Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Three core components when transitioning to electronic health records

Today’s dental practices are feeling the push to go paperless from the media, salespeople, advertisers, peers, and our government. There are seminars, webinars, and publications telling us what products to buy and why their product is better … but is it better for you? There is no set standard on how to go paperless. Yes, we have a couple compliance issues with HIPAA and PCI, but other than that we are pretty much making decisions on our own. Pretty scary, huh? There are, however, three core components that need to be included in your decision-making process, whether you are purchasing new software or buying a printer . . . Efficiency, Consistency, and Security. When I am hired to help an office transition from paper charts to a paperless environment, these are the staples that hold everything together. We cannot keep our sanity or rest easily at night if these three things are not met.

It has been interesting over the years working with hundreds of offices to find that the dynamics and personalities are basically the same from one office to another. One of the biggest complaints I hear from clinicians is, “I don’t have time to enter all that stuff in the computer and I am not going to stay late.” My response is, “I don’t want you to stay late. You have a family to get home to and that is why we are going to create systems that are as efficient as possible so you can get out on time.” Efficiency saves time, money, and your sanity. No matter what practice management software or imaging software is installed, you can create efficient solutions to help the front office team and the clinical team. 

Click here to read entire article . . .

CLICK HERE if your office needs HIPAA training or Risk Analysis

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

What if every day could be a perfect day?

What if you could map out your perfect day? Wouldn’t life be great if you could take the guesswork out of scheduling and meet your production goals every day? If you could make this happen in your Dentrix software, would you be interested?

Using the Dentrix Perfect Day Scheduling is the way to map out your perfect day, take all the guesswork out of scheduling, and help your office schedule to goal. I have used it in my office and implemented it in many other offices and the results are amazing! Using the Perfect Day Scheduling, however, takes a lot of discipline on the part of anyone who schedules appointments in your office. It takes a strong will to look at the new patient time block at 4 p.m. and not give it away to your patient of record who is looking for something after school. It also takes some good verbal skills to direct the patient into a spot that has been mapped out for a certain type of procedure. If you and your team can all agree that this is in the office’s best interest, then you will see amazing results … both in patient flow and production.

So how do we map out our schedule and what will it look like? Here is a sample of how I have used Perfect Day Scheduling at my office to map out our appointment book. You can see that I have designated two new patient time spots per day in our hygiene rooms (of course, your goals will be slightly different than mine, but you get the picture). When a new patient calls, I want to make sure I can get him or her in within a reasonable amount of time (my goal is 48 hours, but this might be unreasonable in your eyes) so I have strategically placed my new patient time spots during prime time (usually first thing in the morning and end of the day) and then scattered a few in the middle of the day as well (so our patients of record have some prime time spots to choose from as well). I have also pre-blocked out perio therapy for my hygienists because this is extremely important to get my patients in within a certain amount of time. I have also pre-blocked out surgery time in the doctor’s chair (the hygienist will not need an exam so the doctor can be captive with his or her surgery patient). Since it usually takes quite a bit of room setup for a surgery, I have put that time block first thing in the morning so the assistants have the time they need to set up the room.

How do you make these pre-blocks in the schedule? First, turn on Perfect Day Scheduling by clicking on the icon at the top of the Appointment Book. Then go to Setup > Provider Setup > select the provider and click setup again. Next, in the upper right corner of the box, you will see Set Time Blocks and you can click on Add, Edit, or Delete. This is where you will set the time blocks for this provider.  Each provider in your office can have up to 6 time blocks. When you are creating the time blocks, you then have a choice of selecting which day, time, color, and operatory this time block should go. Keep creating the time blocks until you have your schedule mapped out the way you want it. A good way to view how it looks on the appointment book is to find a week that has no patients scheduled.

When you are finished creating your time blocks and you have the Perfect Day icon turned on, the time blocks will stay on the schedule indefinitely unless you delete them or move them. You can delete a time block by right clicking and clicking delete or you can move a time block by clicking on it and dragging it to a new spot within the same operatory.

Perfect Day Scheduling can be used for helping a new scheduling coordinator learn how to schedule within your office’s parameters, for scheduling to production, or making sure certain procedures are scheduled at certain time of the day. However you use it, it requires discipline in order for you to reap the benefits.

Enjoy your Perfect Day!


Saturday, March 16, 2013

Great tips from Lois Banta

During the Chicago Midwinter Dental Meeting I had the pleasure of talking with my good friend Lois Banta.  Lois discusses the importance of the morning huddle and gives great tips on coding for insurance claims.  For more information on the Dentrix Daily Huddle Report click here and read my blog. 

Friday, March 8, 2013

The importance of automation

In my latest video, I discuss the importance of automation in the dental practice. Click below to see what I had to say in this interview with Lauren Burns of DentistryIQ.com.