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Canine II

Blue Sky Question for Softdent Future...

I decided to pose a question to all users about how they see Softdent in the Future...In other words, what is most important to you?  IMO, part of the power of the software platform is also a weakness, that is the 25 different ways to access the data(maybe an exageration, but you get my drift)!

What is most important to you?

What is most important to me is:

A modern Scheduler!  I remember back in the "Olden Days"...v1.9.0.310 when there was a modern scheduler...Seemed like a vast improvement....then I heard v16 arrived, and everyone went back to the old (oops, not me)...Why avoid paper output when the display looks like Windows 3.1/95.  I like to monitor my progress in the schedule during the day,the FOS is scheduler centric, and a rookie can do basic tasks in that version.  The was the first of the sql foray by Softdent, and made the scheduler lightning fast, and quick to update!

A modern Charting Module:  Looks like with v17, this may finally be a reality...that we could treat patients using an electronic charting module that doesn't require full time keyboarding to scroll, find, use, and document for patients...a way to see almost all the useful info required to treat patient in one place!

Xrays and Progress notes and treatment plan, oh my!

Interoperability/Third Party Compatibility:  Modern practice(IMO) runs on the abilty to apply the "Platinum Rule" to your patients, which is "Do unto your patients, as they WANT done unto them!"  Automated reminders, etc no longer cut it!

Patients want to text message your office, in real time...they want to reserve an actual appointment time, online (with their smartphone no less).  You need them to review you on FB, Yelp, Google+, Healthgrades(6 months, new list?). Perhaps the "Hedgehog Principle" applies!  Jim Collins Excerpt "Good to Great"   It takes alot of compromises to use Softdent with 3rd party integration.

Be the very best at what you actually are, and let 3rd party vendors into the party (there is enough for everone!  We live in America!)


Attractive interface/But real modern computing underneith:  The program looks nicer as well!  What is behind the paint and wallpaper?  Is it still the Faircom licensing module?  Does it (that module) run as a service on your file server, or do you have to prop open the server and protect it with a screendoor (sorry Screensaver)?  Is this also SQL?  Is it the same enough for a power user, but easy enough for a new user?  

Maybe I'm rambling...but maybe I am the first to say what is really important to my Practice!  Let Softdent know what's important to you here!

Best to Softdent...Build us a product we can be PROUD of...not one we grudgingly use! 

Labels (3)
7 Replies
Premolar III

Re: Blue Sky Question for Softdent Future...


Very appropriate presentation.  Thanks.

The "new" Scheduler you mention is a raw nerve for me (no pun intended) as Development took years to turn a conceptual idea into reality.  Lots of folks put a lot of time and effort into that project, and Development had plans for following phases (charting, then progress notes, just to name a couple) after the Scheduler implementation.  Ours was the first office to beta test, and aside from the normal bumps in the road, and the usual investment in hardware upgrades, our office has grown very fond of that new Schedule.  We don't want to go back to the old, clunky schedule, nor should we be forced to do so.

Ask those who helped develop and implement the Scheduler ..... oh, that's right.  VERY FEW are around anymore.  Sorry  (I think there are two - one in Atlanta, and one in Baltimore).

Now that idea has hit the "round file" as they say, and we are left with cosmetic changes based upon VERY old database and programming structure (way beyond my pay grade).

There are no more options for offices who want SD 16 with the new Scheduler.  In addition, SD Cloud has the old scheduler and no choices for offices.

Big backwards slide, in my humble opinion.

CS Dental Employee
CS Dental Employee

Re: Blue Sky Question for Softdent Future...

Hello Dr. Weber,
This is a fantastic short wish-list of expectations of SoftDent.
I agree, a modern DPMS should be able to do all these things and more!

While some of this are already in development - Modern UI/Modern Clinical, we will be releasing in small chunks throughout the year rather than one or two large releases a year. There is always room for suggestions and feedback on what to do moving forward.

We are excited about the opportunities to improve a variety of things in SoftDent along with some exciting changes to other parts of the clinical module and other parts of the application. i.e Notes etc.

I'm definitely interested in hearing feedback from other community members on your suggestions. I'm sure most would agree with you. We need help prioritizing our backlog as well as prioritizing the new value we'd like to deliver so hopefully this is a great lead-in to that for other customers to generate ideas.

Thanks for continuing to partner with us and helping us work it all out. Our hope is this year our customers will see a big difference in Carestream as a whole. Our goal with our User Centered Design approach is that our users will be PROUD because they will be the ones to help make a difference in the application for the better!


User Centered Design (UCD) Definition:
Design process in which usability goals, user characteristics, environment, tasks and workflow of a product, service or process are given extensive attention at each stage of the design process.

The chief difference from other product design philosophies is that user-centered design tries to optimize the product around how users can, want, or need to use the product, rather than forcing the users to change their behavior to accommodate the product.
via -

Premolar II

Re: Blue Sky Question for Softdent Future...

I can't like this thread enough so I clicked the button really hard!  Great conversation and excited to hear that the improvements already in the works are resonating with you Dr. Weber (socaldds89‌).

Tagging in Jeremy Uriz ( juriz ) and Lon Taylor (lontaylor‌) - both members of our product management team.  Potential for some great conversation and insight here for our next steps.

CS Dental Employee
CS Dental Employee

Re: Blue Sky Question for Softdent Future...

Dr. Weber - thank you for taking the time to write this post and the blue sky thinking! At Carestream Dental, we definitely have learnt some important lessons from our previous development and release experiences and are now applying those lessons into our current development and future plans. 

The points and questions that you and Dr. Cavola make above around features/capability (e.g. Scheduler, Charting), integration/interoperability and overall simplicity/usability are exactly the areas our team is focused on for v17 and going forward. Specifically, we are absolutely looking to ensure an experience that is "same enough for a power user, but easy enough for a new user" across all the practice workflows. Our goal quite simply is to make your (and every other users') Softdent experience the best it can be! I am looking forward to hearing the feedback from you and the community here on this! 

Dr. Cavola - Thanks again for your support and your continued feedback. Your feedback during my initial visit to your office (including your adoption of the scheduler) has already helped shape our product thinking internally. I hope to catchup with you before the ADA in Atlanta to share more details as well! 

Have a great long weekend! 



General Manager, DPMS

Canine II

Re: Blue Sky Question for Softdent Future...

Yep...As you can see, I'm still on the "old" scheduler as well!  This is Softdent's opportunity to capture market share(if they have the will($$$$$$) and skill(talented programmers)).  That interface made me want/hope/wish for improvements platform wide.  The SQL programming makes the scheduler lightening fast with SSD's, and their entire program needs a SQL data Re-port (I believe that is the record locking issue....the database engine softdent was written on comes from the late 80's-pre Windows NT, if you know what I mean...and the licensing module is definintely a work of art!)  I also believe that is why many 3rd parties have the same answer when you ask about integration....NO.  I leveraged WEAVE early on for a software port(but it is kinda thin-latest smartphone app release explains scheduler update will not work with Softdent)...Solution Reach has always been on board to help with softdent integration.

Their time window is very narrow, IMO, and like you, I think permanently abandoning the revised scheduler concept was/is a mistake. Server 2015/Windows 10(Pro vs E3, not sure) is required by Mid year 2020 (just around the corner).  They need to (IMO) simultaneously run a clinical and scheduler fast track after re-porting their database engine...and use the interface qualties from the scheduler project, not the screenshots I see from the charting module (looks like better flow, but wallpaper on the old product...look at this community page as an example of modern computing expectations...clean modern iconography, etc)  This is a very nice community portal...Actually what the software should look and feel like as well!

BTW I'm also not a big fan of Win10, but it is easy on hardware, and can be reskinned to look somewhat like Win7 at the start key with ClassicShell.  The OS level code is cleaner and optimised to run on a tablet, but Telemetry has me thinking about HIPAA compliance in a health Care setting(Non Enterprise versions of Win 10)?  I never let a new OS loose in my business environment before Sp1(18 Mo after release), and Dental Software seems to be at about the same lag time as well, so my browsing machine runs Win10 (Creators Release).

They had better have an agressive plan...I wonder if they will make the Windows Domain End of life deadline(Server 2012(2008)/Win7 Domain) (The support curve is already done on Win7 not in a domain).  Maybe they are betting that Corp America will leverage Microsoft for an extension?

Guess I should quit rambling on...glad to hear I am not a lone voice in the forest!  

Canine II

Re: Blue Sky Question for Softdent Future...

Sorry I missed this thread, we were having a hurricane here in Houston TX.  

"Short" wish list by @Douglas Weber is right.on. However, a "long " reality list is what will make SoftDent a DPMS to be proud of.  I agree with all the people on this thread that feel like we have a clunky old world relic of a DPMS because we do.  I could write and write, but I don't have time because I am running a practice and because I write and when I complain people pay attention but no one does anything about it .  This has been true for so many years.  It was not true when SoftDent was owned by Kodak.  But has been true ever since the first sale.  Just a lot of hollow promises. for change but really just new wallpaper.   So discouraged that Jeffery Urkevich  who was billed as the guy who was going to revolutionize SoftDent is gone now.  This is what has happened over the past decade and more.  Manager turnover, ownership turnover.  Looks like we are in yet another turnover of both management and ownership.  This is all too familiar territory.  My dwindled hopes for SoftDent were rekindled over past months, but now I don't know what to think. What kind of commitment does the new company have to this product?  Do they just see it as an income stream to keep collecting our support dollars with miniscule contributions to R&D?  That is how we have felt for at least a decade if not more.  

Every time someone writes a wish list it takes thought and precious time.  If Carestream really wants a topnotch SoftDent produce a comprehensive document on all the features of SoftDent ,and then let the users comment on them.  That way everything will be in one place instead of spread out all over. the place.  If someone at Carestream is taking notes then we should already have this - why not make it available to all of us and let us comment.  I just think this could be a more efficient way to see where all the weaknesses and strengths lie in the product.  I'd like to have the time to author a paper on every section, but I'm not working for Carestream so it is difficult to put as much effort as is required..  SoftDent has so many problems it is hard to prioritize without hanging out all the dirty laundry.

Canine II

Re: Blue Sky Question for Softdent Future...

Hope all is well with your family and your patients...Like you, no one who is actively practicing/managing/staffing a practice has time to build a PMS...most of us just want tools to work.  As long as the software in current form fulfills mission critical tasks, it seems non productive to throw away the existing relic...  

I recently discovered that I desire to re-engineer processes in my practice (inspiration or despiration, maybe both) and find that the new practice model is based on recruiting, exciting, maintaining, and serving staff and patients who are both digital immigrants like myself (encoutered computer technology around college) and digital natives...and the future is with the natives...

Their world is instant communication expectations, digital media, and visual learning.  One of the industries very far behind the curve is Dentistry. To me, our only choices are to embrace that change, provide feedback to customize the change to our process to our benefit, or pick the best tool on the shelf right now, and market incentives will do the rest (Economic Darwinism).  I suspect if you are not in a hurry, you will know within 3-6 months (or within a year at the outside)...I'm sure some digging in the business trades would yield hints to the agenda of the new owners (Gordon Gekko or Sir Larry Wildman from Wall Street the movie(1987)).  The Movie probably comes from the vintage of Softdent for Windows!

I believe that this time, inactivity towards a fully digitally integrated practice, will have somewhat grave consequences if the time window is longer than 5-7 years...that is my driver for this change!