Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Create incredible treatment plan presentations

I am on my flight back home from the Dentrix Train–the–Trainer annual meeting. The meeting was held this year in San Antonio during Fiesta Week, so not only did we have three days of learning opportunities, but we also had a ton of fun doing it. My next couple of blogs will focus on some of the cool, new things that I learned during my time in San Antonio.

One morning, I was registered for a Treatment Plan and Case Presentation class. My first thought was, “I have taught this class. What could I possibility learn?” However, my philosophy is that there is always learning to be done and I was right. I typically do not train on the Treatment Plan Presenter, but I am going to rethink that after what I witnessed in San Antonio.

Did you know that you can add your own X-rays, photos, other images, text, or video into the Dentrix Presenter to create a dramatic, professional case presentation? It is so simple and, once the setup is done, putting a presentation together is a snap. You can pull in an image, X-ray, or video, and then assign it to certain procedure codes so it will automatically load into the presentation for you. Also, these images or text can be printed onto a treatment plan estimate if you so choose.

How do you do it? Follow along . . .

Open up your patient chart in Treatment Plan View > Case Presentation Setup or open the Presenter and click on the Patient Education Topics. Now click on the New Topic icon and a window that looks like this will open.
This is where you can add your own slide for any patient treatment plan presentation. Just follow the instructions in the window. First, select a title for your slide in the Topic Title, then select the image for this slide. The next two boxes are used if you are going to print out patient education when printing a patient treatment plan estimate. Finally, on the right side of the box, select the procedure codes that would relate to this topic. In my example, I selected the porcelain crown code and the adult orthodontics codes. When you are finished, click OK and your new education topic will now show in the list under the category you have put it in.

Have fun with this! After what I learned in the Lone Star State, I am definitely going to create some incredible treatment plan presentations and increase my case acceptance.


Monday, April 22, 2013

There is always learning to be done

Seven years ago when I took the Dentrix Certification course to become a trainer, the only reason I did it was I wanted to learn more about the program. When the training department sent me on my first initial training, I knew that teaching, coaching, and consulting was my calling … but I know that I can’t reach everyone out there. I also know that, even with our team of 120 certified trainers, we can’t reach everyone using Dentrix. Whether you are a new team member using Dentrix for the first time or the office manager who has been with the office your entire career, there is always learning that can be done. This is why I am so excited with the redesign of the Dentrix ResourceCenter and the Learning Plans.

With the redesign, when you log into the Dentrix ResourceCenter, you can select a Learning Plan that fits your common tasks or job functions. You also have access to many other tools such as…

·         The Dentrix Magazine, which contains articles from key opinion leaders in the dental industry, great tips and tricks on how to use Dentrix more efficiently, and feature articles on how to optimize your Dentrix software. As a side note, many of my blog posts have been turned into feature articles in the Dentrix Magazine so look out for them.

·         Webinar Recordings that you can access anytime, anywhere 24/7/365. When my office was transitioning from paper charts to digital charting, my doctor decided to go to Mexico on vacation … so I gave him some homework. He had to log into the Dentrix Resource Center from an Internet café in Cabo and watch three webinars I had selected for him. When he returned to the office, he was very happy that I gave him that homework.

·         Knowledgebase Articles are perfect for when you have a specific question and want to do your own research. I use the Knowledgebase all the time. When I get a question to which I don’t know the answer, I go straight to the Knowledgebase. When I find the answer, I print it out so everyone can reference back to it if needed.

·         Dentrix eNewsletter is filled with great tips and tricks, but it will also give you specialized information for your area, such as seminars or workshops that will be offered in your town.

·         User Guides are available to print if you so choose. Dentrix user guides are now only available as PDFs, but every now and then I come across someone who wants a printed manual.

Check out the Resource Center today! If your office is on a Dentrix support plan, this amazing resource is available at no extra cost. I use it at least a couple times each week. If I can benefit from it, so can you.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

You won't want to miss this . . .

I have had the pleasure of attending every one of the Dentrix Business of Dentistry conferences since the meeting’s inception in Snowbird, Utah, in 2006. Typically, the dentist I work for does not attend conferences, but I was able to persuade him to attend the inaugural meeting because it was being held at one of his favorite ski resorts. In the end, he was extremely happy that he attended because he learned so much about Dentrix. When I walked into the office the following week, the first words from his mouth were not “good morning, Dayna,” but rather, “Dayna, can you come in my office and help me with this treatment plan? I want to do one of those alternate cases like I learned about at the Dentrix meeting.” I was excited because I knew that he had embraced the one thing that our entire office revolves around—the practice management software!

When I attended my first Dentrix Business of Dentistry conference, I was not only working full-time in a dental practice but I was also a new Dentrix trainer, so I was eager to learn everything I could about the products and how I could implement them into my practice. Now that I had my doctor on board, I knew that I could move forward with helping my office go chartless.

Some of you might have just the opposite situation. Maybe your doctor is enthusiastic about implementing technology and is trying to get the team to go paperless. Whatever your situation, the Dentrix Business ofDentistry conference will give you the tools you need to not only move forward with going paperless, but also to meet many of your practice’s goals and visions.

Are you worried that the Dentrix Business of Dentistry will not give you a broad enough scope of CE? Do you think that it is going to be too specialized? I assure you that’s not the case. What makes this conference different from any other conference I have attended is that it creates an agenda for every member of your team, including the doctor. The speakers customize topics to their audiences and to the tasks they most commonly do in Dentrix. For example, your scheduling coordinator will not only learn how to reduce no-shows, but also how to implement that knowledge in Dentrix. Your financial coordinator will not only learn how to increase collections and learn insurance tips and tricks, but how to also use Dentrix to simplify those tasks. This is one of the unique features of this conference. If you go to the ADA Annual Session, you might learn a great new recall system, but then what? You have to wait until the meeting is over before you can go back to your practice and figure out how to implement it.

Many of the doctors I work with who have attended this conference say to me, “I had no idea Dentrix could do so much for my practice! We are so under-utilizing our software.” I encourage the doctors to attend some of the Dentrix tracks, but for the doctors who will delegate these courses to their teams, there is a redesigned doctor track that now includes clinical courses with an extensive look at digital dentistry.

My favorite part of attending the Dentrix Business ofDentistry conference is the Learning Lab. This is where you can bring specific questions and talk one-on-one with a Dentrix senior support technician. If you have a question, bring screenshots and jot down details about the situation, such as what you were doing before the issue happened. This will help the technician troubleshoot with you and hopefully answer your question.

As an office manager, Dentrix user and Dentrix trainer, I can tell you this conference outweighs any other. If your office is on the fence and cost is the issue, talk to your doctor about putting together an incentive program to pay for it. Maybe it’s just one more Invisalign case per month or increasing your over-the-counter collections from 30% to 50%. Whatever you can come up with to bring your team and your doctor, it will be worth it—and when you get there, make sure you come find me and say hi!

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Stop all that clicking

In my last blog “Become Super Efficient with Templates,” I mentioned how to make your procedure buttons on the patient chart “super-efficient” by attaching a multi-code to a button. Later, I realized that multi-codes are a great template system that can be used all throughout Dentrix for the entire team, not just in the patient chart. I love multi-codes. In fact, at my office, since the system only allows 8 procedure codes within a multi-code, I have some with multi-codes inside of multi-codes where it will treatment plan 12 procedure codes with the click of one button.

The front office can benefit from using multi-codes just as much as the clinical team. They can be used on the Appointment Book when scheduling or inside the Patient Ledger when posting or treatment planning.

Just in case some of you don’t know how to create a multi-code, I will start from the beginning.

Go to the Office Manager > Maintenance > Practice Setup > Multi-code setup. If you have never added or edited the multi-codes, there will be a long list of Dentrix default templates that you can edit to meet the needs of your practice or delete if you will not use them. From here, click on new and enter the specifics for your new multi-code. Some examples include the different types of hygiene visits, steps involved with dentures and partials, implant procedures, and new patient exams.

Using multi-codes in the appointment book can make scheduling hygiene and new patient exams a snap. Many offices I work with, including my own, have attached multi-codes into the Initial Reason box on the appointment screen. With the click of one button, you have scheduled the patient for his or her exam, prophy, bwx, and fluoride. When you set the appointment complete, it will post all the procedures together.

Another way the front office can use multi-codes is in the patient ledger. I find that many front office team members can be a little intimidated with using the patient chart (especially if they don’t have a clinical background). With that being said, you can easily treatment plan through the patient ledger and still take full advantage of the efficiency of the multi-codes. When you switch from the ledger page to the treatment plan page, you can click on the “enter procedure” icon (or from the menu click on Transaction > enter procedure) then you will see your multi-codes listed on the right-hand side of the screen. Now select the multi-code you want and click add and OK/Post. See how that is much more time-efficient than entering all the procedures individually?

In addition to using multi-codes for efficiency, they are also extremely helpful in ensuring that the correct procedure codes are being posted. Most clinical team members do not have a coding background and haven’t a clue which procedure codes to use. Also, if you have a new member of your front office who is new to dentistry, it is important to setup safeguards to make sure proper coding is being used. Using multi-codes ensures that the clinical team and new employees are coding treatment properly.

Maximizing the tools available in your Dentrix software and creating efficient systems make for a happy team and accurate coding.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Become super-efficient with templates

In my most recent article, “The three core components when transitioning to electronic health records,” I talked a lot about efficiency and consistency. For all the Dentrix users, I want to give you some help when it comes to building templates, which can be a huge time-saver in your office. Here are some of my favorite template tips.

·         Procedure Note Templates – This is my favorite place for the clinical team to document the procedure’s clinical justification (diagnosis, clinical narrative, and remarks for insurance claim). I like it to be documented here because the diagnosis will follow the procedure from treatment planning all the way into history. Also, this note box will download directly into the insurance claim for “Remarks for Unusual Services,” which is required for many procedures. There are two ways to add some reason templates into this area. One is to open the Office Manager > Maintenance > Practice Setup > Custom Notes > Procedure Notes then click add to add a new narrative, or from the patient chart, double-click on a treatment planned procedure and click on the Procedure Note button. Either way, you will open a new box that looks like this:

I want the clinical team to be able to enter information as quickly as possible. Using these Procedure Note templates will help by creating a mouse-driven system instead of typing on the keyboard.

·         Clinical Note Templates – Like I said above, my goal with the clinical team is to be able to enter critical information with the click of a mouse instead of spending too much time typing. This is why my next favorite template is the customizable Clinical Notes Templates. Many of the dental practices I work with use templates that are attached to the procedure codes, so when a procedure code is set complete, it automatically sends a customized template to the clinical note and then the team member must add in the variables for the patient. But what if you could build a template that would include the variables and all you had to do was click with your mouse from a list and then it would build a custom clinical note for the patient with very little typing? By using the Clinical Note templates in the patient chart, this can be a reality. For a step-by-step instruction sheet on building this type of clinical note template click here to email me directly.

·         Procedure Buttons – With G4, you can have as many buttons as you wish so this list should be the most common procedures you chart as existing, treatment plan, or conditions. Do you want to know how the buttons can be super-efficient? Use a multi-code on a button, then you can treatment plan two to eight procedures with the click on one button. How efficient is that? Also with G4, you do not have to create the buttons on each workstation individually, you create button sets and then can select the button set you want for each workstation.

To edit the procedure buttons in your office, go to the patient chart > Setup > Procedure Buttons setup > then there is a drop-down menu at the top of the box where you can select the button set you want to use on this workstation. Now you can add, edit, or delete buttons as you wish. Remember, always making sure you click save before you close!

·         Health History Update using the Questionnaire Module – The health history update is something that needs to be updated or reviewed at every patient visit. With many offices eliminating the paper chart, there needs to be an efficient way to document the health history. The reason I like the Questionnaire Module is because it is a set, templated form and it will auto-fill the patient answers from the last visit. This will save the clinical team member an enormous amount of time retyping information like medication lists and allergies.

I hope these template tips will help your office become more efficient and consistent with your daily charting tasks. If your office has temporary employees fill in for someone out sick or on leave, using templates will also guarantee that the documentation stays within your office protocol.