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Why Dentists Should Go Paperless in 2020

Why Dentists Should Go Paperless in 2020


It’s 2020 everyone — it’s time to officially ditch slow paper-based systems. There’s many ways to reduce paper waste in your office — recycle, using smaller pieces for memos, getting rid of cover pages for proposals, and whatnot. However, there’s one way that’ll drastically transform your paper use –

Go. Paperless. 

The best way to reduce paper waste is to eliminate it entirely. Investing in paperless software will save you money and time, contribute to environmental sustainability, and strengthen your document security. 


Well, there’s not much to say here about it – using document management software  is cost effective – it’s so much cheaper to subscribe to software than to spend thousands of dollars on paper that you’ll end up throwing away. You’re literally throwing away money. 

A Xerox study conveys that the typical office worker uses more than 10,000 sheets of paper per year which is roughly 2 cases of paper per employee. Other studies show that companies incur a $6 handling cost (shipping and distribution) for every dollar spent on printing paper. 


Let’s do the math with a company that has 100 employees (Informit) – 

The cost of a case of standard paper is $40/case. 

Knowing what we know, $40/case x 2 cases per employee = $80/per employee annually

$80/employee + $6 handling cost = $480/employee per year. 

$480 x 100 employees = $48,000/year. This is equivalent to an average college graduate’s annual salary


Now let’s look at how much it would cost to subscribe to paperless software. 

For instance, Enlive Dental integrates automated patient forms for Open Dental, Eaglesoft and Dentrix for the cost of $199/month. This includes converting forms, a thorough training session on how to use our patient forms, and hands-on assistance from our specialists.

$199/month x 12 months = $2,400/year. 


That is a whopping $45,600 difference in cost. This isn’t even including the reduction of labor (filing, printing, scanning) and office space. Servers and computers take up less than 10% of the office while filing cabinets use 50-70% of the office space.

In addition to that, filing cabinets ( a standard, 5 drawer one) costs $1,000 for one unit. With taking up space comes the cost per square foot. 

Using software like Enlive Dental saves you time, money and space. 


Environmental Sustainability

It’s not a huge surprise that with paper use comes paper waste.  Here are some facts to consider about paper waste: 

  1. 15 billion trees are sacrificed in order to produce paper.
  2. Approximately, 28% of solid waste landfill is paper.
  3. The average American uses 800 million lbs of paper per year. 

Over the years, eco-dentistry has been on the rise, implementing “green building” practices such as using digital radiology and digital x-rays, reusable supplies like cups, patient bibs, headrest covers; all of which reduce the spread of harmful chemicals like radiation and reduces overall waste. 

Creating digital and environmentally considerate habits upholds sustainable, long-lasting effects for the environment. Obviously, the number one effect is drastically reducing paper waste and deforestation.

Deforestation negatively influences the air quality, which inevitably affects global warming. Less trees means less clean air. When trees and plants photosynthesize, they release energy in the form of sugar and more oxygen is discharged into the air. More oxygen means cleaner and newer air. Think of it as plants and trees “recycling” air.

It’s estimated that an acre of trees can produce oxygen for 8 people and remove 188lbs of carbon dioxide from the air. 

Carbon dioxide is one of the harmful greenhouses that traps heat within the atmosphere. Trees and plants help reduce the amount of carbon dioxide by using it to photosynthesize and develop energy. Without an abundance of trees and plants to help with this imbalance, the temperature of the Earth rises, making for a hotter planet. This is also known as global warmingCarbon dioxide isn’t the only thing that affects global warming – it’s also the lack of shade that the trees and plants provide for the Earth that drives up the temperature of the land.

The adverse effects of paper demand harms the environments indirectly influences the overall planet. By reducing your office’s paper waste, you are largely contributing and impacting to a worldwide matter and making it easier for your office to function. You’re using less and saving more. 


Document Security and Accuracy 

The main reason why paper files are so vulnerable is because they’re tangible and easily accessible. In order to file documents, you don’t need to set passwords or security questions. You just put them in a folder and shut a cabinet. Although they may seem secure, it’s just not as secure as storing your sensitive information within a password-protected system. 

Document management and security just means creating policies and having a computer system that secures information well. Integrating a document management system makes it easier to store information, secure it, and access it. 

According to a study conducted by Accusoft, 92% of companies have adopted some kind of document management policy and system. 82% of employees who have a file management solution work 1-5 hours off of their mobile device while 68% of employees who do not have a file management system rely on a shared drive, which limits their accessibility and workflow.

Easy, convenient accessibility doesn’t mean loosely secured. Most, if not all, files or documents require specific login information in order to reach it. It’s not as easy as just reaching into a cabinet and pulling the files out. 

Not to mention, user error is extremely common with files mismanagement. Errors such as illegible writing and missing required information can prevent employees from being efficient at work. If you’re considering investing in software, one of the highlights to note about document software is E-Signatures and form configuration. These two features along can drastically improve user error. 

E-signatures are easy to use, speeds up work pace, improve document accuracy, and saves money while form configuration (or automated forms) allows for employers to customize their documents to their liking.

More than ever, we’re connected intimately to our devices. And if we use them strategically, we’ll get the most out of them. Having this kind of software allows companies to have greater control and visibility of their information. 

The pros for investing in paperless software is always going to outweigh the cons of it. Investing time in educating staff on how to use software is a small sacrifice compared to the environmental harm, security, and cost of buying paper every year. 


Ready to go paperless? Let’s get started. Schedule a demo today!

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