Dentrix Ascend Case Study: Adopt a Vet Dental Program

Adopt a Vet Dental Program switched from Dentrix G6 to Dentrix Ascend, lightening their heavy administrative burden while providing critical dental care to low-income veterans.

Recognizing a seriously unmet need for dental care for many veterans, Wayne and Linda Haigh founded the Adopt a Vet Dental Program (AAVD) in 2010. The nonprofit organization provides free critical dental care to low-income U.S. military veterans.

Four retired dentists work at the AAVD clinic in Reno, Nevada, and 126 dental professionals offer pro bono care in their own offices across northern Nevada. These providers have donated over $7 million in services to date, giving life-changing, even lifesaving, dental care to more than 1,160 veterans.

Heather Borkowski, assistant executive director, notes that while it’s highly rewarding to serve these deserving veterans, AAVD’s productivity was impeded because they needed centralized practice management to support two locations, and Dentrix is typically used for a single office.

A High Administrative Burden

The AAVD team was struggling with keeping their records up to date. Heather remembered, “After a day at the clinic, it would take me two or three days to enter everything manually into the second system at the office. It was so time-consuming that I couldn't get anything else done. We had to make a change.”

Heather and dental program manager, Charlotte Worthley, dental program manager, do everything from assisting in the clinic to handling back-office tasks, so it was important to them to have an always-updated, flexible solution that would help them get more done in less time. That’s why they were excited when they heard about Dentrix Ascend and the possibilities of a cloud-based software that can tie together multiple locations.

Although it was intimidating to transition from Dentrix to Dentrix Ascend, Heather and Charlotte agree it was well worth the effort. Fortunately, the transition was made easier because both software solutions were provided by Henry Schein One. Their trainer, familiar with both, was “amazing,” they say, giving helpful suggestions and answering all their questions. “Everything is so streamlined now,” says Heather. “We're spending less time with day-to-day activities and more time with patients.”

Ease of Use

Heather praised the ease of Dentrix Ascend. “For assistants who've never used it, we show them once and they pick it up immediately.” The dentists at the AAVD clinic are “retired, so they’re old school. At first they wanted paper, but we said, ‘No, here’s a keyboard!’” and the providers soon recognized the value of Dentrix Ascend. Heather laughs, “Even a retired dentist can do it!”

Charlotte says the clinical team now sees many benefits from the software: “The chart, clinical notes, progress notes, they're all easier to access.” She adds, “And I like how the software is always up to date.”

Improving Accessibility

Since the AAVD team can easily access the most current data from the clinic as well as at the office, it’s eliminated the need for double manual entry. And having a centralized patient record enables the AAVD dentists to quickly see notes from prior treatments and other providers and move ahead with next steps.

Because it’s cloud-based software, Dentrix Ascend has “outstanding accessibility” that lets the AAVD team do their work anywhere — at the clinic, office or even remotely. This accessibility helps them keep the schedule full. Charlotte says, “If I need to fill an appointment, I can see the patients who are ready to be seen right away. We also love how simple it is to text patients. Some of our patients don’t like to answer the phone, but they will answer a text.”

“Our productivity has increased. Even everyone's good attitude has increased. It’s just the ease of using it.”

Heather Borkowski, AAVD Assistant Executive Director

Qualifying for Funding With Custom Reporting

Reporting is critical for nonprofit organizations like AAVD, so the team relies on tags in Dentrix Ascend to track care and lab costs, as well as donated time and services. Charlotte says, “In Dentrix Ascend, you can modify and customize the reports to what you need” with tags. Heather expands, “That's crucial for our program since we use reporting for state funding and grants. It’s faster and more accurate now to find what we’re tracking so we can go to our grant writers with that information.”

A Change for the Better

Using modern, centralized practice management software at AAVD hasn’t just positively affected the admin team. Heather says it’s created a culture change. “I don't know if there's a word that describes the value it’s been to us. It's been amazing. Our productivity has increased. Even everyone’s good attitude has increased. It’s just the ease of using it. It's been great, we love it. We recommend it to everyone.”

This case study is provided for general informational purposes only and does not constitute legal or professional advice. You should not act on the basis of any material contained herein without obtaining proper legal or other professional advice specific to your situation as needed. The views expressed by the individuals or other third parties herein are those of the individuals or third party and not, necessarily, of Henry Schein One, LLC. Certain components of the products may be provided by third parties. Henry Schein One, LLC, and its affiliates are not responsible for, and expressly disclaim, all liability for damages of any kind arising out of the use of those third-party products or services.

Adopt a Vet Dental Program

  • Nonprofit organization in Reno, Nevada
  • Offers free dental care to impoverished veterans in northern and central Nevada
  • Regular clinical staff includes three retired general dentists and one oral surgeon
  • More than 126 volunteer providers offer pro bono care in general dentistry, oral surgery, endodontics, periodontics, prosthodontics and lab work

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