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.