Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Low Stress Year End

No need to get all worked up about Year End,  it happens every month.  Yep you heard me right.  Year end is just like running Month End, there is nothing different you need to do.  Just run your Month End process exactly the same as you always do and you are all good.

The month end process does several things in your system:
  • It puts transactions from the previous month into history.  This means you will no longer be able to edit or delete a completed transaction, payment or adjustment.
  • All your clinical notes for the month are locked up.  So if you have not signed your clinical notes they will get locked up anyway for security purposes.
  • If an insurance plans benefit year starts over this month the maximum used will be reset to 0.

Then, there are some optional things the month end process can accomplish:
  • You can purge old appointments from your schedule.  This is a good idea after a couple years.  I would recommend keeping about 2-3 years worth the data on your appointment book.
  • If you are using the month end wizard you can send billing statements, run certain reports and post finance charges.
  • Also during the month end wizard you can post future due payment plans and assess late fees to your payment agreements.
For more information on reports to run for Year End check out these articles:

CLICK HERE for reports to run
CLICK HERE for more about year end
DOCTORS CLICK HERE to see what reports you need to be watching

I am looking forward to a great 2015!

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

For the Accountant in the practice . . .


We all know how amazing Dentrix is for managing your patient information, charting your patient’s clinical data, and providing you with a mountain of reporting options … but what about going a step further and downloading the numbers directly into your Quickbooks software? I bet you didn’t even know Dentrix could do that, did you? Let me tell you how.

If you have access to the Dentrix Resource Center, you can go directly to Article #22921 and read all about it. However, if that is not an option for you, here are some basic instructions with screen shots. First, go to the Office Manager > Maintenance > Practice Setup > Preferences and click on the Paths tab to check the DXPort path. This is where it will export the information. To set up the export to Quickbooks, you will go to the Office Manager > Analysis > DXPort Setup, then follow the instructions.

After you have successfully exported your Dentrix file, you can import and open it up in Quickbooks. Open Quickbooks for the “Company” the office uses. Choose File > Utilities > Import, then browse to the DentrixAR.IIF file that was exported and double click on it. Click chart of accounts and you should be able to view the figures just imported.

NOTE: If you need more help with importing the DentrixAR.IIF file into Quickbooks, you will need to call Quickbooks because the Dentrix customer service department does not support the Quickbooks program, only the DXPort program.

Using this feature in your Dentrix software could save you time and import more accurate figures for your accountant.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Patient reviews and Family messenging . . . Whoo Hoo!


Electronic correspondence such as e-mail and text messaging has become one of the most sought-after services in the dental offices. I am often asked, “Who do you use for sending e-mails to your patients?” My response is, “I use the Dentrix eCentral program.” What I love about the eCentral program is how much control I have over the customization and it’s integrated with my Dentrix software. Now eCentral has enhanced its product by adding three amazing features.

I know, for me, reviews are extremely important when I am choosing a restaurant or nail salon because I want to know other people’s experiences. The same goes for the dental office and that is why eCentral is now offering reviews as part of the new patient post-appointment survey. Patients submitting a favorable review will be prompted to post their review to Facebook, Google+, and Yelp. Then, in the patient review dashboard, you can see which reviews were automatically posted to your website and add or remove reviews based on a more detailed examination of the content. The dashboard also provides an overview of your practice rating and other useful statistics.

One of the questions I would get from practices is, “How can we just send mom one message for all the kids’ appointments?” In the past, I would have to regretfully say it wasn’t an option, but now, thanks to all your requests, the development team has made it a reality. This will definitely eliminate a lot of the confusion with multiple reminders for multiple family members and the entire family can be confirmed with just one reply. Whoo-hoo!

People are using their mobile phones more and more as their only source of communication so Dentrix eCentral has optimized the e-mail reminder to be more mobile-friendly. It is easier to read and interact with the reminder with a mobile device.


I am extremely excited to announce to you these new feature enhancements. Since I am no longer working in a practice, I will have to live vicariously through you to enjoy these new features. Enjoy!

For more information on the eCentral suite of services, CLICKHERE

 

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Let's do some goal setting for 2015


What’s on your agenda for December?  Decorating the office for the upcoming holidays, getting the thank you cards out to your referring doctors, or how about planning for 2015?  My vote is to do some goal setting for 2015 and let your Dentrix software help you.  Set up a meeting with your doctor, accountant or financial advisor for the practice and set your office goals for production, collection and new patients, then enter these goals in Dentrix so you can easily track your numbers.

There are a couple of places in Dentrix to help you manage your goals for the practice.  First, let’s set up your production goals so you can watch them on the appointment book and schedule appropriately.  Go to the Office Manager > Analysis > Practice > Setup > Goals, this is where you can enter your provider production goals for each month.  If your doctor has given you the daily goal, just multiply this by the total number of days worked to get the monthly goal.  Click on the >> next to the provider and select the first provider to enter goals for, then click on Read Selected Goals and it will list any goals you have already entered. If this is for a new year, it will be empty.  Then click Add and select 1 for January, 2 for February, and so on.

Next, go to the appointment book and click on View > edit or new > add in the providers you have entered goals for in the upper left area and click on View Amount. This will show you how much scheduled production you have on your books for that day.  Back on the appointment book, click on the monthly calendar in the upper left and click on Scheduled Production. Here you can see your scheduled production, monthly goal you just entered, and the variance.  This is simple way to track your monthly production goal.

Another place these production goals show up is the Daily Huddle Report.  This report is amazing!  Here are other blog posts on the Daily Huddle Report:

Once you have your goals for production, collection and new patients, you can enter these as benchmarks for the Practice Advisor Report.  This report will give you a more comprehensive analysis of your numbers and give you some guidelines if you need to improve your office stats.  To enter your goals into the Practice Advisor Report, go to the Office Manager > Analysis > Practice Advisor > Practice Advisor Setup > Benchmarks Setup >. To enter your benchmarks, give a range for each category with your office goal being somewhere in the middle.  For example, if your total office production goal is $100k, then your benchmark would be $90k - $110k.  

Continue entering in the benchmarks for your practice and then use the Practice Advisor Report as a monthly monitoring tool.  For more information on this report, click the links below for other blog posts.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Food . . . Family . . . Football

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday of the year.  It is not about the presents but spending time with the people you love, eating great food and above all yelling at the TV for your favorite football team.  This year is especially amazing because it is our first Thanksgiving in our new home in Colorado.  My family is flying in on Wednesday night and Kevin's family is flying in on Thursday.  Then Thursday evening it is the big rivalry between my Seattle Seahawks and the San Francisco 49ers.

I hope you enjoy your Thanksgiving day with great food, amazing friends, fantastic family and of course fun football. 

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

What works best for you . . . with treatment planning


This time of year is busy with new Dentrix installs. Teaching new teams is very exciting for me because I get to show off all the amazing features Dentrix has to offer. However, when I am teaching a new team, I find it important to show them there are multiple ways to accomplish the same task. Some people love dropdown menus, some people love the icons, and some are those I call “the right clickers.” People ask me what way is best and my recommendation is, “What works best for you J.” The same goes for entering in a treatment plan for the patient. There are three ways you can enter a treatment plan, but each way has a couple different features so pick the one that “works best for you J.”
  • Patient Appointment – If you open the patient’s appointment and click on the TX/ADD TX button, then it opens a new window where you can add procedures to the patient’s treatment plan. This is usually a quick way to add something to the appointment. If you add a treatment planned procedure here, it will show up in the patient chart.
  • Ledger – If you didn’t know already, the ledger had two pages — the actual ledger page and the treatment plan page. You can switch to the Treatment Plan page two ways — click on the icon at the menu or click on Options > Treatment Plan. You can also change the background color of the treatment plan page so you don’t get it confused with the actual ledger page (go to File > Set Ledger Colors and select your color for the Treatment Plan background). The treatment plan page is also where you would batch up a pre-estimate to send to the insurance company. For more information on managing your pre-estimates, CLICK HERE.
  • Patient Chart – The first two options are typically used with the admin team. However, when I was working in a practice as a treatment coordinator, I loved using the patient chart. I like the visualization of the tooth chart and being able to organize the treatment plan into priorities so the team knows what is first. In the patient chart, you can also rename the cases, accept treatment, reject treatment, and print the patient a treatment plan estimate. For more information on Treatment Plan management, CLICK HERE.

All three of these options for entering treatment will work beautifully. Each one just has slightly different features but all link to the patient tooth chart. Happy treatment planning!

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Your patients need training just like your pets do


Ever since I was a little girl, my life has been filled with the joy of having cats, dogs, and birds as pets … but with this joy comes a lot of training, stern discipline, and rewards for behavior. Most of my pets have come from rescue shelters or from friends, and that means they walk into my life with bad habits or behaviors that just aren’t going to fly in my house. When we commit to bring a new pet into our lives, we also take on the commitment of training.

You might be thinking, “How does this relate to the dental practice?” I believe that training our pets is exactly like training our patients.    Click Here to continue reading . . .

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Show off your Value-Added Services


Do your patients know all that you do for them? Do they know that you are providing potentially life-saving procedures such as oral cancer screening, blood pressure checks, nutritional counseling, and smoking cessation recommendations? These are all value-added services that you perform every day. If you are neglecting to broadcast these value-added services to your patients, you are missing out on a huge marketing opportunity.

Most of these value-added services have an ADA procedure code, but some things you do might not. In this case, you can create an in-office code. For example, if you take Diagnodent readings, this is a value-added service where there is no valid ADA code. You can very easily create your own procedure code in Dentrix by going to the Office Manager > Maintenance > Practice Setup > Procedure Code Setup, then click new and fill in the blanks. See the image below for an example.

After you have created your in-office codes for non-billable, value-added services, then you can create a multi-code that will easily post to the ledger so your patients can see it on their walkout or billing statement. My recommendation would be to create a multi-code for your NP exam and recare exam to include all these services. The NP Exam multi-code, for example, could list D0150 and all your non-billable procedures to create an unbelievable comprehensive visit. Below is an example.

The final step to make this even more efficient for your office is to add this new multi-code into the Appointment Reasons box and add it to the appointment. Go to the Office Manager > Maintenance > Practice Setup > Definitions, then click on the drop down menu and select Appointment Reasons. For the NP exam multi-code, you could add it as a new one or change the D0150 to your NP exam multi-code. Below is an example.


When you generate a walkout statement for patients after their NP exam, they will see listed all the value-added services you and your team performed today. This will help to create a “wow factor” in your patient’s mind and help him or her to know the excellent care you provide.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Do you know how many patients are leaving your practice?


Before I start working with a practice, the first thing I do is an assessment of their systems so I can get an idea of what they are using and not using. I also look at several reports and evaluate the numbers so I can review them with the doctor to see what needs improving and what is working well.

One of the numbers I always want to improve is increasing the number of patients that pre-schedule their next recare visit. During a recent consultation, I talked to a dentist about this and how we could get his office’s number higher. His response was, “No one leaves my office without their next appointment scheduled.” However, when we reviewed the numbers together, he realized that only 66% of his hygiene patients were pre-scheduling … much lower than he had thought. Also, the patient retention number was extremely low as well. At that moment, he knew that there was a bigger priority than electronic signature pads.

What exactly is patient retention? If you have a patient retention of 80%, you are losing 20% of your patient base each month either to moving out of state, changing dentists, or just not coming in for other reasons.  

How do you find your patient retention? I’m glad you asked. You can find this number on the Practice Advisor Report. From the Office Manager, go to the Analysis > Practice Advisor > Practice Advisor Report then it will open up the settings for the report. I would select the last day of the previous month for the date range and make sure in the Continuing Care section you highlight the continuing care types associated with your hygiene visits (Prophy, Perio). There are other settings that can go along with this report, but for this blog we are focusing on the patient retention and Continuing Care statistics. Click Preview and forward to the Continuing Care page.   The first line is the patient retention and the third line is the number of patients who pre-schedule their hygiene visit.

 

How can you increase these numbers? 

CLICK HERE to read “Does your hygiene need a boost?”  

CLICK HERE to read “Keep your hygiene room full” (read all three parts)

 

 

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Do you know Dentrix as well as you think you do?

When my office converted to Dentrix in 2003, I wanted to learn as much about Dentrix as I possibly could. When the opportunity came in to become a certified trainer, I thought, "What better way for me to learn more about the Dentrix software?" Now there is a program available for anyone who works in a dental practice to receive a certificate of knowledge. For more information, watch my video interview with Matt Singerman from Henry Schein with details about this amazing new program.



CLICK HERE for more information on the Dentrix Mastery Tracks

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Do you treat patients over the age of 65?


Does your practice treat patients that are over the age of 65? If you do, you have a deadline to meet. On June 1, 2015 Medicare is going to get all up in your business and you better be prepared because if you have ever dealt with government paperwork, you know it can be a long process.

Now you might be thinking, “We don’t bill Medicare so how will this affect me?” Well, if you write prescriptions to patients who have Medicare Part D prescription coverage, these prescriptions will not be covered. If you perform a Medicare covered service (such as biopsies, CT scans, some TMJ services, and airway appliances), these services will be denied and you will not be able to bill the patient. This is how Medicare will affect you and your patients.

What you need to know . . .

You have three choices when it comes to deciding which way your office is going go with the June 1st deadline.
  1. You can enroll as a Medicare provider. If you choose this path, your office will be required to comply with all Medicare regulations, including the fee schedules.
  2. You can opt-out as a Medicare provider. If you choose this, you will be required to fill out an affidavit every two years to keep it current and you will be required to enter an opt-out contract with each Medicare covered patient you treat in your practice.
  3. You can choose to be an ordering/referral provider if your office does not perform any Medicare-covered procedures or prescribe medication but you may refer to doctors that do.

The path will be different for each office so I am going to give you some resources so you can do some research and find out which path is best for your office. Also, if you are looking for advice on what is best for you, I am providing two amazing industry leaders in this topic you can contact.
CLICK HERE for enrollment

For one-on-one coaching on this topic:

Teresa Duncan
 teresa@odysseymgmt.com

Terri Bradley
Info@terribradleyconsulting.com

Christine Taxin
Ctaxin@links2success.biz

 


 

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

A Gentle Reminder

I talk a lot about how to customized your Dentrix software to make it personal and create that "WOW" factor that your patients will remember.  Sometimes we need to remind our patients of our office policies and a verbal reminder is just not enough.  In today's blog I want to show you how to add a special message onto the appointment card labels.  Some examples might be:
  • We kindly request 24 hours notice to reschedule your appointment
  • Please give us 24 hours notice if you wish to change your appointment
  • YOU WILL BE CHARGED $100 IF YOU CHANGE YOUR APPOINTMENT (just kidding . . . I would never use this one)
  • Please remember to take your pre-med before your appointment
In the video below I have demonstrated how to create a custom label and add a line of text to the already existing default appointment label. Since my recording software is having audio issues you will have to watch it like those old silent movies.  Enjoy!

 
 
NOTE:  The Quick Labels work best with the Dymo Label printers

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Tis the Season


Tis the season . . . no, I don’t mean it is Christmas (but it sure is getting close). Tis the season for sending out your unused insurance benefits letter to patients with unscheduled treatment. I know you all are working your Treatment Manager report on a regular basis and making follow-up calls to patients, but I also know that sometimes a letter or postcard can smack your patients in the face and get them to take some action.

This is my reminder to you to kick it in high gear and schedule patients for their treatment before their benefits run out at the end of December. You could potentially send this letter out a couple times a year since insurance plans like the school districts renew in October or July.

Since I have written on this topic every year, I am going to point you back to the articles so you don’t have to do a search.

                CLICKHERE to read “Don’t let unused insurance benefits go to waste.”

                CLICKHERE to read “Unscheduled treatment . . . the urgency is now.”

                CLICKHERE to read “Send letters that make an impact”

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Keep Your Schedule Full Like a Pro


My two favorite seasons of the year are spring and fall. The spring is when all the flowers are
starting to bud and show their beautiful colors. In the fall, the trees start to show off their amazing reds and golds. There is something else that happens during these seasons and that is the DentrixInsight Seminars. During these seminars, one of my favorite things to do is give away prizes.

One of the rewards for someone is if they can name the four reports to keeping the schedule full. Most of the time I have to drop little hints so that someone can win the prize. Since we are coming up on InsightSeminar season, I thought I would review these four reports. Read carefully and, if you are in one of my classes, you might just win the prize. J
  1. ASAP List – This is your first “go to” list for filling the schedule. The way to build this list is to ask all patients, “If I get an opening sooner, would you like me to call you?” If the patient says “yes,” then change the option in the appointment drop down menu under Schedule to ASAP. To read more about the ASAP List, CLICK HERE.
  2. Unscheduled List – Your next line of fire is the Unscheduled List. These are patients who have already been on your schedule or they need an appointment now so usually they just need a phone call from you to call them back in. There are two ways to add someone to the Unscheduled List … using the Wait/Will Call button in the appointment or to Break the appointment. To read more about the Unscheduled List, CLICK HERE.
  3. Continuing Care Report – When you are looking for patients who are past due for their regular hygiene visit, this is your next go to list. This list can be customized to search for patients who are current or way past due. You can also search for Prophy, Perio, X-rays, exams, ortho, or other specialized continuing care type that you have set up in your practice. I would create some custom report parameters so that you can easily create a customized list for what type of appointment you need to fill your schedule. For more information on the Continuing Care Report, CLICK HERE.
  4. Treatment Manager Report – This is probably my favorite report in Dentrix because it is a gold mine. The goal of this report is to find patients who have unscheduled treatment . . . this is your chart audit. You can use this report to fill the doctor’s schedule or the hygiene schedule. I would definitely work this report into your regular routine at least once a week. To read more about the Treatment Manager Report, CLICKHERE.

Remember all of these reports should be part of your regular weekly tasks to managing your schedule and making sure you have a consistent protocol for documenting your phone conversations with patients. My recommendation is to use the Office Journal so your entire front office team will know where to find all administrative notes.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Top 3 features of G6

Today I am talking with Brad Royer, the Dentrix Product Manager, about the top three features of G6 that is currently in beta test.  The Dentrix G6 update is chock full of amazing features that you have been asking for.  Brad is looking for current Dentrix users who would like to participate as beta testers.  He will be taking requests until the end of 2014 ... so if you want to be involved, you should act fast.  You can contact Brad at brad.royer@henryschein.com.



Tuesday, August 19, 2014

"Can you write me an excuse note for school?"


I was at the mall yesterday shopping for some curtains for my mom’s new condo and the mall was bustling with kids shopping for back to school clothes, shoes, and backpacks. When I was working in a practice, we had a middle school directly across the street from our office and kids would walk over from school for their dental appointments. Since these kids were usually not with their parents, we would write them a note to take back to school so they could receive an excused absence. For a long time, our office would photocopy the excuse notes and write the name and date of the appointment on the note. Then I got smart . . . I added a new Quick Letter so all we had to do was click on the appointment, open Quick Letters, highlight the excuse note, and click print. My team thought this was the coolest thing ever!

So how can you do this? First, go to the Office Manager > Maintenance > Practice Setup > Preferences and then click on the Paths tab. Look at the Letter Template path and click on Open Folder. This is the location where you need to save your new letter so the Quick Letters can find it. If you look through this list of letters, you will find a document called dtxlm99.doc. Right click and open it. This document contains all the merge fields that are available to create a new letter.

Now let’s create your letter. Since you already have Microsoft Word open, click on new document to open a blank page. The excuse note doesn’t have to be long and drawn out, it can be short and sweet. Maybe something like this:

Please excuse <First Name> <Last Name> from school/work. <First Name> had

a scheduled dental appointment on <Appt Date> with

Amazing Smiles Dental. If you have any further questions, please don’t

hesitate to call.

You can see the merge fields in the letter. There are two different appointment dates you could use, <Appt_Date>  which pulls today’s appointment date if it has not been set complete or <Last Visit> which pulls today’s appointment date if it has been set complete.  You need to select the correct merge field depending on how your appointments get set complete.  These merge fields can be copied and pasted into your excuse letter from that dtxlm99.doc letter that you opened. When you are ready to save your letter, make sure you save it in the Letter Template Path from above. The letter name cannot have more than seven characters, so my recommendation would be excuse.doc.

Now back in Dentrix, open Quick Letters and let’s add your new letter to the list. Click on New. Enter the description of this letter on the first line and the letter file name on the second line. Click OK, then open template to make sure Quick Letters can find the letter. You are now ready to use your new, custom excuse note for patients.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Top 5 products from the Business of Dentistry Conference


Now that I am all caught up on my emails and voicemail messages after being in Las Vegas for the Dentrix Business of DentistryConference, I can fill you in on some of the new and exciting products I saw over the weekend. Since I was teaching six classes while I was there, launching my own awesome product (see below), and talking with the vendors, I had an opportunity to see and hear what dental offices are asking for. With that in mind, here are my top five new products I saw at the Business of DentistryConference and I want you to know about.
  1. The PPO Analyzer for Dentrix – Not because it is my product, but it generates the most beneficial reports you can have if your office is using fee schedules in Dentrix … and it is such a great value, priced at only $300. If you are looking for statistics on your PPO patients to help you make better decisions on your PPO plans, then this is a must-have for your practice. For more information, CLICK HERE.
  2. Practice Safeguard – Are you ready to see financial security as it should be? Practice SafeGuard is a web service for doctors that alerts you to problematic ledger entries the moment they’re submitted. At the same time, it rolls your financial history into real-time business trends and performance metrics. For more information, CLICK HERE
    ·         Prevent potential issues with 24×7 monitoring and instant transaction alerts
    ·         Understand and respond to threats with issue explanations and recommendations
    ·         Drill into entry details and log your actions for documentation
    ·         Slice and dice your financial data with flexible analytics–premium users
    ·         Schedule reports to hit any inbox at any frequency–premium users

  3. Text2Floss – What if you received a text message that said, “Did you floss yesterday?” Would you dig through your purse or glove box and look for that floss kit you just got from your dentist? This new app will do just that and so much more. For more information, CLICK HERE
  4. ImageRamp for Dentrix – Are you looking for a streamlined way to scan into the Dentrix Document Center, organize your documents better, and be able to enter more detailed notes? This new product allows you to enter the document information in one place using easy-to-use dropdown menus. Also, if you need to create a new folder, you can do it without having to add it into Dentrix first. For more information, CLICK HERE
  5. RecordLinc – In an age of HIPAA compliance, the dental office is constantly looking for secure ways of sharing information between their patients and other healthcare providers. RecordLinc is a powerful, easy-to-use, and secure web-based portal where dentists can upload and share their patients' X-rays and related records when they refer their patients to specialists such as orthodontists, oral and maxillofacial surgeons, and endodontists. The system links dentists and specialists together in a virtual team environment that supports real-time case planning and ongoing collaboration through online study clubs. RecordLinc is a platform that provides a consistent means of coordinating multidisciplinary patient cases by consolidating the history of work effort on each patient into a single, centralized location. RecordLinc provides a history of collaborative patient care from start to finish and allows users to access X-rays and related records. RecordLinc provides a means to create notes that are shared across various disciplines involved in the care of the patient. For more information, CLICK HERE

I hope to see you all at the Business of Dentistry next year!

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Is it Global or Workstation specific?


Do you wonder why if you run statements from one computer you don’t get the same result if you run them from another computer?  Or why a patient chart looks one way on one workstation and completely different on another?  This is because some settings are global and some settings are workstation specific.  Today, I am going to break down for you what is workstation specific and teach you how to create some consistency in your office.  This article assumes you have Dentrix G3 or higher installed.
Office Manager
  • Practice Defaults – Office Manager > Maintenance > Practice Setup > Practice Defaults. Everything here is workstation specific, except the default Insurance Claim Provider. This is a global setting.
  • Print Setup – Office Manager > File > Print Setup. You can select a different printer per workstation.
  • Report Fonts – Office Manager > Maintenance > Practice Setup > Report Fonts. If you want a special font or want the reports bigger, this is how you can set it up your way.
  • Preferences – Office Manager > Maintenance > Practice Setup > Preferences. Here is what is workstation specific:
    • Show close messages
    • Startup Options
    • Additional Options
    • Default Signature on File for New Subscribers
    • Print Options
  • Billing Statement Setup – Office Manager > Reports > Billing. What I would recommend here is once you have the setup and the check boxes the way you want them, make a screen shot (ALT-PRNT SCRN) of it and save it to a Word document so you can reference back to it if the setup gets lost or you want to setup a different workstation.
  • Prescription Setup – Office Manager > Maintenance > Practice Setup > Prescription Setup. The prescriptions are global but the printer and print setup are workstation specific. 
  • Electronic Claims – Office Manager > Maintenance > Practice Setup > Electronic Claims Setup. You must set up each workstation individually.
  • Electronic Billing Setup – Office Manager > Maintenance > Practice Setup > Electronic Billing Setup. You must setup each workstation individually.

Patient Chart
  • Procedure Buttons – Setup > Procedure Buttons. You can create a button set and save it.  Then at each workstation you can select the button set from the drop down menu.  FYI . . . always make sure you SAVE your buttons if you make any changes and do not have more than one workstation editing buttons at the same time. 
  • Colors – Setup > Chart Display Setup. You can create a custom color scheme and give it a name just like with the buttons.  Then in each room, you can select the color scheme from the drop down menu.  FYI . . . a lighter blue background (blue sky) usually works better because the contrast between the completed work and lighter blue background is more clear.
  • Perio Setup – Perio Chart > Setup > Entry Settings Setup. This is where you can create a custom script.  For more information on creating a custom script, CLICK HERE.
  • Perio Setup – Perio Chart > Setup > Perio Display Setup. This is where you can set colors, red flag limit, etc.  Just like the chart colors, you can save the theme with a name and then select it from the drop down menu from other workstations.

Appointment Book
  • Background Colors -  Appointment Book > Setup > Practice Appointment Setup. Then you can change the open and closed colors.
  • Views – Appointment Book > View > If you have never setup a custom view, click on New. If you want to change your view, click Edit. Each new view correlates to the function keys on your keyboard.  My recommendation for the treatment room is to create a view that protects patient information, then to match it up to the F1 key so if the view gets changed, you can easily hit the F1 key to bring it back.
  • Flip Tabs – Appointment Book > Setup > Flip Tabs. Then you can create up to four quick tabs on the right side of your appointment book to jump you to a certain date.
  • Hover Setup  - (G4 PP7 and newer) Appointment Book > Setup > Practice Appointment Setup, then click on the Hover Detail Setup.  You can slow the Hover down, edit what shows in the Hover or disable it completely.

Ledger
  • Checkout Options – Ledger > File > Fast Checkout Options. You can customize this for your workstation.
  • View – Ledger > File > Ledger Colors Setup. You can create your own color scheme.

In all of the Dentrix modules, you have the option to add or remove any of the icons from the toolbar so you can customize each toolbar. You can add spaces to spread them out or move them to a different location. If more than one person uses your workstation, however make sure you both agree on the customization. 

Anything that is not on this list is more than likely a global setting. My recommendation is to have someone in the office, either the doctor or office manager, who has rights to edit, add or change the global settings.  If you are using passwords, you can password protect some of these global settings.

Is it Global or Workstation specific?


Do you wonder why if you run statements from one computer you don’t get the same result if you run them from another computer?  Or why a patient chart looks one way on one workstation and completely different on another?  This is because some settings are global and some settings are workstation specific.  Today, I am going to break down for you what is workstation specific and teach you how to create some consistency in your office.  This article assumes you have Dentrix G3 or higher installed.
Office Manager
  • Practice Defaults – Office Manager > Maintenance > Practice Setup > Practice Defaults. Everything here is workstation specific, except the default Insurance Claim Provider. This is a global setting.
  • Print Setup – Office Manager > File > Print Setup. You can select a different printer per workstation.
  • Report Fonts – Office Manager > Maintenance > Practice Setup > Report Fonts. If you want a special font or want the reports bigger, this is how you can set it up your way.
  • Preferences – Office Manager > Maintenance > Practice Setup > Preferences. Here is what is workstation specific:
    • Show close messages
    • Startup Options
    • Additional Options
    • Default Signature on File for New Subscribers
    • Print Options
  • Billing Statement Setup – Office Manager > Reports > Billing. What I would recommend here is once you have the setup and the check boxes the way you want them, make a screen shot (ALT-PRNT SCRN) of it and save it to a Word document so you can reference back to it if the setup gets lost or you want to setup a different workstation.
  • Prescription Setup – Office Manager > Maintenance > Practice Setup > Prescription Setup. The prescriptions are global but the printer and print setup are workstation specific. 
  • Electronic Claims – Office Manager > Maintenance > Practice Setup > Electronic Claims Setup. You must set up each workstation individually.
  • Electronic Billing Setup – Office Manager > Maintenance > Practice Setup > Electronic Billing Setup. You must setup each workstation individually.

Patient Chart
  • Procedure Buttons – Setup > Procedure Buttons. You can create a button set and save it.  Then at each workstation you can select the button set from the drop down menu.  FYI . . . always make sure you SAVE your buttons if you make any changes and do not have more than one workstation editing buttons at the same time. 
  • Colors – Setup > Chart Display Setup. You can create a custom color scheme and give it a name just like with the buttons.  Then in each room, you can select the color scheme from the drop down menu.  FYI . . . a lighter blue background (blue sky) usually works better because the contrast between the completed work and lighter blue background is more clear.
  • Perio Setup – Perio Chart > Setup > Entry Settings Setup. This is where you can create a custom script.  For more information on creating a custom script, CLICK HERE.
  • Perio Setup – Perio Chart > Setup > Perio Display Setup. This is where you can set colors, red flag limit, etc.  Just like the chart colors, you can save the theme with a name and then select it from the drop down menu from other workstations.

Appointment Book
  • Background Colors -  Appointment Book > Setup > Practice Appointment Setup. Then you can change the open and closed colors.
  • Views – Appointment Book > View > If you have never setup a custom view, click on New. If you want to change your view, click Edit. Each new view correlates to the function keys on your keyboard.  My recommendation for the treatment room is to create a view that will assist with a HIPAA compliant schedule, then to match it up to the F1 key so if the view gets changed, you can easily hit the F1 key to bring it back.
  • Flip Tabs – Appointment Book > Setup > Flip Tabs. Then you can create up to four quick tabs on the right side of your appointment book to jump you to a certain date.
  • Hover Setup  - (G4 PP7 and newer) Appointment Book > Setup > Practice Appointment Setup, then click on the Hover Detail Setup.  You can slow the Hover down, edit what shows in the Hover or disable it completely.

Ledger
  • Checkout Options – Ledger > File > Fast Checkout Options. You can customize this for your workstation.
  • View – Ledger > File > Ledger Colors Setup. You can create your own color scheme.

·         Finance and Late Charges – Ledger > Month End > Apply Finance Charges or Apply Late Charges, then enter your settings.


In all of the Dentrix modules, you have the option to add or remove any of the icons from the toolbar so you can customize each toolbar. You can add spaces to spread them out or move them to a different location. If more than one person uses your workstation, however make sure you both agree on the customization. J

Anything that is not on this list is more than likely a global setting. My recommendation is to have someone in the office, either the doctor or office manager, who has rights to edit, add or change the global settings.  If you are using passwords, you can password protect some of these global settings.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Your new title . . . appointment book architect


Did you know there was a hierarchy order when you are setting up the practice appointment book? What if you have a hygienist who comes in at 10 every morning but the rest of the office starts at 8? How can you set up her treatment room for her schedule? Here are the three tiers of setup for your appointment book. Start with the first and work your way down for optimal success.

Practice Setup – This is the default hours for the entire practice. Even if you only work a couple Fridays each month, make sure you include Fridays in this setup. From the appointment book, click on Setup > Practice Appointment Setup, then, on the left side, click on each day the office is open and enter in the hours for the day, leaving time for the lunch break.  After you have setup the default hours and days you can click back into Setup > Practice Schedule and close certain days or set a day as a holiday.


Provider Setup – This is the default hours for each of your producing providers. If you have other providers in your system, make sure all their days are unchecked. This will make sure your Practice Advisor Report is as accurate as possible. For more information on the Practice Advisor Report, CLICK HERE. From the Appointment Book, click on Setup > Provider Setup > Setup and click on each day this provider might work (even if he or she only works every other Friday, make sure you click on Fridays). Then enter the hours each day this provider works. If you need to change the hours for a particular day in this provider’s schedule, select Schedule and double click on the day you want to edit. If this provider is taking a vacation day, click the Schedule tab again, select the day, and click on Options at the top and “Set as Vacation Day.”

Operatory Setup – The last place where you can edit the office hours is in the Operatory Setup. This will alter the default Practice Setup just for this particular treatment room and give you a visual of open and closed times. From the Appointment Book, click on Setup > Operatory Setup, then select the treatment room you want to edit and enter the hours for this treatment room. You can also right click on the top of the Operatory Name on the schedule to open this menu.

Having your office, provider, and treatment room hours set up properly will ensure that other reports that calculate hours are working properly. Also, when you have the provider hours correctly entered, the team will receive warning messages that can help alleviate scheduling mistakes. What I like the most is the Operatory Setup because this is a way you can visually alter the treatment room hours. This really helps with scheduling.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Create more cash flow


One of my favorite and most challenging jobs I ever held in the dental practice was Financial Coordinator. Not only was I responsible for maintaining a healthy Accounts Receivable, but also creating financial systems that were effective, efficient, and manageable. After working in the dental practice for more than 20 years, I am super excited to now teach these systems to you.

If you and your team will be attending The Business of Dentistry Conference this year, I will be teaching some of the systems I developed and have implemented into many dental practices. If you want a sneak peak into the courses I will be teaching, keep reading.
 
 

Even out the cash flow
Do you dread the day that you have to run statements? The mountain of paper that sits on your desk for three to four days while you sort through it, piece by piece, writing personalized messages or stamping a page with color-coded stickers to draw attention to the fact that the balance is past due. On top of that, the entire following week is spent fielding phone calls from patients with questions about their bills. Sound familiar? What if you could do away with this archaic routine? Well, listen closely … because I am about to tell you how. CLICK HERE to continue reading

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! CLICK HERE to continue reading

The Business of Dentistry Conference is only a month away and it is not too late to join me in my two classes and register for some of the other amazing learning opportunities that are available. CLICK HERE to be directed to the registration page.

 

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

ePrescribe . . . eKnowledge . . . eAccess . . . EHR


Our dental world is slowly changing from a world of pens and paper to a world of clicking and typing. Until now, the only state to mandate Electronic Health Records (EHRs) is Minnesota. However, many states will be following in its footsteps in the very near future. Having a paperless chart is more than just typing in the clinical notes or painting pictures on the tooth chart. It is about being able to coordinate your patient care with other providers and sharing information within the medical and dental communities. Even though this accessibility of patient information is still evolving, we as dental providers can start using what we have available right now.
Dentrix has partnered with Allscripts® to bring you electronic prescriptions. Being able to partner with your patient’s pharmacist will give you the ability to know potentially dangerous drug-to-drug interactions, drug allergies, dosage errors, and other problems that can occur with written or phoned-in prescriptions. This is what EHR is all about. Providing better patient care is why we do what we do.

If you have read any of my other blogs about going paperless, you know how much I stress efficiency. With ePrescribe, there are many features to create more efficiency.
  • Speed the medication process when you send and track electronic prescriptions with any participating pharmacy
  • Provide a seamless patient experience when you store pharmacy favorites by practice or patient for automatic prescription fulfillment before the patient leaves your office
  • Improve patient safety with automatic drug interaction checking, dosage checks, adverse reaction checks, and duplicate therapy checks
  • Access any information reported through the Surescripts network by other providers
  • Simplify prescription renewals by receiving and managing refill requests from pharmacies online, with accessible patient medication history

ePrescribe is available now in all but four states (Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and Montana). There is no download or hardware required. It is a subscription model that is a web-based solution for your practice to send prescriptions electronically to retail and mail order pharmacies directly from Dentrix. The only requirement within Dentrix is that you must enable secure passwords to use it and be using Dentrix G5 or later.

CLICK HERE for more information or if you are using G5 click on the ePrescribe icon on the toolbar.

CLICK HERE if your office needs HIPAA training or a Risk Analysis.