Why You Can't Afford Not to Switch to Tops

May 10, 2024
4 min read

Why did you switch to TopsOrtho for your practice?

Dr. Neale: Because it’s reliable and easy to use—plus it’s Mac-based.

You say that you eventually became dissatisfied with your previous practice management software. Why?

It was hard to use. I had to have an outside IT person on retainer. The software maintenance and hardware maintenance costs for my software and the PC hardware, respectively, were inordinately high.

How does your staff like TopsOrtho, compared with your previous practice management system?

The staff loves doing less and getting more. The Mac computers are extremely user-friendly, and the TopsOrtho practice management system is even more user-friendly. We spend essentially no time on the phone with software support, which is maybe why the software support for TopsOrtho is so reasonably priced. The Mac computers rarely have hardware problems; therefore, the IT support is essentially nonexistent.The design of the software is based on sound principles of orthodontic practice and business management, with an emphasis on providing the best information for the least effort and expense.

How did the up-front purchase cost of TopsOrtho compare to your previous software?

The cost of the software is reasonably comparable. The Mac hardware can be more expensive, at least up front. But if you consider the increased hardware support requirements and the reduced life expectancy for PC computers, when compared to Macs, the overall costs with PC computers are more.

The entire patient journey in one place

The technology inside your orthodontics practice should work hard for you. Tops’ complete ecosystem gives you the power, speed, and agility to move on to what’s next.

How did switching affect your recurring expenses?

My software support was $10,000 to $12,000 per year, depending on the extent of our problems throughout the year. There is also a significant difference in the amount of employee costs needed to manage the software maintenance.

For updates with my previous practice management software, the office had to be closed and a management-level staff member would spend six to eight hours updating the server and each computer. Updating TopsOrtho is automatic and occurs at night when the office is closed—with zero employee expense. Another significant difference is the hardware support (IT expense). With my previous software, I was spending between $300 and $500 per month on IT services to maintain my PC hardware. With Mac computers, we have zero expenses related to IT services managing TopsOrtho.

What else you would like to say about TopsOrtho versus your previous practice management software?

I have heard orthodontists say, “I would convert to TopsOrtho, but I can’t afford the up-front cost of conversion.” I say to them, “Take another look and consider the return on investment over time. Given the significant cost to maintain your other software and the PC hardware, the increased efficiency of daily activities with TopsOrtho, and reduced personnel cost running TopsOrtho, you can’t afford not to make the change.” I would be willing to bet that they would find that it is abetter practice management software, as well.

In business, a good investment will increase your revenues or decrease your expenses, thus increasing your bottom line (net income). Investing in TopsOrtho may accomplish both: an increase in revenues and a reduction in expenses.Over time, it will definitely increase your net income. When you compare the amount of the investment and the amount of increase in your net income related to that investment, you can determine the return on your investment.

Apple products, including Mac computers, are considered at a higher standard of quality—at least from the public’s perception. So from a “branding” perspective, incorporating Mac computers enhances your public image (brand) as a progressive office. We certainly have found that to be the case in our office—particularly with the teenagers’ perspective.

In this day and age, teenagers have a significant effect on selection of the orthodontist.This effect on potentially increasing revenues would be difficult to document. It is, however, easy to document a significant reduction in operating expenses. I am saving$3,600 to $6,000 per year in IT and/or hardware support. I am saving $6,000 to $7,500 in software support. I am saving $600 to $1,000 per year in expenses to maintain updates for my software, which does not include loss of revenue related to closing the office to accomplish this. I also feel that the overall staff time required for daily, weekly, and monthly use of the software is less. So conservatively, we are reducing our expenses between $10,200 and$14,500 per year.

Living in Florida, I am currently riding the wave of positive return on my investment in TopsOrtho.

William D. Neale, DDS
Neale Orthodontics
Fort Walton Beach, FL

In practice since: 1987

Age of patients: 70% children, 30% adults

TopsOrtho™ customer since: 2008

Previous practice management software: OrthoTrac

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