Background & History
I am a dentist, practicing in the suburbs of Philly for over 30 years. I have a modern, high-end cosmetic, family and implant-oriented dental practice. I got involved in programming more than 25 years ago, using early Macs. I spent several years learning graphics, animation and GUI interface design. Ultimately spent 3 or 4 years developing a full featured dental business application in 4th Dimension, (a powerful, full featured relational database programming language that was popular back in the late 80’s). As a hobby, I developed a great app that eventually became the cornerstone of my software development company.
The application I developed was ported to work on early Windows and Macs. During that period, (1990-92) the software was successfully marketed and sold by my company. It was the world’s first “Interactive Patient Education Software Program.” It was sold in 16 countries and all over the U.S..
As I was still a working dentist, in my free time, I continued to experiment and tinker with applications that were dentistry specific. One of the smaller software projects that I tinkered with became another working utility (I always thought it was a “killer app” back then). It was first prototyped in Hypercard then coded in Filemaker. It was really simple to use and I was able to utilize it as a time saving tool when treatment planning my dental patients for many years. When the Mac hardware began to change, Hypercard was abandoned by Apple and then over the years, my Filemaker application was unable to run on the newer Macs. Back then, my program was an amazing TIME SAVER, and (in the late 80’s thru the ’90’s) there was NOTHING LIKE IT ON THE MARKET.
What this product does:
All general dentists and many specialists must perform a complex process called TREATMENT PLANNING (“Trx Plan” or “TP”). TP involves assessing all of the data gathered about that patient’s dental condition and putting it all together as an intelligent, well-formatted listing of each and every step of necessary treatments. This listing may be several pages in length. The TP may be written out long hand by the practitioner, or an employee may be tasked with typing a TP related report or narrative to “give to the patient” as a way of improving patient communication that is essential to this process. This TP process may take from 15 minutes to several hours, based on the complexity of the proposed treatment. A typical TP involves listing code numbers, teeth numbers, quadrants, dates, fees, descriptions, etc.. Also, the TP should be organized in a prioritized fashion so that treatment for more serious problems are handled first.
One other important function of the treatment plan process is that it provides the basis for patient education and communication regarding the problems that have been diagnosed. The dentist wants to convey to the patient how the various treatments are going to eliminate the problems and fix everything!
This database application permits a dentist to “Treatment Plan” very complex dental treatments in a very short time. Additionally, this application generates several formatted reports, listing the diagnostic problems that were uncovered and the treatments as mentioned above. One of these reports is very patient centric, that is, easily read and understood by lay persons.
There are existing treatment planning software solutions, but almost all are imbedded in very large, expensive dental office management software packages. I have studied almost all of them. They are difficult to use, time consuming and seem to always be designed by a programmer, not a dentist.
TRX PLAN GENERATOR is different:
The main interface offers a nicely designed working screen with navigation buttons on the left border, much like a web page. Database info about the current loaded record are visible at the top of the screen. There are button fields, drop down lists and assorted interface tools for the user to easily define the Treatment Plan in an intelligent and ordered manner.
A separate screen is used to set-up “Focus” text for the final report… that is, a series of pre-defined sentences or paragraphs that the user dentist can use to imbed specific instructions, opinions, health related info, etc., into the final narrative report, which is then given to the patient.
This report is customized with that doctor’s name and practice information. A logo and a digitised signature may be imported and placed on the report for further customization if desired.
There is still nothing like this in the dental software marketplace.