Brimhall Puzzle Piece

Thinking About Upgrading Your Software?

June 1, 2009


We have been... having a lot of questions at the seminars about software and going paperless.  Brandy has put together a format for knowing and asking the right questions to save you headaches and money.  Please read this very carefully and call or e-mail her directly if you have specific questions.  Her information is at the bottom of the article.

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There is a buzz right now about practice software and it seems that many offices are considering upgrading to a newer, bigger, and better system.  After receiving many calls to my office expressing questions, concerns and uncertainty, I decided put together some information that will hopefully be helpful in your decision making process as to which software will be the best for you and your practice. 

Investing in software is a big decision and a big commitment.  Not only are you taking on an expense for this, there is also a transition that your staff and practice will go through while implementing this and implementing it properly.  As with any other implementation to your office, there is a process to go through in order to do this efficiently and effectively. 

As you have probably noticed, there are lots of software companies out there claiming to be exactly what you need as well as other resources you may have for getting software recommendations.  What you need to know about this is that the needs of every office are not the same.  So, before you make an investment like this, you must first determine what will work best for YOU.

In order to do this, get a pencil and paper and ask yourself the following…

Part I:

  • Why are you looking to upgrade or change software?
  • What features do you want or need in new software?
    • Discuss this as a team so everyone can offer insight as to what would be helpful in each individual department.
  • What features do you have in your current software that are important to have in your future software as well?
    • Discuss this as a team and be as detailed as possible as to specific features that are used to aid with thoroughness & efficiency (examples: inventory stats, reactivation/missed appointment reports, etc).
  • What is your software spending budget (consider software cost, tech support & upgrades)?
  • How soon would you like to upgrade or change your software?
    • What is your goal date for final decision on which software program is best as well as when is your goal date for implementation of new program?
  • What software companies are candidates for your practice?
    • List their names, phone numbers, websites, etc.

Part II.

  •  Contact each of the software companies you have listed, ask specific questions regarding features you need and features you want as you have listed above.
    • Consider asking for references to check.
  • Schedule and participate in a demo of the software to specifically see these features as well as the features of the general.
    • Make specific notes as to what the software can and cannot do as well as the general ease of learning and use of the software.
  • Determine Pros and Cons
    • List the pros and cons of each software.
    • For features that you are looking for that may not be available….
      • Discuss and make note of if/how these features can be handled manually so as to not be skipped.
      • Discuss with software to see if said system(s) may be added to an update at some point. 
    • Discuss as a team your findings, ideas, concerns, etc as you have gone through this process.  Decide as a team which software is best for you. 

Additional tips:

  •  Plan Ahead. Once you have decided on a software program, there are steps to follow to efficiently implement this software and do it as smoothly as possible.
  • Remember that the people you speak to at software companies are sales representatives.  Their job is to convince you that their program is the best for you.  Be sure to get the necessary information so YOU can make this educated decision.
  • Be sure to ask about specific fees such as tech support, updates, upgrades, etc.
  • Be as detailed as possible as you list features you want and need in a software program.  This will be a huge time saver as you train and transition to your new software.

If you would like additional assistance with this or for specific software recommendations, please contact Total Practice Resources at and ask to speak with one of our consultants.  Please remember also that helpful information such as this and much more is offered free through the Total Practice Resources Spotlight (our newsletter).  Webinars are also available and are full of invaluable information and training systems and would be a great instrument in your practice building, development and team organization.  For all of this and more, visit us online at or call (303) 242-8901.


John W. Brimhall, DC and the Wellness Team

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