Tuesday, March 21, 2017

No need to purchase a new scanner, your current one should work just fine

Are you interested in starting the process of going paperless but you have an older scanner that might not work with Dentrix? Or maybe you have a scanner that used to work with Dentrix but, since you have upgraded, some of the features have stopped working? Well, I have a solution for you.
The new File Acquisition Method Default will allow you to scan directly to your scanner without the interference of Dentrix and then automatically pull your document into Dentrix. There are so many different kinds of scanners out there now and we all know it can be challenging to make all this technology work seamlessly.

Here is how it works . . .

Open your Document Center and click on the Setup tab at the top. Now scroll to the bottom and go to Setup Acquisition Method Default. In the top drop down menu, select Auto File Acquisition, then select a default folder (don’t worry, you will have the opportunity to change it), then select a folder to pull the document from (I set up a Scans folder on the Desktop).

Now in your start menu in Windows, find your scanner program. What I did is click on Start > All Programs > Epson > and create a shortcut on your desktop, then pin it to your task bar. Or you can go to your Printers and Devices, find your scanner and drag it to your taskbar to create a quick button on your computer.

Now that you have both of those two things finished, open a patient’s Document Center. Click on the icon you pinned to your task bar for your scanner and make sure your scanner setup is set to save the document to the same folder you created on your desktop. Then scan a document and see what happens. Hopefully what will happen is that the Dentrix Auto File Acquisition will automatically pull the document into the patient’s Document Center. Now you can give the document a description and put it in a different folder if you want.


This took me a little bit to wrap my head around it in the beginning. However, once I got it set up and working, I loved it. The support department was great at answering my questions and, from them helping me, I was able to put this article together for you all. 

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

3 Ways for Effective Intra-Office Communications

Every office is unique. You might be a specialty practice, a group practice or a solo practitioner. You
may have a team of 5 or a team or 25, but you all have one thing in common … Post-it notes and messages everywhere. Almost every front office I walk into has colored Post-it notes all over the desk and almost every doctor has piles of charts on his or her desk. I hope you all have stock in the 3M company for all the colored sticky notes you use. Let’s figure out a way to clean this all up.

Let’s look three effective options for improving your Intra-Office Communications. This relates to how you all communicate with each other inside of your practice. Since you all live in your practice management software all day, I want you to create an Intra-Office Communication system within your Dentrix software because this will help you be as efficient and productive as possible.

  1. My favorite option is to use the Office Journal for communicating with your team. Did you know that not only every patient has an Office Journal but every team member as well? You can create your own TO-DO list or put a task on someone else’s TO-DO list. What if your doctor needs to write you a narrative or phone in a new RX for a patient? What if you need to remember to call a patient back in April or send in your doctor’s license renewal by June 1st. Putting a Reminder on the Office Journal will solve all of this.
    1. If it is regarding a patient, open the patient’s Office Journal and add a new entry. Add it as a Reminder, give it a due date, put in the provider ID that you are assigning this message to, enter a description and a note. Click OK. Now this message will show up on the patient’s Office Journal and the team member you assigned to.
    2. Now, if it is a message you just want to send to one of your team members, go to the Office Manager and open the Office Journal. Now it will ask you for a provider ID and you can select the team member you want to send a message to. Put it as a Reminder, enter a date, description and your message. Click OK.
    3. The Office Journal can be set up to open automatically when you log in your workstation in the morning. Go to the Office Manager > Maintenance> Practice Setup > Preferences > and then check mark Automatically Launch Office Journal. I would recommend filtering your Office Journal so it will load faster. To do this, click on View at the top of the Office Journal and click on Filters, then select Reminders and give it a beginning balance date and click on Save as Default.
  2. You can use the Appointment Note as a TO-DO list for the entire office. This note is located in the upper left corner of the Appointment Book and it is just a blank piece of paper you can make notes on. Think of it as a big sticky note.
  3. The third option for Intra-Office Communications is to use the Dentrix integrated IM system, Dentalink. You can set up Dentalink and send messages back and forth from workstations to alert team members of things happening. If the hygienist is running behind, he or she can send an IM up to the front alerting them. Or maybe the front office wants to send a message to the doctor’s office workstation. These IM messages show up as a “bubble” in the lower right of the workstation and are good for today only.  


Save on Post-it notes, clean up your desk and communicate better with your team with these three options for Intra-Office Communications. 

Monday, March 6, 2017

Easy instructions for tax time printouts

Don’t you just love this time of year . . . tax season!  Patients are calling in asking for a printout of
their account to send along with their taxes and receipts to prove they spent money using their HSA account.  Along with everything else you do every day you need to find time to figure out how to satisfy government records.

I want to try and make it easy for you.  Instead of printing an account ledger, which can be extremely confusing to patients, I am going to show you two alternative options. You can also use the second option for patients who are looking for statements to report to their HSA accounts.

The first option is if the patient does not need the year-end statement to have ADA codes. Open the Ledger > File > Search Payments. This will open a new window where you will select the parameters for your search (date range, guarantor name, payment types, etc.), then select Print.

The second option is if you need a payment history that includes ADA codes (most HSA plans want the ADA codes included). First, go to the Office Manager > Maintenance > Practice Setup > Preferences and make sure the “use ADA codes in description” is checked. Next, from the Office Manager > Reports > Billing, we are going to create a customized billing statement as a year-end print out.
  • Change the Beginning Balance Forward date to the beginning of the year reported and the Statement Date to the end of the report year
  • Select the Guarantor family
  • Set the Minimum Balance to Bill to 0
  • Uncheck all options
  • Clear out the Statement Message
  • Uncheck Save as Default




Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Time is one of our most precious assets

The dental office is busy, patients are running late and you frequently get sidetracked by the phones and tasks. In the midst of the chaos, the hygienist walks up front and asks where her next patient is. You look at the appointment book only to realize it is 15 minutes past the patient’s scheduled appointment time. Where did the time go?

Time is one of our most precious assets and it is something we can all do a better job at managing. So what if you had a tool that could help you manage your time better? What if you had a tool that could help the entire team manage their time better? Exclusively for Dentrix users, that tool is now available.

During this week’s Chicago Midwinter meeting, Dentrix launched the exclusive distribution of Simplifeye. I was in Chicago for the meeting, and I had the opportunity to see it firsthand and talk with the founders, Zach and Ryan Hungate.


This new software technology will streamline the doctor’s daily workflow, instantly notify the clinical team when their patient has arrived and give you more time in your day. The Simplifeye dashboard will also give your front office team the visual notifications when patients are late, the clinical team is running late and when the patient is ready to be checked out.

  • The dashboard will keep a running clock from the time the patient walks in the door to the time he or she walks out. This will give your team data on how often you are running late with patients. 
  • When the patient is assigned to the doctor for treatment the timer can give you precise statistics so you will know exactly how long certain procedures take and you can adjust in your default time units, which could increase your production per hour.
  • With the iWatch integration, the doctor will receive information about the patients currently waiting. The iWatch will send info such as medical alerts, today’s visit and last visit. 
The Simplifeye dashboard will be available as part of your Dentrix customer service plan and the iWatch integration is available for a small monthly fee.  For more information, CLICK HERE and start saving time.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Referral Coordinators . . . tracking your gift baskets is super easy

Last week, I was talking directly to the referring doctor coordinators who work in specialty practices. I detailed an idea of how to keep track of your referral slips that come in and the patient does not have an appointment. If you want to re-read it, CLICK HERE because this article ties right into it.

How are you tracking your gratuities to your referring docs? Do you have a manual spreadsheet that you use to track the amazing gift baskets and coffee mugs you give away? What if you could track it in your Dentrix software, see the analysis and view it on the Referred By report? Let’s find out how.
When you enter the referral source in the patient’s family file, you also have the opportunity to add the gratuity here. Click on the Referred By on the Family File and then click on the Analysis. Here you can click on the Add Gratuity and either select the gratuity or add a new one. When you click on the Analysis again, you will see a list of all the gratuities this referring source has received over their history of working with you.


When you run a Referred By Doctor/Other report, the gratuity will also show on this report. Having all the information about your referring doctors, gratuities and knowing where to find the referral slip at your fingertips is so important to your specialty practice. Your practice management system can help you with almost everything. It just needs you to input the data.  

CLICK HERE for other articles on referral management.


Thursday, February 16, 2017

Referral coordinators at specialty practices - this one is for you

I was recently working with an oral surgery practice and a periodontal office and learned something that the general dental practice usually does not have to manage . . . patients being referred into the practice without an appointment. Now, in a general practice, you would need to manage patients being referred out of the practice to these types of specialists, but let’s look at things from the specialty practice point of view.

At both of these offices, the referral coordinators had an accordion file filled with referral slips of patients who had been referred to their office but have not scheduled. They both had a good system. However, both of these offices are in the process of going paperless and we were looking at systems for managing these patients inside of the Dentrix software.

Here is what we came up with . . .

When you go paperless, you will use the Document Center a lot for paper storage. Now some of you know that every patient has a Document Center because you have been using it for a while, but did you know that every provider has a Document Center as well? Yep, you can scan and store documents inside of your own Document Center and eliminate a lot of paper that floats around on your desk.

So, for these two offices, I recommended using this feature and also attaching the document to the referring doctor for easier tracking. Then, when a patient calls, they can go to their Document Center (or the provider you choose to use) and then search documents attached to a particular referring source and get a list. Then, when the patient schedules and they open the Family File, they can attach the referral slip to the patient and that document has now been linked up without having to scan it again.

Go to the Office Manager > Document Center > select the provider you want to use for holding these documents and then scan the referral slip and put it in the correct folder. I would recommend putting the patient name in the description field. You can now shred these referral slips and clean up your desk.


For more information on the Document Center, CLICK HERE.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

It's official . . . Care Credit and Dentrix tie the knot

One of the most amazing things happened last week and I have been trying to control my excitement for a while. The number one option in patient financing and the number one option for dental practice management computer systems have finally come together. Yes, CareCredit and Dentrix have tied the knot. It’s official.

Many of you have used the integrated features between Dentrix and CitiHealth Card in the past where you have a specific icon on the patient ledger that you can click on to launch the patient financing application. In the future, I would imagine that CareCredit and Dentrix will come up with a similar type of seamless integration. However, for now, it is still speculation because it is under development and I have been sworn to secrecy.

I am super excited about this partnership because this is probably one of the most asked questions I get … “When will Dentrix be integrated with CareCredit?” My answer has always been, “I hope someday.”

If you would like to read the full press release, CLICK HERE. Please keep an eye out for the latest updates on the integration.

What you need to know if you are already a CitiHealth Card customer . . .
  • Citi Health Card integration with Dentrix will be discontinued on February 21, 2017 and replaced with a new web page that directs customers to the CareCredit provider portal. The URL to the provider portal is www.carecredit.com/pro.
  • If an HSPS practice with a Citi Health Card already accepts CareCredit, no work is required.
  • Citi Health Card practices can go to carecreditlearning.com and use the unique username and password on their new CareCredit card to complete the training and begin accepting CareCredit. This will ensure there is no interruption in their ability to offer promotional financing options.