Living Your Best Virtual Life
Dr. Powell, owner of Papillion Orthodontics, opened his practice only eight months before the pandemic forced him to go completely virtual.Learn More
Dr. Doug Depew is an equestrian, an innovator, and a globetrotter. He has been in practice since 1990, and currently operates three orthodontic practices in the greater Atlanta, GA area. The Acworth location is a gable-front compound consisting of a spacious reception area with a built-in coffee bar and a movie theater for kids, and a back office with a mezzanine overlooking the operatory. The team here consists of two doctors in addition to Dr. Depew himself, and a team of 22 support staff members. Dr. Mariesa Manente and Dr. Kristen Hall “allow me to spend time with the patients, and spend time planning cases appropriately, so people are getting the best care possible,” says Dr. Depew. “We work hand-in-hand in all cases, and it’s been fantastic.”
The Depew Orthodontics staff really enjoy being active within their community. From bringing stories to life by reading books for children in schools, eating lunch with them, and playing kickball, to supporting school festivals and dressing up as Buddy the Elf for Christmas photos. In addition, Depew Orthodontics provides a very unique community service—the “Brace Bus”—which sees a staff member pick up kids from school for their appointments.
Outside of the office, Dr. Depew is an avid horseman. “I love raising and training horses, and helping other people learn how to ride.” On their farm, Dr. Depew and his wife of 30 years, Vicki, have seven quarter horses, most of whom they have raised since they were foaled. “We actually have three generations of horses on our farm,” Depew says, referencing their 36-year-old mare, Robin, who has foaled three times and is now a granddam to a member of their herd. Another activity which keeps Dr. Depew busy on the regular is travelling, much of which is related to Trapezio, the AAO-endorsed orthodontic staff training program which he founded. Before its establishment in 1999, there was no formal training available for orthodontic assistants. As the saying goes, ‘Necessity is the mother of invention,’ and Trapezio is a quintessential example. “As my practice was growing, I had a challenge of hiring people who were trained to be orthodontic assistants, and so I realized that I need to do something about that.” What initially began as an in-office course is now a program offered primarily online. Since the online launch in 2003, Trapezio has released a substantial number of both clinical and non-clinical courses, and there have been over 7,500 graduates from across the globe. To learn more about Trapezio at https://www.trapezio.com/.
I grew up with a father who was a hard worker and he gave me the love and joy of hard work, and the benefits that come from that. I think that just following his example is what really inspires me.
Good-natured and hardworking, Dr. Depew’s drive is infectious; a characteristic which he attributes to his father. “I grew up with a father who was a hard worker and he gave me the love and joy of hard work, and the benefits that come from that. I think that just following his example is what really inspires me.” And the apple hasn’t fallen far from the tree in the next generation either. Dr. Depew’s youngest son, Ryan, is following in his footsteps, and will be joining Depew Orthodontics in two years.
Dr. Depew proudly states “I was probably one of the first 10 people on Cloud 9.” An early-adopter, he brought his practice onto the cloud in 2012. “We were having issues our previous software,” Dr. Depew says. “Every time we had to have an update, or something was not quite working, it would actually shut us down, where we couldn’t function without the software running.” After trying everything in his playbook to fix the problems himself, including upgrading his network provider, Depew reached his limit when he was told he would need not one, but three new servers to keep the software operational. It became clear to him that “Cloud 9 was the obvious choice,” and he hasn’t looked back since. His staff members have been equally delighted. Says Ashetin Brooks, Treatment Coordinator, “I would definitely recommend Cloud 9… I definitely would not go back to the software we had previously.” Melanie Adamson, Treatment Coordinator, agrees: “I’m thankful for Cloud 9, it helps our practice to be successful, and we love Cloud 9.”
Cloud 9 is a great fit for the voyaging orthodontist. Not only has the cloud-based software made it possible for the Depew Orthodontics team to work simultaneously in three different locations, but as Dr. Depew describes it, “I can even be in a different state, a different country, or a different hemisphere, and still be able to work on Cloud 9. I’ve worked on it in hunting lodges in Uruguay, and in airports in Alaska, without any problems at all.” Despite being on the road frequently, Dr. Depew is still easily able to continue treatment planning and checking in on the day-to-day practice operations. “That’s really been very helpful, with Cloud 9, to be able to do that from practically anywhere.”
The process of moving from one practice management software to another is called conversion and for Depew Orthodontics “it was very easy… It happened on a weekend, so that it did not disrupt us one bit,” Depew says. “We were able to come in on Monday morning, and start punching keys, and using it.” He reiterates, “it was really, really painless.” To ensure a smooth conversion experience, Cloud 9 also provided hands-on training. “They were right there with us, every step of the way. And after two or three days, we were good to go without any help.”
After being on the cloud for seven years, Dr. Depew wants people to know “that Cloud 9 Software is very user friendly. It’s always in continual development to improve, and make our practices better, and to make our practices more efficient, and to make it so we don’t have to be worried about things that could happen with our software. We want to be able to concentrate on seeing our patients, and not be worried about software problems… It’s been a pleasure to work with the Cloud 9 Software.”