Five states share ADA technology
July 14, 2014
|On site: ADA Aptify team trains the Indiana Dental Association staff.
Nevada: NDA's Corinne Politi, records coordinator, and Anthony Ferreri, director, member services.
“Change is good” is how one state dental association member service director described its venture into Aptify, a new software that will replace outdated systems formerly used for membership records and other functions.
Aptify is a faster, more flexible software that allows the ADA to interface with states in an effort to provide better service to members at whatever point they connect with the Association—national, state or local. It replaces outdated software and systems the ADA had used for membership records as well as allowing the development of the ADAcatalog.org
Although still in the initial stages of the rollout, the Aptify association management software has been deployed in five states so far: Indiana, Minnesota, Nevada, New Hampshire and Virginia.
Anthony Ferreri, director of member services for the Nevada Dental Association, sees advantages in making the transition to Aptify from the Tripartite Ssystem software that connected Nevada to the ADA.
“I’m the first to admit that after attending Aptify training in Chicago, I was a little skeptical on how I would be able to use this immense system to service my members in a timely manner. But change is good!” he said.
He gave an example of how the faster system helped him meet a member’s need. “One of the dental schools in my state has an orthodontic program, and a requirement for that program is membership in the ADA,” he said. “With just a couple of clicks, I was able to generate a membership history for a student that needed to prove his continued membership in order to advance in his program. Because of Aptify, I was able to serve him and have him go back to his work within three minutes.”
In 2010, the House of Delegates approved a $23 special assessment that paid for information technology infrastructure improvements, including Aptify.
ADA Eighth District Trustee Joseph F. Hagenbruch, who chairs the Board of Trustees Information Technology Committee, said he has witnessed the money put to use “that enhances service to member-dentists” during the past four years.
“We have leveraged that investment to ensure we can serve our members now and into the future and to do so in a way that can seamlessly include state and local participation,” he said.
Aptify offers modules that cover a variety of functions. New Hampshire is preparing to use the system to register attendees for their continuing education programs and their 2015 annual meeting. “This will save us an enormous amount of time and resources,” said Jim Williamson, executive director of the New Hampshire Dental Society.
Access to the national database means the states retrieve information that can help them quickly serve a dentist who has moved to their state, whether it’s in figuring out what their dues level is or what issues they are most interested in. “The case management module allows us to track trends among our members,” such as calls about specific regulatory issues, said Carmelo Cinqueonce, executive director of the Minnesota Dental Association.
“As more states employ Aptify case management, we will be better able to spot hot button issues occurring across the country,” he said.
The Indiana Dental Association started with Aptify in mid-June, said Doug Bush, IDA executive director, so their experience so far is limited, but he sees many advantages to come.
“Aptify will allow us to better track which members are contacting us, and the nature of their inquiries. It will aid us with follow-up, better assuring we meet member needs without allowing questions or requests to fall between the cracks. I think Aptify will anchor the Power of Three concept (ADA.org/powerofthree
). The ADA, IDA and our local societies will to able to jointly view our contact with members and refer requests to the entity best equipped to respond. I’m looking forward to putting Aptify into practice.”
The VDA will use Aptify to streamline its 2015 membership renewal process. “This will allow members to renew their membership on the ADA website,” said Leslie Pinkston, VDA membership director. “Members will have an easier way to update address changes, make dues payments, place orders, track CE, and receive current updates.”
The Virginia Dental Association was the second state to transition from the aging Tripartite System database to Aptify. “The entire ADA Aptify group has been a pleasure to work with,” said. Ms. Pinkston. “It’s not only in their support for each state and component staff member, but in their enthusiasm and concern in ensuring the transition goes as well as possible for us as new Aptify users.”
The ADA is offering this system to dental societies with no cost for the following: technical infrastructure, Aptify software (unlimited user licensing) and data conversion from the Tripartite System.
“We certainly are still learning,” said NHDS’s Mr. Williamson, “but the ADA is there to help us every step of the way. The ADA has the most resources to help us on the local level where we need and have the most contact with our members. We are very pleased that we went first, but I know that every other state will get similar support.”
The ADA is encouraging dental societies to adopt Aptify, which fits in one of the Members First 2020 goals in the ADA’s 2015-2019 Strategic Plan, said Dr. Hagenbruch.
“That goal says ‘All levels of the ADA will have sufficient organizational capacity necessary to meet member needs.’ That’s what Aptify embodies,” he said.
He also wants to reassure members that the ADA is sensitive to their privacy and related preferences and has processes in place to address those issues.
For more information about Aptify, contact Peter Bradley (firstname.lastname@example.org), director, Aptify Enterprise Solutions.