Monday, July 29, 2013

Top 3 features in Dentrix for HIPAA Privacy and Security

I received an e-mail from an office requesting a copy of the HIPAA Business Agreement that I had offered in a recent blog post, CLICK HERE to view. She also asked me what other steps she should be taking to make sure her office was doing their best to meet HIPAA standards. Here are the top 3 things that I see not being utilized in Dentrix offices that could greatly increase compliance with HIPAA requirements.

1. PHI Protected View in the Treatment Rooms – When I go into an office to do clinical training, one of the first things we do is set up a view for the monitors in the treatment rooms that will help your office meet HIPAA standards. It is so easy, but isn’t done in so many practices. From the Appointment Book click on View > then either select new or F1 and edit > then on the right side of the screen there are several dropdown menus. Make sure line 1 is Name, lines 2-4 is Appt Reason, then lines 5-9 say None. (See image).

2. Set up Administrator and User Passwords Make sure your office is using the Password feature in Dentrix. If you have access to the Dentrix Resource Center Knowledgebase, go to Article #18386 or I can send it to you if you e-mail me at

From the Office Manager, click on Maintenance > Practice Setup > Passwords. If you are setting up passwords for the first time, click Practice Passwords Setup and then select Enable passwords. This will turn it on. If you are updating your team members, click User Password Setup.
Here are my recommendations for security rights within the dental team:
Doctor – If the doctor is the owner of the practice, he or she should have all rights. If the doctor is an associate, he or she should have all rights except the right to clear the audit trail.
Office Manager – The office manager will have to manage the practice in the absence of the doctor. Therefore, she or he should have all rights except to clear the audit trail.
Front Office – The front office team will need to perform most of the duties in the practice. The office manager can delegate these rights based on job description or longevity in the practice. Team members could have all rights except Administrative, Audit Trail Clear, and Time Clock management.
Back Office – The clinical team only needs security rights to perform their job duties. They should not have the rights for Administrative, Audit Trail, Time Clock Management, or deleting anything (appointments, charges, payments, prescriptions, notes, etc)
3.  Mask or Hide SSN# - This is a fairly new feature in Dentrix G4. For a full description of this feature in the Dentrix Resource Center, go to Article #46462 in the Knowledgebase.

Go to the Office Manager > Maintenance > Practice Setup > Preferences. On the right side of the box, check Hide Social Security Number, then in the dropdown menu, select if you want to hide it completely, mask completely, or mask all but the last 4 numbers. This will provide you security in a few areas of Dentrix.

Patient Route Slips – the SSN will be hidden or masked on these papers
Coupon Books – If your office is using coupon books from the Future Due Payment Plans or Payment Agreement features in Dentrix, the SSN will be blocked out.
Chart Labels – If your office is printing chart labels from the Quick Labels, the SSN will be hidden or masked here.

By implementing these three simple processes in your Dentrix system, your office will be more compliant with the ever-changing HIPAA Privacy and Security Rules.

CLICK HERE if your office needs HIPAA training or Risk Analysis

Monday, July 22, 2013

No speak English . . . no worries

Is your practice located in an area with a high concentration of non-English-speaking patients? Do you find it challenging to discuss treatment in a way that they will understand? What happens when they get home and discuss their treatment needs with a spouse or other family member and they have to try and repeat what they were told in the dental practice? Using Dentrix, what if there was a way that you could send the patient home with a treatment plan that was written in his or her native language? Would this help you grow your practice and increase your level of communications with your diverse patient base?

Using Patient Friendly Descriptions in the Treatment Planner can give you the customization you need to better communicate with your patients inside and outside the office. This feature is fully customizable and can be turned on or off with the click of a button.

Open the Patient Chart in the Treatment Plan View or open the Treatment Planner Module. Click on the Settings tab at the lower section of the panel (1) and you will see a button in the middle
of the page that says “Patient Friendly Descriptions.” (2) Click on this and a new window will open. Now you can select the procedure code and, in the white box, type in your customized text. This can be written in Spanish, Russian, German, or whatever language you choose. Continue this with all the procedure codes that your office might present to a patient.

Another feature you can customize in a foreign language is the Treatment Plan Case Note (3). Most offices use this as a disclosure statement and a place where patients can sign that they understand and accept the treatment. If you want to customize the case note in a foreign language, click on the Settings Tab as you did above and then select Note Template. A new window will open where you can add a new case note in Spanish, Russian, German, or your language of choice. The case note then will be attached to the case so it will print at the bottom of the estimate. Select the Supporting Information (4) and, in the drop down menu, select which case note to attach to this case.

When you are ready to present the Treatment Plan and print an estimate, you can select either the English version or the foreign language version of each of the two features above. If this treatment plan is for a non-English-speaking patient, select the correct case note to attach then click on the printer icon. On the right side of the print screen, put a check mark where it says, “Patient Friendly Descriptions.” Now this treatment plan will use your customized descriptions rather than pulling the ADA code descriptions (which patients don’t understand anyway).

In Washington state, we have a lot of seasonal workers who speak Spanish. If the dental offices in Yakima and Wenatchee could provide this kind of specialized service, it would greatly improve the communications with their community. I hope it will help expand your patient relations in your office.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Creating electronic forms . . . video how-to

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!

CLICK HERE for more information on using the Dentrix Questionnaire Module and the New Patient Experience.  Or, CLICK HERE for more information on using the Questionnaire Module for your Health History Updates.