Monday, March 23, 2015

Thinking of implementing electronic forms? This is a must read


Which one are you … “chartless” or “paperless?” It is interesting when I talk with dental practices how they use these two terms interchangeably. Most people don’t see a difference. But put yourself in the patient’s shoes and there is a huge difference. If your office sends the patient paper forms to fill out before their appointment, sends the patient a PDF attachment of your new patient forms, or if you send your patients to your website where they have to download a PDF form, your office is ”chartless” not “paperless.”

Put yourself in your patients’ shoes and think about how much more convenient it would be if they could click on a link, fill out your forms, and be done with it. Wouldn’t it be even more convenient if the office team could direct an elderly patient’s caregiver or family member to assist in the paperwork? Implementing this type of technology creates a paperless environment and is simple and cost-effective.

When you are ready to go “paperless” and implement electronic forms, there are three things that often get overlooked.
  1. Give your patients options for filling out the forms. My number one option is directing the patient or caregiver to your website. This not only drives traffic to your website so they can see all your services, meet your team, and get directions, but they can fill out the forms from the comfort of their home or work computer. However, there will be circumstances where the patient does not have access to a computer or they forget, so make sure to have plan B available. Plan B is not “give the patient the forms on paper and scan them in.” This is not acceptable. Set up a consult room, check-in station or have a tablet available for the patient to fill out your electronic forms. If the patient does not know how to use a computer, it does not take that long to interview them and fill in the form for them.
  2. Layout your treatment rooms in a way so you have at least one monitor that the patient can view and can be pulled within reading view. Having a monitor within reading distance allows your clinical team to easily review the forms with the patient. Also, this allows you to have your patient read over your consent forms as well.
  3. Don’t forget the electronic signature devices. Since there is no paper, you will need to capture the signature via a signature device, similar to making purchases at a store on a credit card machine. My recommendation is start small with one signature device for every four treatment rooms and one or two at the front desk. Most signature devices are USB so they can be easily moved from room to room similar to a sensor.

Whenever you are implementing a new technology like electronic forms where the patient will be doing the work, make sure your team does a practice run so they can understand the patient experience. The technology needs to be user-friendly. If any of your team members have trouble with the technology, more than likely your patients will too.


Dayna Johnson, Certified Dentrix Trainer
Dayna loves her work. She has over 25 years of experience in the dental industry, and she’s passionate about building efficient, consistent, and secure practice management systems. Dayna knows that your entire day revolves around your practice management software—the better you learn to use it, the more productive and stress-free your office will be. In 2016, Dayna founded Novonee ™, The Premier Dentrix Community, to help cultivate Dentrix super-users all over the country. Learn more from Dayna at www.novonee.com and contact Dayna at dayna@novonee.com.


10 comments:

  1. Is there a Dentrix specialist that we can retain to format/create the forms for us?

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    Replies
    1. Yes, any trainer can help you or I can help you via my online classroom.
      Dayna

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  2. Hi Dayna,

    Are there any specific companies who are partnered with Dentrix that are providing electronic forms and if so who are they?

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    1. Inside your Dentrix software you can use the Questionnaire module to create electronic forms, link them to your website, tablet or kiosk. The Questionnaire module uses the eCentral Website Manager so the forms will merge directly with your Denttrix software. I helped many offices with this integration so if you have more questions reach out to me directly.

      I have heard that Yapi has electronic forms that integrate with Dentrix, however I have not personally used them.

      Hope this helps.
      Dayna

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  3. Hi Dayna,

    We use the questionnaires module extensively. We have a great comprehensive new patient questionnaire set up. We have patients fill out the new patient questionnaire by directing them to our website. Here is the problem and my question. The ident.ws website seems to require software that isn't present on any smart phone, tablet and I think Apple computers. What's going on with this? It's 2015, is Henry Schein ever going to get around to fixing this? Do you know of any other work around for this other than having the patient come in to fill it out on the Kiosk?

    As a separate question. Do you know a quick easy way to reinstall the kiosk ipad app? We're in the middle of restoring one of our ipads and I don't see the app on the app store.

    Thanks,
    Dr. Roberts

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    Replies
    1. Hello Dr. Roberts,

      The ident link does not work on a smartphone yet, however it should work on an Apple laptop. If it doesn't let me know. I will check with the eCentral development team and find out when they are going to release smartphone integration. A workaround could be to use a computer at a public library, work, family member or friend. Then have them come in and use your kiosk.

      The Kiosk is actually not an app, it is a web based software program. You can access it by going to kiosk.ident.com or kiosk1.ident.com and enter your user id and password.

      Hope this helps. As soon as I hear something about smartphones I will post here again.
      Thank you,
      Dayna

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  4. If our Kiosk is an I pad do we still need a separate signature capture pad or can it be done on the I pad itself?

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  5. If we use an I pad as a kiosk do we still require a signature capture pad or can the signature be done directly on the I pad?

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    1. Yes, if you use a Kiosk or an iPad you will still need to capture the signature. Also, you don't want to lock up the form until the clinical team can review it with the patient. Sometimes you will need to add information.
      Hope this helps.
      Dayna

      Delete
  6. What do you recommend for Canadian offices? As Dentrix is still only in G4 and there are no Kiosk, eCentral features. We area hoping that G5 or 6 will be released in Canada soon as we can utilize windows 8 and tablets.

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