Think before you Pop – A controlled approach to using Patient Alerts
I realize that most of you already know how to use the Patient Alerts note box in the Dentrix system, but I am here to say “People please control your pop-ups!” When used thoughtfully, the Patient Alert can be a very effective way to make sure that your note gets noticed. However, if you create too many pop-ups, your team members will start to ignore them and even start by-passing them because they are so annoying.
When you are creating a Patient Alert, pause for a second and ask yourself who really needs to read it. For example, the Patient Alert is a great way to notify the front office team if a patient has a collection issue. For this type of note, you might only want it to pop-up when opening the Family File, making a new appointment, opening the ledger and editing an existing appointment. However, if the Patient Alert is to put the staff on notice that this patient needs to take Pre-med prior to their dental visit, you might want the note to pop-up in the clinical chart as well as for the front office departments because it effects both the front office person who needs to remind the patient to take it and the clinical team member that needs to be reminded to ask the patient if they remembered to take it.
Using Motivational Notes
In the Family File in the Continuing Care field (where you would go to edit a patients’ cleaning frequency) there is a Motivational Note box. I’m guessing this type of note will be new to some of you because it is a bit out of the way. Notes made in this box can be used to track internal issues such as what the patient needs to come in for next, or it can be used to print on the recall cards. Internal uses might include things like: What hygienist the patient likes to see, a reminder that the patient should bring his nightguard to his next visit, or a note to yourself that the patient is alternating between the periodontist and general dentist. Just be sure that if you decide to use this note box to add something personal onto the patient post card, you do not insert any personal health information such as diagnosis, test results or treatment plan information as this would violate the HIPAA Privacy Act.
I hope these articles are helping you to create some consistency for your office with respect to where to document patient information. Keep reading into next week for more tips on "Where to make all your notes".