There are a lot of patient management systems out there. A small handful dominate the market. Which one is best? What are the strengths and weaknesses of each?
We conducted a survey to hear directly from the dentists using these systems what they liked and disliked.
Breaking down the answers, we put together this report an effort to provide you with a resource that can help you choose the best software for your practice.
Let’s jump right into it.
Most Popular Patient Management Systems
Dentrix and Eaglesoft are, by far, the two most popular patient management systems. SoftDent took third place, but has less than half the users when compared to the first two.
The survey returned over 40 different software choices. 30 of these had under one percent of the market, only the top five had more than three percent.
That narrows down the popular choices quite a bit.
How satisfied are the users of these different options?
Open Dental has a spectacular satisfaction rate, 100%. Keep in mind that, used by less than 4% of survey respondents, it also has a smaller sample size than Dentrix, Eaglesoft, and SoftDent.
Of the top three software choices, Eaglesoft has the highest satisfaction rate, at 96%. Dentrix is a close second, at 93%. SoftDent has a much lower satisfaction rate of 73%.
What to Expect From Eaglesoft, Dentrix, and SoftDent
Even though Dentrix and Eaglesoft got high user satisfaction scores, most respondents still had something to say about them.
Functionality of the software was the #1 complaint across the board.
Although functionality doesn’t seem to be a make or break issue for users of either Dentrix or Eaglesoft, which both have satisfaction rates of over 90%, it does seem to be a more serious issue for SoftDent.
What are these functionality issues, anyway? These details, and how they differ between the top three patient management systems, can make the difference regarding which one is best for your needs.
Let’s look deeper into the respondents’ feedback for the top three: Dentrix, Eaglesoft, and SoftDent.
Dentrix: Respondents’ Feedback
Before we come back to functionality, one thing that stands out about Dentrix is the number of people who highlighted cost as an issue with the software. By comparison, 0% of both Eaglesoft and SoftDent users had the same complaint.
Another 11%, again higher than both Eaglesoft (4%) and SoftDent (9%), mentioned that they either did not use most of Dentrix’s features or simply did not know how to use them.
This suggests that Dentrix would profit from providing value-added use cases to subscribers.
Still, as with all three, the biggest issue was functionality. What exactly did surveyed users dislike about it?
The biggest issues are:
- 23.08% of users who complained about functionality highlighted the poor reporting options.
- 15.38% of users who complained about functionality mentioned billing as a weakness of the software.
Overview: Dentrix is one of two software programs in the top three to have a satisfaction rating of over 90%. Users suggest there are areas for improvement in the functionality and are nevertheless very happy with the software. The only pain point users have that’s not shared by the other top five platforms is the cost of the software.
Eaglesoft: Respondents’ Feedback
Functionality was the primary issue that survey takers commented on with regards to Eaglesoft. 96% of dentists were happy using the software, although 52% mentioned functionality as an area for improvement.
Where is Eaglesoft weak in functionality?
The single biggest area for improvement is in the user interface or experience. Specifically, respondents mentioned that it was difficult to go from area to area and was otherwise not user friendly.
Other functionality issues, including 3rd party tool integration, billing, automated messaging, reporting issues, and mobile access received an almost identical share of the complaints, with just under 8% of users each.
No respondents mentioned cost as a pain point with the software. Only four percent mentioned under-utilization of the software’s features.
Overview: Eaglesoft has a satisfaction rate of 96%. Like Dentrix, functionality issues seem to be minor enough that the benefits make 96% of users happy with Eaglesoft. Compared to Dentrix, the platform seems more affordable or, otherwise, the cost seems more justifiable.
SoftDent: Respondents’ Feedback
SoftDent has the lowest satisfaction rate of the top three patient management systems, with 73%. Of these, 73% — or over 50% of all SoftDent users surveyed — had comments on the software’s functionality.
An almost identical share of users highlighted issues with the software’s billing features, the reporting, and the user experience. These make up the bulk of the suggested improvements to SoftDent.
Of total surveyed users, 9% also mentioned software underutilization, either because they don’t need all the features, don’t know how to use them, or aren’t aware of them.
Overview: Functionality issues with SoftDent are more pronounced than either Eaglesoft or Dentrix. These functionality issues seem to play a major role in users’ satisfaction rate, which is the lowest of the top three. Furthermore, many features are underutilized or not used at all.
What’s Your Experience?
More data will help us collect more accurate results and a wider breadth of insight regarding the advantages and disadvantages of different patient management software.
If you are a dentist, please consider answering the following questions.
All responses are verified against the name of the respondent to improve data quality.
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Formerly at [Tony] Robbins Research International and at Now Media Group as their Director of Marketing, Jonathan has a background in quantitative economics and analytics. Find more of his writing at https://economicthought.net/.