. What issues are you helping them with the most?
The biggest issue I am seeing right now has to do with payments and payment allocations. Offices don’t understand why they need to do it and what the benefits are. By following a few simple steps, it is actually really easy.

What are the benefits of allocating payments, and why is it so important that it’s done?
There are two main benefits: it makes statements easier to read and it ensures providers are paid correctly, especially if paying on collections. If payments are not allocated to procedures, then your providers are not getting paid. When you send statements to your patients it will clearly show why they still owe you money. This helps to cut down on calls to the office.

Do you have any tips for offices struggling with payment allocation?
The easiest tip is to make sure that you highlight the procedures you want to pay before clicking the payment button. By doing this, the payment will go where you want.

Is there anything else you’d like to share about Open Dental, whether it’s your time here as an employee or anything to share with offices?
In all my time in dental, this is by far my favorite job. What I tell everyone, customers, and colleagues, the only stupid question is the one you don’t ask.

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We are incredibly grateful (and lucky) to have Michi as our Lead Clinical Analyst! Have more questions for us? Feel free to reach out!

Categories: Open Dental

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