Thursday, August 29, 2013

Top 9 blog posts for going Paperless

  1. Where do I make all my notes – Parts 1-4    Is your office transitioning from paper charts to electronic health records?  Do you feel like everyone in your office makes notes in totally random places in Dentrix and you can never find anything?  Do you wish there was more consistency in your office?  If you answered “yes” to any of the above, read on for some advice that can help you put your notes in order.      Read more . . .                   
  2. A Little Known Secret    If you are transitioning from paper to paperless, do you find that you are scanning paper all the time? Does the paper pile up in the “to be scanned” box and sit there, just waiting for someone to have free time to take care of it? When I work with offices on their paper storage management, I am surprised by how many offices don’t know about the “Send to Dentrix Document Center” feature. I actually received two e-mails about it this week so I thought I would “shout it out” to all of you.    Read more . . .                                      
  3. Expand your Digital Future   I was honored to speak at the AADOM (American Association of Dental Office Managers) annual meeting in Scottsdale over the weekend. For those of you who could not attend, I encourage you to make the trip to next year’s meeting in Orlando, Fla. For more information on AADOM, click here.   This year, my topic was Expand your Digital Future with Dentrix eServices.” In case you missed it, here is a recap.  Today’s dental practices are looking for ways to replace their paper records and forms with digital records and electronic communications, streamline their workflow, reduce waste and clutter, increase productivity, and improve profitability. How can Dentrix eServices help you with this?  Read more . . .          
  4. New Hightech Postcard  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!  Read more . . .          
  5. Where do I make all my notes . . . Clinical parts 1-3   For those of you who read the previous series titled “Where do I make all my notes,” I hope that you have implemented some of the suggestions and have found that your notes are easier to find. I also hope everyone on your team now has a more clear understanding of where to make their notes so the information you want find is easily retrievable. In these next few posts, I will focus on the best places in your Dentrix software to make clinical documentation. This article will give your office some guidelines and recommendations on where to document the clinical information that is critical when treating a patient.   Read more . . .          
  6. Become super efficient with templates    In my most recent article in, “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.  Read more . . .         
  7. 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.    Read more . . .          
  8. Creating electronic forms . . . how-to video   When you are ready to go down the Path to Paperless one of the Dentrix modules you will want to become very familiar with is the Questionnaire Module.  This module will turn your ordinary paper forms into electronic forms that can be linked to your website, iPad, tablet or kiosk workstation.  This video will take you though a demonstration on how to create a new form.  Enjoy!   Read more . . .          
  9. A Lifeline to your patient information    Doctor, picture this scenario . . . You’ve just teed off on the second hole of your favorite golf course on a beautiful Saturday morning. Shortly after sending the ball 250 yards down the middle, you receive a phone call from the guy you opened up #31 on last week and he is now asking for a refill on his pain med. What would you do?  Read more . . .          

Monday, August 26, 2013

Keep tight reins on your referred patients

Keeping track of all the details of our patients' care can be a daunting task if you dont have a system in place. One of the most important pieces of our patient care that we need to follow happens when we are referring our patient out of our office for treatment by another provider. How do you know if the treatment has been completed? How do you easily find to whom you referred them? What is the best way to follow up?

When you follow the path below, no details will be left out and everyone will be on the same page. Lets walk through the steps from start to finish.

We will pretend that your practice is a general practice and you have a new patient come in with an existing missing tooth that needs replacement. For the sake of this demonstration, we are going to skip through to the treatment planning portion of the exam.

First, treatment plan all the procedures the patient will need to complete the treatment, including all procedures that will be referred to the specialist. Now follow along with the image, double click on the procedure code to be referred out.

  1. Click on the double arrows next to the Related Referral
  2. Select the doctor from the list and click OK
  3. As soon as you click OK, the computer will remove the fee from this procedure
  4. Now you will see a R> next to the procedure code so you know it has been referred out. When your front desk prints a treatment plan estimate for the patient, this procedure will print on the estimate with a 0 fee. You could also put a note on the procedure code if you want more explanation as to why this procedure is being referred out. When you add a referral to the procedure code in the Patient Chart, it will automatically update the Family File and also print on the Patient Route Slip.

If the patient walks out without scheduling, then it is up to you to follow up and track his or her progress. There are two reports to mention here: the Referred To Report and the Treatment Manager Report. For information on the Treatment Manager Report, go back to blog post "Holes in your doctors schedule?" The Referred To report will give you a list of your patients who have been referred out for treatment as long as you have completed the steps above. Go to the Office Manager > Reports > Management > Referred To Report. I suggest running this monthly.

When you have received confirmation that the treatment has been completed, all you have to do is select the procedure code in the list of treatment planned procedures in the Progress Notes tab on the Patient Chart and click the blue checkmark to set complete. This will mark the procedure complete as Existing Other because it was done at another office and removes it from the treatment plan list.

Follow these easy steps and you will never again lose patients through the cracks. One thing I love about computer documentation is there is always a way to track things.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Take the guess work out of fraud detection

Some of you may have already been a victim of embezzlement in your practice and wonder if it could ever happen again. One the other hand, some of you might have that little voice in the back of your mind telling you that it could happen to you but you have no idea where to even look. What if you could have your own personal spy in your practice management software that would give you a little tap on the shoulder when something looks a little fishy? What if this spy could take the guesswork away from you so you could concentrate on the important things … like taking care of your patients and enjoying your weekend golf game? This is a reality right now. Watch this quick video from my good friend Dr. Don Lewis and find out how his application can give you peace of mind.

For more information go the Dentrix Marketplace

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

What if you could have a smartphone at the office?

If you are using a smartphone for personal use you might have pictures attached to your contacts so when your phone rings you can see exactly who is calling.  What if your office phone system could do that . . . . and more?  While I was speaking at the Business of Dentistry conference recently in Vegas I had a chance to walk through the vendor booths and I was amazed at the new phone system offered by Tech Central through Henry Schein.  Watch this short video and see how this new technology comes to life.  For more information contact your local Henry Schein sales rep or CLICK HERE to be directed to the Tech Central website.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Are you a stickler for accurate numbers?

How often does a patient call and ask, “What is my balance?” If it is a single patient ledger, the answer is relatively simple. But what if a mother of five calls and asks for each of her kid’s balances? Would you be able to answer her while you are on the phone or would you need to call her back after printing off the individual ledgers and manually calculating the patient balances because all personal payments have always been posted to the family or guarantor in your office?

I am a stickler for numbers and, if you are like me, you want your patient balances to be accurate. My office team is trained to not only split payments between providers, but also split payments between patients. If at any time someone wants to know his or her patient balances, we can give it without hesitation.

So how do you do it? It takes a little more management, but it’s worth it.
  1. Posting personal payments
    • All personal payments must be applied to the patient ledger NOT the family ledger.
    • If a personal check needs to be applied to multiple family members, you will need to divide up the payment and apply it to the individual patient balances. This is where you might need to estimate based on an outstanding insurance claim.
    • The computer will allocate the payment correctly to the providers depending on how you have the default payment allocation set up in the Practice Setup. To check how your office payment allocation is set up, go to the Office Manager > Maintenance > Practice Setup > Preferences. In the upper left drop down menu, see what is selected here. You should have one of two choices selected.
      • Split Payment, FIFO – This will pay off the oldest balances first, regardless of open insurance claims.
      • Split Payment, Guarantor/Ins Est – This will split up the payment between providers, taking the insurance claim estimate into consideration. If there are no open claims, it will automatically pay off the oldest balance first.
  2. Posting insurance payments - This process does not change if you are itemizing by procedure when posting insurance payments. The computer will continue to allocate the payments based on how the coverage table has been established in the insurance setup.
  3. Making adjustments to equal out the balances. 
    • If the family balance is 0 but there are patients within the family who have a balance and a credit, then you might need to readjust the payments. This can be done by making a +Transfer Balance adjustment to the patient account with the credit and a –Transfer Balance adjustment to the patient who has the balance. Then reallocate the provider balances by clicking on top toolbar > Transactions > allocate credit balances.
    • If you are making these adjustments to readjust the patient balances, make sure you check the Adjustment Report every month. The +Transfer Balance and the –Transfer Balance should be the same number.

Following these steps will ensure that your provider reports are accurate and your patient balances are always easy to figure out. If you are a numbers person like me, this is a must.