Susan_Whitt_headshotAs Carestream Dental marks OrthoTrac’s 30th anniversary, Susan Whitt, senior product manager, talked to Orthodontic Products about the practice-management and imaging software’s future.

OP: What are some of the most recent features added to OrthoTrac?

Whitt: With the introduction of the PEARL module in 2009, users could access OrthoTrac via their smartphone. And then in 2010, we added the Smart Call module, a caller ID system that identifies callers and accesses their information in OrthoTrac.

OrthoTrac also features the Sarver Esthetic Evaluation Module and the Sarver Esthetic Analysis Module, which we developed with David Sarver, DMD. The modules allow the user to do data analysis of a patient and generate a treatment plan. We’ve even taken it a step further in our imaging software, allowing orthodontists to take photos of a patient, which can then be digitized and analyzed to determine what the patient and orthodontist want to protect about the smile and identify things to correct.

OP: What has been the primary driver behind the changes in the software?

Whitt: A lot of times it comes from talking with orthodontic offices or visiting customers and seeing things that they’re having to do manually—such as tracking what happens to a new patient on a notepad versus running reports out of a computer system. And then a lot of it has to do with the way computers have changed through the years—going from UNIX to Windows to a more mobile environment—and how practices have changed—satellite offices that need to connect back to a main office. I think technology has driven it, but a lot of it is to meet the needs of the orthodontic practice.

OP: What attributes set OrthoTrac apart in the practice-management software market?

Whitt: I would have to say the stability of our products and our reporting—being able to get the information in a variety of manners. The seamless integration from practice management to our eServices and our imaging products is another major factor.

OP: What’s next for OrthoTrac?

Whitt: I think you’re going to see more emphasis put on mobility. An orthodontist recently told me about being on a skiing trip and having a oral surgeon who called him. He was able to pull up the mutual patient’s information, images, and treatment card while he was out of town. I think that is the way our society is going. I think you’re going to see more of an emphasis on an easy, fast way to access data in a mobile environment.

Also inside the practice, even though most orthodontists now have computers chairside, we’re going to see more and more demand for them to be able to get the data on an iPad or some other type of device like that. We recently released a new application called eForms, which allows a practice to send e-mails to patients before their appointments. This e-mail tells the patients that they have forms to fill out, such as insurance verification, patient information, and health history. Practices take that information from completed forms and download it back into OrthoTrac. This eliminates dual entry or the chance for mistakes.

We’ve also been working with Paul Zuelke on a Zuelke financial module which will allow offices to take our current collections module and work past due accounts. Users can also look at insurance balances they have not received and send letters to patients based on how far past due they are. The module will also allow users to run reports to evaluate their accounts receivable total and will feature recall and new patient monitors. The Zuelke financial module will be released in early 2013.