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Member experience is top priority for ADA Center for Professional Success

June 02, 2014

By Kelly Soderlund

The ADA develops and provides a slew of tangible products that members can hold in their hands.

The Association's newest venture is one you can't touch but one that provides a multitude of practice management resources with the click of a mouse. The ADA Center for Professional Success, Success.ADA.org, is a unique Web portal for dentists who are looking to succeed as dental practitioners and small business owners.

ADA Center for Professional Success Homepage

The website includes everything from frequently asked questions about dental codes to debt calculators to health insurance resources for members. Dentists can easily find help managing their careers; expanding their knowledge; and balancing their life.

The Center for Professional Success launched in September 2013 as a way to address members' needs when they have questions about the day-to-day tasks of running a business. It's evolved into a potpourri of articles, continuing education opportunities, calculators and more, with hundreds of members logging on every day.

"We designed the Center for Professional Success portal with member experience as the top priority," said Dr. James Willey, senior director of the ADA Practice Institute. "We believe our members will discover a practice management website that is unique, innovative, convenient and fun."

Four ADA staff members maintain and update the website on a daily basis, with member input from the Council on Dental Practice and its advisory committee to the Center for Professional Success. They rely on market research and advanced analytics as they continue to grow the content and products on the website, which include written articles, podcasts and videos.

One of the website's newest features is the ADA Oral Pathologist App. This chairside reference to oral pathology conditions can assist dentists with confirming their diagnoses and considering potential treatment options.

The content for the app, which is compatible with Android and Apple devices, was developed and written by Dr. Michael Kahn, chair and tenured professor of the Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology at Tufts University School of Dental Medicine. Dentists can search more than 200 conditions by name or enter clinical observations into the app to obtain a differential diagnosis. The oral pathology app costs $59.99. The Center also offers guidance for new dentists and associates on how to handle and understand employment agreements. Employment Agreements: The Devil's in the Details, Success.ADA.org/en/practice/professional-pathways/employee/employment-agreements-the-devils-in-the-details, alerts employee or employer dentists to the key legal terms they should understand before they sign an agreement. Members can also download the free white paper "Dentist Employment Agreements: A Guide to Key Legal Provisions."

Dentists can also use the several financial calculators offered on the website at Success.ADA.org/calculators. These calculators assess the cash flow generated by their practice and determine how long it would take to get a return on their operatory investment and calculate basic loan term, loan payment, debt load and overhead.

The ultimate goal of the Center for Professional Success is to provide specific and accurate answers to questions members have as they balance their professional lives with their personal goals.

"The ADA has always been a strong resource for practice management support, but the Center highlights other learning opportunities and the work/life balance dentists say they want. The website itself is continuously evolving with new articles, white papers, apps and tools," Dr. Willey said. "Our goal is simple: to help all ADA members achieve the personal and professional success they desire."