Mac in Business

High Volume Ortho Clinic

High Volume Ortho Clinic

Utilizes Latest Tech Tools
For Patient Treatment, and Enjoyment (Page 1)

The minute you enter Dr. Louis Fronenberg’s orthodontic clinic, ‘Planète Ortho’, the first thing you notice is the patient sign-in sheet – displayed in colour on a large iMac screen!

All around you, highly trained specialists, orthodontic technicians, dental practitioners and auxiliary personnel are hard at work, providing comprehensive treatment and related services to literally hundreds of patients every week.

And the latest technological advances in the industry are well in evidence, including sophisticated orthodontic digital imaging tools and all the other iMacs, one at each dental chair.

Talk to the owner for even a brief moment, or take even the quickest of glances around the facility, and you will soon learn the reason for so many Macs: Apple computer hardware and software is in many ways the beating heart of the facility.

Using the latest Mac-based computing tools and techniques to bring added efficiency and economy to the operation, Planète Ortho demonstrates how technology is used to enhance not just to this one specific facility, but the overall orthodontic landscape.

In order to achieve his high rate and degree of patient care, Dr. Louis Fronenberg has essentially computerized every aspect of his practice – from basic front desk appointment management, to patient records management to digital radiography and imaging analysis.

He’s done so with Apple.

“The Mac is so simple and yet so powerful,” exclaims Dr. Fronenberg, founder, owner and operator of the clinic and a well-respected practitioner in the field. “Without a doubt, it has upped what is possible in our clinic. It enables us to maintain a high rate of patient visits and excellent treatment quality.”

All aspects of the practice have been pulled together in a seamless digital workflow, from its clinical services to its administrative functions to patient communication.

It all starts at that moment of check-in.

The self-managed check-in process is performed on a large 24” iMac. Simply by entering their name on-screen, or clicking on their personal icon, patients put themselves into the system. Colour-coded displays – green for appointment ready, yellow for appointment underway, black for appointment completed or awaiting updates, for example – immediately lets the patient and the staff know about schedule management and appointment details.

What’s more, as many of the clinic’s patients are young children, the check-in system immediately gets the kids involved and engaged in their own treatment.

“It does set a wonderful tone for our younger patients,” agrees Dr Fronenberg. “They are immediately and actively involved in the process, and they get to have some fun right off the bat! Kids are so computer literate these days, even the little ones are reading their name on-screen and checking themselves in; they’re not waiting for their parents.”

The same log-in system that so enthralls young patients also informs the clinic staff, helping them keep the day’s schedule on-track with added information about patient progress, like when they arrived, when they checked in, how long they may have been waiting and how the scheduled treatment is proceeding.

But the clinic’s use of Apple technology does not stop with medical or administrative duties.

After the patient logs in, and once they are assigned to one of several treatment chairs in the clinic, they are faced with another iMac – each of seven stations is outfitted with its own 20” iMac on a custom swivel arm.

Again, you’d be forgiven if you think that’d be a handy tool just for the doctor, having a large high resolution screen nearby so that he can refer to show medical charts, X-rays and orthodontic diagrams - and it certainly can be.

But, as Dr. Fronenberg sees it, the benefit is also for the patient and the parent.

“I do not necessarily need to look at the screen while working on a patient,” he explains. “I have referred to all the necessary documentation previously and I can call it up if needed. But we have put the screen on the swivel arm so it can be moved right in front of the patient. He or she can spend time surfing if they wish, or if there’s any waiting.”

(Of course, there are no patient-specific e-mail accounts on the system, but a patient can check his or her online browser-based e-mail, if desired. Airport Extreme wireless stations are used to connect all the computers in his office.)

So the Macs provide a bit of distraction, a bit of comfort if needed. That’s really cool for the kids, but also quite handy for the adults, too.

Parents who may wish to sit with their children during treatment or consultation can not only see the large iMacs, they can use them if needed - and if their kid lets them!).

Dr. Fronenberg adds that a library of DVDs is also available in the clinic, so kids can go choose a movie and watch it on the iMac. “It doesn’t matter if it’s a parent with their young child, or maybe a slightly older sibling is with them, the iMac helps keep them all engaged and entertained while they are here.”

Each iMac at Planète Ortho is outfitted with Bonjour, iChat and iSight, Apple’s conferencing software and corresponding video camera, providing useful connectivity at all times. Both front reception desks, each and every patient chair as well as other Mac workstations in the clinic are connected by sight and sound, so that all aspects of the patient schedule and treatment can be closely monitored.

Staff can simply point and click on a chair number and be immediately connected to the specialist or orthodontist working there.

Apple Products Used

  • One Mac Pro and 30” display in the main treatment room
  • Two Xserves – one for the Tops application, the other for managing over 30,000 digital images
  • Seven exam rooms with 20” iMacs in each, plus another six iMacs throughout the clinic for administration
  • MacBook Pro for the doctor’s own use
  • iWork for presentations, marketing brochure creation and inventory control sheet management
  • iPhoto for preliminary patient photo management prior to uploading to the server
  • Apple Remote Desktop
  • iLife

Other hardware/software being used

  • topsOrtho
  • topsCephMate
  • Parallels
  • iCAT Cone Imaging Scanner
  • Damon System