In my last post, I said that I was going to talk about the handoff between the front office team and the clinical team. However, there are still some items to cover on the front office checklist before we move on. Now that your new patient is scheduled, you must make sure he or she feels welcome and the documentation needed by the front office and clinical team to treat the patient effectively must be collected. This information includes the new patient forms and any current X-rays or perio charting.
First, let’s talk about the new patient forms. Your Dentrix software has a great letter feature that allows you to generate a welcome letter to your new patients. This letter can be customized to provide instructions for your new patient to maneuver through your website and fill out the patient registration and medical/dental history forms online. You could also include your paper forms in the same envelope with the welcome letter and ask the patient to bring the completed forms to the first visit. If you haven’t used this letter feature, let me walk you through it.
From the Office Manager, click on Letters at the top tool bar, then open the Welcome Letters, select the Welcome – Before 1st visit and select the date range you want. Below is what your screen should look like throughout this process. Even though these patients do not have a Family File open, the Dentrix software is smart enough to search out patients that fit into these criteria.
Taking the time to send this letter will hopefully give your new patients that added boost they need to help them prepare for their first visit. We all know how much of an impact it can make on our schedule if the forms are not filled out. The last thing you want to do is put your clinical team 15-30 minutes behind schedule from the start of the appointment.
Look back in my previous post “The initial telephone call” where I talk about utilizing the check box list at the bottom of the appointment screen. Some ideas for this checkbox list could include Sent Welcome Letter, Requested X-rays, Received X-rays, and Received new patient forms. Using Dentrix to its fullest potential can eliminate all those unwanted sticky notes, paper lists, and misplaced information.