In a bid to revolutionise practice management training across the dental industry, Software of Excellence (SoE) is delighted to announce the launch of the Academy of Excellence. It believes the academy will act as a springboard for staff and practices to improve knowledge, efficiency and profitability by creating a multilayer, professional accredited training scheme. It is hoped the academy will develop into the dental industry equivalent of the Microsoft Certified Professional qualification scheme.
Based on the martial arts grading system, the Academy of Excellence qualification will focus first on ensuring staff are getting the best of SoE’s business solution software, Exact V11. Dental nurses, practice managers and reception staff can gain white and then yellow belt certification based on their role within the practice and their competency displayed with the software. Following on from this, practices can then progress through the levels, achieving red and then black belts as business and revenues grow.
Getting the best from Exact
Head of the Academy of Excellence, Robert Powell, believes that demand for this type of education programme is strong, based on SoE’s experience with practices on its Thrive programme and those completing Best Practice Check-ups. ‘Exact is a very rich programme built up over many years, but we found that most practices only touch the surface, using about 20% of the functionality. In our experience, we know that the optimum use of Exact really does improve business outcomes and that practices that invest in proper staff training and development do achieve great results. We are trying to give practices the tools to use the software to its best effect. The Academy of Excellence adds a whole layer of value to practices enabling them to really get the best out of the system.’
Exact V11 provides all the clinical elements for which SoE is well known; functions such as Quick Charts and improved X-ray viewing have made Exact a much more clinically user-friendly system. But in addition, significant improvements to the administrative functions have been made, with the addition of much more automated recall and patient flow processes. For example, Recall Manager II enables staff to set up telephone calls, texts, emails and even automatically connect with a mailing house to print and post letters and postcards, thereby leaving reception staff with more free time to look after patients.
However, some practices are simply not taking advantage of the new functions and for some this is down to a lack of on-going investment in training. With many practice teams relying on training they were given years ago on older versions of the software, or applying their limited knowledge because they did not receive official training or have simply picked up bad habits, SoE felt there was an opportunity to offer a more complete training package to practices, and now Robert plans to change the status quo through the Academy of Excellence.
Academy of Excellence’s benefits
Robert said: ‘What we have learned from Thrive is that if you maximise the use of the system through its functionality, you will achieve greater business outcomes. So we asked ourselves how we could help practices get the most out of their system? Thrive is a fantastic consultancy programme, but we wanted to provide added value at a ‘role-based’ level as well. By launching the Academy of Excellence we are bringing a training and development programme to the profession, helping practices get the most out of the software, but also the most out of their businesses and their staff’s performance.’
In order to make training more flexible and accessible, for the first time, modules can be studied via live on-line webinar sessions delivered by Academy Training Consultants. These low cost online sessions will be delivered at convenient times, including lunchtimes and after the surgery has closed, so as not to detract from a normal working day. Eventually practice staff will be able to login at any time of the day or night to study. Robert knows this is an important step towards meeting client demand. In addition, new training school classes have been set up throughout the country and practices can still opt for on-site training. ‘We know that investing in staff achieves better outcomes for the practice, so we have developed a programme that takes each individual team member on a journey, is skills based and helps to broaden their knowledge. Each training stream is tailored to the specific role so each team member learns the part of the software most appropriate to his or her role. The programme gives them valuable skills that are recognised in the market and means they can earn an industry-recognised qualification.’
The qualification model
Online webinars will be delivered in one-and-a-half hour training sessions and staff will be assessed to ensure competency at each level. Individuals must first gain their white belt before progressing onto the yellow belt. Practices currently using Exact can complete a simple online assessment at white belt level to work out what, if any, training they need before progressing on to yellow belt. Red and black belts are awarded to the practice as well as the staff. Training will focus on improving business performance and belts are presented once the business achieves the target increase in revenue. For a red belt a practice must see a 5% increase and for a black belt a 10% rise is required.
Robert said: ‘The idea is to have a standardised industry qualification. For the owner or principal of a practice, the benefit is getting a well-motivated team and we know motivated teams drive performance. As well as providing development for staff, principals will also get peace of mind that their business is now running efficiently using ‘best practice’ guidelines. The Academy of Excellence provides third party validation that the practice team is competent in its use of the software and that the business is reaping the benefits in terms of increased revenue.’
You can hear more about the Academy of Excellence by viewing the video at www.softwareofexcellence.com/uk/training/academy-of-excellence.