|Operating system||Microsoft Windows|
|Type||Practice Management Software|
PracticeWorks is practice management software for dental offices. It was originally created in 1993 by Brian Smith and Joel Kozikowski of Crown Systems, Inc. in Indianapolis, Indiana. It was one of the first Windows programs available in the dental industry, following shortly on the heels of Dentrix. The program is constructed in a modular form with an administrative module, voice activation module, charting module, and imaging module. It was the first dental practice management system that was based on the appointment book, instead of the patient list or a menu system. The program is capable of being used in a “chartless” office - the first known instance of that going back to 1995, when Beta tester Allen Jorgensen stopped using charts in his wife's practice.
February 1, 1993: Brian and Joel begin work on the design of PracticeWorks. It is intended to be an administrative program only, with no plans for any clinical features. The goal is to create a program that can be sold at a low price, that won't require training, and that will be easy to support. The "target" is EasyDental's DOS program - at the time, one of the most popular programs in dentistry.
November 1993: The first installation goes 'live', in Dr. Thomas Bunner's practice, in Harlan, IN.
November 1993: The first public exhibition of PracticeWorks is at the Greater New York Dental Show, in the booth of Darby Dental. Darby and Crown Systems have signed a letter of intent for Darby to be the exclusive distributor of PracticeWorks in the United States. (That arrangement was never finalized - Darby decided not to go through with it.)
March 17, 1994: Crown Systems signs a distribution agreement with Oral Vision, a dental intra-oral camera company in New Albany, IN. Oral Vision was started by Dr. Woody Oakes, creator of The Profitable Dentist newsletter. Oral Vision has an agreement with The Supply House, a dental supply company in Sacramento, CA, that is interested in getting into the dental technology business, through a division called Integrated Dental Technologies ("IDT"). Curt Rocca is the head of The Supply House and IDT. IDT also has arrangements with Schick Technologies (for their digital x-ray system) and CAESY (for their patient education software).
November 1994: Crown Systems sells PracticeWorks to IDT. Brian and Joel and a few others at Crown Systems remain in Indianapolis and continue to develop the software there. Chris Bell, another partner in Crown Systems, moves to Sacramento to head up the PracticeWorks support department which will be based there. Crown Systems is dissolved, and all the employees become employees of IDT.
February 1995: The Charting module is shown for the first time, at the Chicago Midwinter dental meeting. It has come together in just a few months, at the urging of IDT's General Manager, Ralph Laurie. (Ralph would later move to CAESY.) It is part of version 3.2, and introduces User-Defined Forms, and Note Templates, which would eventually become part of the Automation Expert in version 4.5. PracticeWorks OnLine is part of version 3.2 - it is a bulletin board-based system that allows certain user-defined components of PracticeWorks to be shared among users - User-Defined Form, Note Templates and Documents. It is the precursor to the Expert Exchange, which would come along in version 4.5.
1996: Bio-Dental Technologies, Inc., the parent company of The Supply House and IDT, is acquired by Zila Pharmaceuticals in Phoenix, AZ. Zila is working on an oral cancer detection system and wants to sell it through its own dental supply company, which is the reason for the acquisition. IDT, and consequently, PracticeWorks, are an incidental part of the deal.
April 1997: Version 4.5 is released. The first release of it is in Australia. It is the first 32-bit version of the program, and uses a new version of the Btrieve database. The version includes some new features that are significant: the "Experts" - Automation Expert, User-defined Contact Experts, Analysis Expert, Appointment Expert and Answer Expert. Underlying the first three of these is a scripting / evaluation language called PracticeScript, which allows for extensive customization of the program by an end user, and expansion of the PracticeWorks OnLine idea to the "Expert Exchange". Cartoon-like characters are created for each of the Experts and are used prominently in marketing the program.
December 1999: IDT/PracticeWorks is sold by Zila to InfoCure, Inc., as part of InfoCure's plan to acquire a significant number of dental software companies. (Five others are acquired at the same time as IDT/PracticeWorks, and six more are acquired in the next few months.) PracticeWorks is chosen as the "flagship" system that InfoCure will sell to general dentists, and plans are made to phase out all the others that have been acquired, over a many-year timeline, and convert the users of those programs to PracticeWorks. (InfoCure already has significant presence in Orthodontic and Oral Surgery software, as well as several medical specialties.)
August 2000: InfoCure announces that it will split into two separate public companies, VitalWorks, Inc. and PracticeWorks, Inc. PracticeWorks, Inc. will get all of the dental / orthodontic / oral surgery software and VitalWorks, Inc. will get all of the medical software.
NOTE: At this point, it becomes confusing when talking about "PracticeWorks", because it is still the name of the software, but it is also now the name of the company that owns the software, along with many other software titles. From this point on, in this entry, it will be helpful to refer to the company as "PracticeWorks, Inc.", and to the software as just "PracticeWorks".
December 2000: InfoCure announces that its PracticeWorks division will acquire InfoSoft, owner of Softdent dental practice management software. The acquisition is expected to close simultaneously with the split of InfoCure into VitalWorks, Inc. and PracticeWorks, Inc.
Early 2001: InfoCure splits into VitalWorks, Inc. and PracticeWorks, Inc., and Softdent is acquired on the same day. Softdent becomes the second product that PracticeWorks, Inc. actively sells to general dentists (the first being PracticeWorks).
December 23, 2002: PracticeWorks, Inc. acquires Trophy Radiologie, SA from Thermo Electron Corporation. Trophy is the maker of the Trophy digital x-ray system for dentistry.
Summer 2003: Version 5.0 of PracticeWorks is released. It focuses mostly on enhancements to Charting, including a totally redesigned Soft Tissue chart.
October 7, 2003: Eastman Kodak acquires PracticeWorks, Inc. for $468 million.
Since 2003: Versions 6.0 and 7.0 have been released, mostly focusing on improving the integration between PracticeWorks and the Kodak Digital Imaging software (which is what the Trophy digital x-ray software has evolved into since that acquisition).
May 1, 2007: Onex Corporation, a Canadian holding company, acquires Kodak's Health Group, for $2.35 billion, and renames it Carestream Health, Inc. It will license the name "Kodak Digital Imaging" from Kodak.
- List of open source healthcare programs
- Comparison of Dental Practice Management Software
- Open dental
Jason Laurie - Worked with PracticeWorks since the acquisition from Crown Systems.