Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Say Goodbye to the Post-it-Notes

If you have been following my blog for a while, you know how much I use the Office Journal for documenting phone conversations with patients about Continuing Care follow up, Unscheduled Treatment management, and Collection calls.  Now I want to take the Office Journal to a whole new level. 
How many of you have a desk covered with sticky notes or a big desk calendar with all your reminders to follow up with patients?  What if I could help eliminate all those pesky pieces of paper and show you a way to use the Office Journal to help organize your daily life at your practice? 
By now, you all know that every patient in your Dentrix software has his or her own Office Journal that keeps track of things like appointments, billing statements, letters, payments, all your journal entries, etc.  But did you know that every provider in your system also has its own Office Journal?  Yes, indeed.  If you haven’t already, create a staff ID for yourself in the Practice Resource Setup located on the Office Manager, then, from the Office Manager, open the Office Journal.  From here, it will ask you to select your provider ID from the list and it will open your unique Office Journal. If you have been using the Office Journal already for documenting your phone conversations and attaching your provider ID to the entry, you will see all those little blue telephones light up in chronological order with the patient name.   Pretty cool, huh?  But wait … there is more!  When you are making a journal entry on a patient’s account, you can also set Reminders that will show up with red exclamation points.  These reminders set on the patient’s Office Journal will also show on your Office Journal if you have attached your provider ID.  Now you basically have created a to-do list within your Dentrix practice management software.

But wait, I am going to show you one more super cool feature that will make it even easier for you to enjoy the benefits of the Office Journal.  If you go to the Office Manager > Maintenance > Practice Setup > Preferences, you will find under the General Options on the left side, “Automatically Launch Office Journal.”  If you put a check box here, every time you open Dentrix, the Office Journal will launch with your to-do list.
Goodbye chaos, Hello organization!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Show me the Money!


Each week, I am amazed at how many offices I visit that not only are not using the Collections Manager Report, but don’t even know what it is. When I am working with an office on its collection routine, I always ask, “What are you currently using for your collection calls?” The typical answers are, “the Aging Report” or “the billing statements”. Crazy I say!
Why don’t I like using the Aging Report for making collection calls?
·         As soon as you print it, it is outdated. What do I mean? Every day another account balance goes over 30 or over 90 and unless you reprint this report everyday, you will be missing some accounts. Also, as soon as you post the daily checks, you have to get a pen and scratch someone off the list or change the balance if they make a payment.
·         It contains patient PHI. Could you imagine if a patient saw that report sitting on your desk, complete with personal information, full name, phone numbers, and balances? I would be mortified if I was a patient on that list and someone saw it. Especially if you had some handwritten message on there like, “filed bankruptcy” or “send attorney letter”.
·         This report uses WAY too much paper. Since I teach offices how to go paperless, this one is big for me.
·         Using this report is too time-consuming!
What is my solution to all these problems? The Collections Manager Report.
·         This report never gets outdated . . . just refresh it! Since it is computer-generated, you can refresh it at any time (just click on File > Refresh) and it will reload the report using your existing parameters. I love this! Let’s say you get back from lunch, stop and get the mail, and post a bunch of checks, then all you have to do is refresh the report and you have a brand new report. Voila!
·         It is absolutely HIPAA compliant. Since this report is computer-generated, you can minimize it into your system tray to hide it from view of other patients if you have a computer screen that can be easily seen.
·         The Collections Manager Report uses ZERO paper. We all want to save trees and office overhead, right?
·         The best part . . . IT’S INTERACTIVE! What do I mean by interactive? At the top of the Collections Manager Report, there are several icons that will be helpful for you when making collection calls.
o   Guarantor Notes – make financial notes about the account
o   Office Journal – document your phone conversations with the patient or guarantor
o   Quick Letters – Send out customized collection letters
o   More Information – see information about the family, phone numbers, appointments, etc.
o   Ledger – check where the balance is coming from or look at outstanding claims
How do you get to this report? Go to the Office Manager > find the icon with the hand holding the money > this will open another window where you can set your parameters for your report.
Happy Collecting!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

New High-tech postcard . . . and more!

For those of you who are still getting to know me, I am a huge supporter and fan of all Dentrix Electronic Services. I use all of the Dentrix eServices in my dental practice and I have helped successfully implement them into my clients’ practices. So when Dentrix announces an upgrade to its eCentral and DX Mobile services, I get excited!
DX Mobile is one of the many services and products included in your Dentrix Customer Support plan. If you are not currently enrolled, contact your eServices sales rep by calling 800-DENTRIX and selecting “option 1” for sales or CLICK HERE to be directed to the online registration page. The most important enhancement is the ability to have multiple users log into DX Mobile. When DX Mobile first came out, I thought it would be a tool only the doctors would use. However, after working with hundreds of offices, I have found that a team member is sometimes assigned to be on-call and given the user ID and password for the office’s DX Mobile account (this seems to be very common in pediatric offices). But what do you do when that team member leaves? With the enhancement, you can inactivate only certain user accounts without affecting the entire office account. This is great news!
Also with DX Mobile, offices that are using eCentral for correspondence can now confirm appointments and make notes on the appointment remotely through this connection. Amen to that!
There are also a couple of great updates with the eCentral Correspondence module. For those of you using eCentral for e-mail reminders, the confirm button is now at the top and the bottom of the e-mail. Yeah! Just an FYI to all those offices that I helped train . . .  I had you put a customized message in your e-mails that says “click on the confirm button at the bottom of this e-mail,” so make sure you change your template. Also within the e-mail reminders, patients can update their calendars, view maps and directions, and access their accounts to check their outstanding balances. Remember . . .  patients can only access their personal information by requesting a user ID and password from the office.
Do you know what a QR code is? Well eCentral now puts them on the patient’s postcard reminder. When patient's scan the QR code it will open a webpage similar to the one you are viewing in this post. This will bring new functionality to updating their calendar, getting directions, and confirming their appointment. This is very cool and patients will love the new high-tech postcard.