Tuesday, April 17, 2018

As I transition out of the Dentrix Office Manager blog my mission continues . . . To be a Resource, an Advocate and a Voice to all the Dentrix users in the World

From the editors: This is Dayna Johnson’s final post for The Dentrix Office Manager blog. Since May 2011, Dayna has been sharing real-life scenarios, management best practices, and Dentrix tips for every member of the dental team. We’ve enjoyed working with Dayna, and we wish her the best as she pursues new opportunities. We look forward to introducing you to a new Dentrix Office Manager blogger, Charlotte Skaggs. Watch for Charlotte’s first post coming soon.

In April of 2011, I received a phone call from the marketing department at Henry Schein Practice Solutions asking me if I would like to become the author of the new Dentrix Office Manager Blog. Me? Really? My initial response was, “I have never written anything in my life. Are you sure?” I knew how to run a successful dental practice and I was a huge advocate of the Dentrix software because I was using it in my own practice. Plus, I became a certified trainer in 2006. Could I really do this? Would people listen to what I had to say?

I took a huge step outside my comfort zone and said, “Yes.” Since I had never written anything in my life (that had been published), I asked a friend of mine who was helping me write my first presentation if she would also edit my blogs. So, in May of 2011, I published my first blog article and it was the start of something amazing. I wrote about real-life scenarios and talked about the things I was hearing about in other dental practices. People must have liked it because as of December of 2016, the audience had grown to more than 20,000 views per month. You actually liked me and what I had to say!

Writing The Dentrix Office Manager blog has been an honor and has brought me so much joy over the past seven years. Your comments and emails have proven that my content has given you a lot of great information, tips to use in your practice and an ongoing resource for Dentrix best practices. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for all your positive energy and kind words. As I transition out, my hope is that you will continue to gain plenty of helpful tips with the new author.  Don’t worry, I am not going very far and will still be actively involved in many Dentrix and Henry Schein events.



As many of you may have heard, I started an online Dentrix community in 2016 called Novonee. With the launch of this new resource, it is now time to pass the torch on to the new blog author. It is my pleasure to introduce the new Dentrix Office Manager . . . Charlotte Skaggs. You will love her! She brings the experience of a Dentrix user, practice owner and dental industry expert.  Charlotte and I have talked a few times and I am excited for her to take on this awesome responsibility.

Being a resource, an advocate and a voice for all the Dentrix users in the world is my mission and I hope to see you all at upcoming conferences, dental meetings or other events in the future. I will definitely be at next year’s Business of Dentistry conference. You can reach out to me anytime by phone at (425) 238-3699, by email at dayna@novonee.com or join my new community. We would love to have you!


Dayna Johnson, Certified Dentrix Trainer
Dayna loves her work. She has over 25 years of experience in the dental industry, and she’s passionate about building efficient, consistent, and secure practice management systems. Dayna knows that your entire day revolves around your practice management software—the better you learn to use it, the more productive and stress-free your office will be. In 2016, Dayna founded Novonee ™, The Premier Dentrix Community, to help cultivate Dentrix super-users all over the country. Learn more from Dayna at www.novonee.com and contact Dayna at dayna@novonee.com.


Thursday, April 12, 2018

What is my A/R and what is collectible?

Many of you have been asking, “What is my true accounts receivable balance?” and how do I know what is collectible? The answer is that it depends on what your parameters are and what you consider collectible. Let me help you define the different numbers from a couple of different reports so you can make up your mind about which number you want to use. Also, you can filter your accounts receivable by using different billing types if you want to separate out a group of accounts that have been sent to collection or Medicaid patients.

The most accurate accounts receivable number available is located on the Practice Advisor Report because it looks at all balances (credit balances and money owed). The Practice Advisor also does not care about the month-end process for aging the accounts. It looks at the date of service on the ledger. You can also filter this report by billing type if you want to skip accounts like “sent to collection,” “Medicaid” or “Ortho.” For more information on this report, check out Knowledgebase article #49693 for an online tutorial available in the Dentrix Resource Center.

This number on the Practice Advisor Report should match the Aging Report if you select the same parameters. The Aging Report is also the way you can get a list of all your patient credit balances. I think the Aging Report is a good way to see what your total accounts receivable is. However, it is not the most effective way to “work” your A/R.

If you have been reading my blogs for a while, you know how much I love the Collection Manager Report for managing the accounts receivable because of all the interactive tools it has and you do not have to print it. The one thing to remember about this report is that it only shows you positive money. It does not include credit balances. So your Practice Advisor report might show an A/R of $22k and your Collection Manager might show $56k. What’s the difference here? You have about $34k in credit balances sitting on your books that need to be sorted out. For more information on credit balances, CLICK HERE. For more information on the Collection Manager Report, CLICK HERE.

The final way you can find your office’s accounts receivable is by looking at the snapshot of your practice numbers from the Practice Analysis. From the Office Manager > Analysis > Practice and you will see a snapshot of your practice numbers. This snapshot is affected by the month-end process because one of the things the month-end does is move the ending balance from the previous month to the beginning balance of the new month. Therefore, if your month-end is not up to date, this ending balance might not be accurate.

Now with the new Month End Task Scheduler with Dentrix G6.6, this should make things better because the month-end processes now run in the background. For more information on the new Month End Task Scheduler, CLICK HERE.

Dayna Johnson, Certified Dentrix Trainer
Dayna loves her work. She has over 25 years of experience in the dental industry, and she’s passionate about building efficient, consistent, and secure practice management systems. Dayna knows that your entire day revolves around your practice management software—the better you learn to use it, the more productive and stress-free your office will be. In 2016, Dayna founded Novonee ™, The Premier Dentrix Community, to help cultivate Dentrix super-users all over the country. Learn more from Dayna at www.novonee.com and contact Dayna at dayna@novonee.com.


Tuesday, April 3, 2018

It's Oral Cancer Awareness Month . . . great time to update your clinical note templates

This month is Oral Cancer Awareness month and I hope you are helping to bring awareness to your community.  In my picture my daughter and I are blowing bubbles for those who can't to bring awareness to oral cancer.  You can save lives by screening for oral cancer and helping your patients catch it early. Now is a great time to re-evaluate your protocol for oral cancer screening and your clinical documentation.

Are you using the Dentrix clinical note templates? This is a great way to add in a templated prompt, so your team will be asked about the results of the oral cancer screening. It is so easy and so important to provide good documentation for your patient’s record.

If you are using a template for your hygiene visit, you can add two questions into your clinical note template that will give your clinical team a consistent and complete account of the OCS. Go to the Patient Chart > Clinical Notes > click on the Template Setup to open your templates. Many of these templates might be from the Dentrix initial installation so you will be editing an existing template or creating a new one.

 If you have an existing template, you want to add the OCS prompts then select your template and click on Edit Template. Now you can add in a new prompt that will ask you how you performed the oral cancer screening (visual exam, Velscope, other) and what the results were (negative, no findings, refer to oral surgeon, etc.). You can create prompts with check boxes or create a prompt with a text box that will give you space to write in specific findings.

If you are creating a new template specifically for the oral cancer screening, then click on New Template and start from scratch. When creating a new template, the left side of the window is where you will type in all the “static” text you want in all your notes and the right side of the set-up window is where you will add in your prompts. You can set up prompts as check boxes, text boxes, etc. 

Having thorough clinical documentation is critical to the integrity of your patient record and will protect you during a lawsuit or complaint to the licensing board. It is extremely important that you have a well-documented patient chart. The clinical note template is one way to accomplish this.

Dayna Johnson, Certified Dentrix Trainer
Dayna loves her work. She has over 25 years of experience in the dental industry, and she’s passionate about building efficient, consistent, and secure practice management systems. Dayna knows that your entire day revolves around your practice management software—the better you learn to use it, the more productive and stress-free your office will be. In 2016, Dayna founded Novonee ™, The Premier Dentrix Community, to help cultivate Dentrix super-users all over the country. Learn more from Dayna at www.novonee.com and contact Dayna at dayna@novonee.com.


Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Generate a Better List for your Unscheduled Hygiene

I love it when I am working with a team one-on-one on optimizing their Dentrix software and implementing new systems and one of the team members shouts out, “OMG! That is the coolest thing ever. You just made my day.”

This happened recently while we were learning the four reports for keeping your schedule full. One of the four reports I talk about is the Continuing Care list and using it to follow up with patients who are overdue for their hygiene visit. Since nearly half our nation has periodontal disease*, it is extremely important to follow up with both classifications of patients: Perio and Prophy.

With the traditional Continuing Care list, you can only generate a list of <ALL> continuing care types or a list of one at a time. Even though this is a great report for tracking unscheduled patients, it limits what you can view on your report. My goal when I am working with an office is to always look for the most efficient and productive way to perform the tasks we do every day in the dental practice. The Dentrix developers probably never realized that, when they updated the Letters and Custom Lists feature, they had also improved the way we generate a list of unscheduled recare patients.

When you use the Letters and Custom Lists as a report generator, you can get much more specific on your parameters. It is also a much more interactive report. When the report is more interactive, you do not have to print it because all the tools you need are available right on the report. Let me show you what I mean.

Go to the Office Manager > Letters and Custom Lists > Continuing Care > select a letter option in the list you are not using and click Edit. Then let’s turn it into a report instead of a letter. Here are my recommendations . . .
  • Rename it to “Continuing Care overdue patients” (upper left corner)
  • Make sure only “Patients” is selected and under the Privacy select “Does not apply to this letter”
  • Select the due date range and the continuing care types you want to search for in the Continuing Care >> button. You will need to select your due dates each time you generate this list.
  • Then, in the Data Fields, select what information you want to see in your list. The report will look somewhat like a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet with columns of data and the Data Fields are the columns you are choosing to see.
  • When you are finished, click on OK.
  • Click on Open in List Manager.


Now you have a Continuing Care list that shows you all your Prophy and Perio patients on one list and you have all the icons at the top of the report to make notes, look at the ledger, see other family members, etc. This report will save you time and give you more information than the traditional Continuing Care report did. Also, you save more trees because you never have to print this report.
If you want my tip sheet on using this report, CLICK HERE and request it.



Dayna Johnson, Certified Dentrix Trainer
Dayna loves her work. She has over 25 years of experience in the dental industry, and she’s passionate about building efficient, consistent, and secure practice management systems. Dayna knows that your entire day revolves around your practice management software—the better you learn to use it, the more productive and stress-free your office will be. In 2016, Dayna founded Novonee ™, The Premier Dentrix Community, to help cultivate Dentrix super-users all over the country. Learn more from Dayna at www.novonee.com and contact Dayna at dayna@novonee.com.


Wednesday, March 7, 2018

What?? I can now post a credit card payment and save the card? YES. YOU. CAN.


Did you know you can now save a patient’s credit card for future use while posting a payment in the patient ledger. What???? You mean I can save a patient’s credit card on file when I post a credit card payment in the patient’s ledger? Yep, that’s what I just said. Do you want me to repeat it again? Okay, I will during my webinar on Wednesday, March 14th. 

This is a total game-changer for the office when it comes to patient collections, cash flow and security. I am super excited to be sharing all the great news about the new Dentrix Pay integrated payment solution along with my friends at Vantiv, now WorldPay. You can register for the webinar by CLICKING HERE and if you are unable to attend the webinar you can watch the Dentrix Pay videos on the Dentrix Resource Center by CLICKING HERE.

Ever since I can remember, storing credit cards in the Dentrix software has been an issue. The office would store the credit card number in the Guarantor Notes or the Patient Note on the Family File without even thinking twice about it. This has never been a secure location for keeping credit card information for future use and still is not a secure location. It is good practice to use a credit card for any kind of in-office payment plan and it is the only way I would ever allow a patient to have an in-office payment agreement. You are just setting yourself up for a collection issue if you have to send the patient a billing statement or remind patients to mail in their payment. Having an auto withdrawal gives your office more security and peace of mind when offering in-office payment plans.

The new Dentrix Pay has other amazing features to go along with the saved credit card feature. Everything is integrated! Which means that when you process the credit card you can sign with your ePad, it will post the payment automatically to the ledger and you can also apply the payments to any Payment Agreements on file.

Check it all out in the Dentrix Resource Center or join me during the Dentrix Pay webinar on March 14th.



Dayna Johnson, Certified Dentrix Trainer
Dayna loves her work. She has over 25 years of experience in the dental industry, and she’s passionate about building efficient, consistent, and secure practice management systems. Dayna knows that your entire day revolves around your practice management software—the better you learn to use it, the more productive and stress-free your office will be. In 2016, Dayna founded Novonee ™, The Premier Dentrix Community, to help cultivate Dentrix super-users all over the country. Learn more from Dayna at www.novonee.com and contact Dayna at dayna@novonee.com.


Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Creating a Surface Watch


When you are transitioning from a paper chart to a digital record, you want the patient tooth chart to accurately represent the patient’s mouth. This is the case for documenting existing restorations, missing teeth and areas of concern. These areas of concern, or as some people call “watches,” are especially important because you want to make sure you can easily read them, and they give a clear picture of what you are watching.

A “watch” in Dentrix terminology is considered a condition and will mark the tooth with a W, circle the tooth or could put a big box around it. Many of the doctors I work with ask me if there is a way to do a “surface watch” so they can see the exact surfaces they are watching. My response is “Yes, you can.” You can have two different types of watches — you could have a tooth or area watch and you can also have a surface watch. This way, it will paint differently on the tooth chart.


The condition codes are created in the Procedure Code setup and you can create new ones or edit the existing ones. Go to the Office Manager > Maintenance > Procedure code setup > scroll down to the Conditions category and find the Watch code and click on edit. In the lower middle of the window, there is a drop-down menu for Paint Type. This is where you can select how you want the condition to paint on the tooth chart. With the Watch Tooth condition, you can decide to put a W on the tooth chart or have it circle the tooth. It’s your choice.
What if you want to create a surface watch so it will show the surfaces of the tooth you are watching? That is easy! Select New Code and fill in the appropriate items in the setup and you will have two kinds of watches.

Here are the important things to fill in when you are creating new condition code . . .
  • Give it a description – Surface Watch
  • Give it an ADA code – This can be anything you want. All the conditions are numbers so you could use 15116, which is the next one in line with the Dentrix default list.
  • Give it an abbreviated description – SurfW or something like that
  • Under Treatment Flags, select Condition and Show in Chart
  • Procedure Category – Conditions
  • Treatment Area – Surface
  • Paint Type – Surface Restoration (solid, hatched or outline)

Now open your chart and refresh your chart. You can now add your new condition code to your Procedure Buttons and you will find it in the list of Conditions in the Procedure Code List.


Dayna Johnson, Certified Dentrix Trainer
Dayna loves her work. She has over 25 years of experience in the dental industry, and she’s passionate about building efficient, consistent, and secure practice management systems. Dayna knows that your entire day revolves around your practice management software—the better you learn to use it, the more productive and stress-free your office will be. In 2016, Dayna founded Novonee ™, The Premier Dentrix Community, to help cultivate Dentrix super-users all over the country. Learn more from Dayna at www.novonee.com and contact Dayna at dayna@novonee.com.


Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Never lose your original treatment plan estimates


I remember when I was working in a practice and, at the time, we were still primarily using paper charts. However, we were dabbling in going paperless. Our protocol with treatment planning was to print out two copies of the treatment plan estimate — one for the patient and one for the chart. This worked well because we always seemed to write notes on the treatment plan estimate so it was nice to be able to look back on that print out in the chart to see what we had talked about with the patient.

Then, one day, a patient asked me for a copy of his original treatment plan at the completion of his dental work because he had lost his copy. I am not sure what happened to our protocol, but I could not find our original copy. There was nothing in the paper chart and I was stuck. Once all the treatment is completed, you can never retrieve that original estimate and be able to re-create it for the patient record. This was a good learning lesson for me and something I pass on to clients every day.

Now, I always print one copy of the treatment plan estimate for the patient and print one to the Document Center for safe keeping. This way, I know that it will always be available to look back on and print it again if the patient requests it. I also found out that there is a note box on the digital copy within the Document Center where I can make notes about the financial arrangement or any other special notes that I want to remember.

This is one of the most brilliant features of Dentrix is the ability to do a “virtual print” with any kind of document to the Document Center without having to scan. This saves time and storage on your server drive. This feature is simple to use and I can send you a tip sheet as a reference guide if you would like. Just email me directly at dayna@raedentalmanagement.com and I will send it to you.

When you are printing a document or a treatment plan estimate, select the printer called “Print to Dentrix Document Center” and your document will then be stored in the Unfiled Documents folder on the Document Center. Now you can attach that document directly into the patient’s Document Center for safe keeping.



Dayna Johnson, Certified Dentrix Trainer
Dayna loves her work. She has over 25 years of experience in the dental industry, and she’s passionate about building efficient, consistent, and secure practice management systems. Dayna knows that your entire day revolves around your practice management software—the better you learn to use it, the more productive and stress-free your office will be. In 2016, Dayna founded Novonee ™, The Premier Dentrix Community, to help cultivate Dentrix super-users all over the country. Learn more from Dayna at www.novonee.com and contact Dayna at dayna@novonee.com.