Dos and don'ts for system implementation: One system at a time

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As systems age, they become clogged with bottlenecks, causing frustration and stress for the team. Staff members may find workarounds for broken systems, but that leads to greater inefficiency. The solution is to replace outdated systems, but you can't do them all at once without overwhelming your team.


Start with the biggest stressor. What system gives the team the most trouble? For many practices, it's the schedule. When the schedule isn't working properly, it affects nearly every other system in the practice. Customer service, collections, and case presentation also are leading causes of stress for doctors and teams. Whichever system is creating the most chaos in your practice, that's the place to start.


Don't just make a few tweaks. Replacing systems can be challenging. Many practices opt for adding some refinements to existing systems, believing that will fix the problem. Unfortunately, the result is a mix of patched-together systems with more bottlenecks than before. If systems are older than 3 years, they probably should be replaced entirely.

Roger P. Levin, DDS, is the founder and CEO of Levin Group, the leading dental practice consulting firm in North America. For the complete list of dates and locations where you can attend his latest seminar, visit

The comments and observations expressed herein do not necessarily reflect the opinions of, nor should they be construed as an endorsement or admonishment of any particular idea, vendor, or organization.

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