Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Top 10 Blog Posts of the Year

Writing the Dentrix Office Manager Blog is one of the most enjoyable things I do in my career.  Helping you all become Dentrix super-users is an honor I do not take lightly.  I get so excited when I receive your emails letting me know how my tips have helped your practice be more successful. 

Here are the top 10 topics you clicked on this year . . .

  1. Electronic signatures . . . a must have for going paperless    Since I wrote the blog on March 23, I have been receiving a lot of questions about integrating electronic signature devices, how they work in Dentrix, and which one I recommend. The good news is that I can answer all these questions and I am excited that the shift toward going paperless is growing.
  2. Oops! What to do when the wrong tooth was posted  Have you had a patient in your chair for his or her 6-month checkup and, while you are perio charting, you notice that the wrong tooth is missing. After further investigation, you realize that the patient was in for an extraction three months ago, but the wrong tooth was set complete. You don’t know what to do, but the tooth chart needs to be fixed.
  3. Someone deleted the entire Batch Processor . . . how do I find all those claims?   Do you ever wonder if all your claims are being sent out? Has the batch been completely deleted and you are worried there were insurance claims on there? Do you want to know what reports to look at to manage your claims? If you answered “yes” to any of these questions . . . read on. 
  4. How can you prepare for the ICD-10 deadline?  The countdown to October 1, 2015 continues as we all wait to see if the implementation of ICD-10 really happens or not. Many of you have been using the ICD-9 code sets when billing medical insurance for procedures like TMJ, sleep apnea, and trauma. However, we are now seeing the use of diagnostic coding in the adoption of EHR and practices that are billing Medicaid. After October 1, we are going to see many more requirements for diagnostic coding. So how can you prepare?
  5. Best Practices for Your Team . . . weekly  Last week, we focused on what was important or the “best practice” for your daily protocol.  Today, we want to move to your weekly systems.  I teach my offices about practicing on the business side of dentistry the same things you preach to your patients in the clinical side of dentistry . . .  “prevention will help keep you out of emergency situations.”  Living in a preventative rather than reactive frame of mind will reap tremendous benefits to your practice.
  6. Top 10 features in Dentrix you are not using   In 2003, my dental practice converted from an archaic DOS-based dental software to the impressive and robust Dentrix practice management software. To say the least, I was completely overwhelmed. Two years later, in 2005, I still felt like I hadn’t even scratched the surface of my new powerful software’s potential so I applied to become a Certified Dentrix Trainer in order to learn everything there was to know about the Dentrix program. What better way to learn than to get a certificate?
  7. Dentrix G6 launch . . . . be amazed!   I had the pleasure of talking with Brad Royer, the Dentrix product manager, about the release of Dentrix G6.  The launch date is scheduled on April 30, 2015 during the California Dental Association meeting.  Stop by the Dentrix booth during CDA to see all of the amazing features but you can watch our interview now to hear about the highlights.
  8. 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."
  9. Stop giving the insurance companies so much power   Will whoever gave the insurance companies the power to do whatever they want please stand? Oh yeah … we did. We have given and continue to give them power when we don’t have proper documentation to justify our treatment plan or confirmation showing that our claims have been received. If we don’t manage our systems properly, we have to do what they tell us to do because we can’t prove anything.
  10. Delta EPO's and Co-Pay plans, how to setup  Lately I have been seeing a few new insurance plans creeping up in the market. In Colorado, I have seen these new “EPO” Delta Dental plans that have a patient co-pay instead of the traditional coverage %. Then, when I was in Washington recently, the office showed me a plan where the patient pays a total dollar amount on certain procedures. These plans sound similar, but the setup is slightly different.

I am looking forward to an amazing 2016.  If you have a topic that you would like me to write about, email me directly at dayna@raedentalmanagement.com


Sunday, December 20, 2015

2016 goal setting and planning . . . add this to your list

This week is filled with office holiday parties, baskets of holiday goodies being delivered from your specialists, and making sure you have your out-of-office emergency messages all set up just in case a patient needs to reach your doctor. When you return back to your office after the holiday, you will be looking ahead to 2016 with setting new goals, mapping out your appointment book for a more stress-free working day, and looking at new strategies to attract new patients. There is one thing I am asking you to add to your list of planning for 2016 … and that is to please bring your office up to HIPAA compliance.

When I am working with an office or providing a complimentary office assessment, I am still amazed at how many practices are out of compliance. You cannot continue to ignore the three requirements that were mandated by the HIPAA Security Rule in 2005. Yes, it has been more than 10 years since the HIPAA Security Rule was mandated and it is still grossly neglected. There are three questions I want you to ask your doctor or office manager.
  1. Where is your office’s risk assessment documented and what is the results?
  2. Where is your office’s customized HIPAA Security Manual?
  3. When is your next annual office HIPAA training scheduled?

If you cannot get the answers to these three questions, you are out of compliance with the HIPAA Security Rule, which could result in your practice receiving a HIPAA violation. I realize you do not hear of many HIPAA violations, but I am trying to protect you. Becoming compliant is not difficult … just get it done.

I have written on this topic many times and preach it with all my clients. CLICK HERE for more information.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

All I want for Christmas is a new iWatch

Is a new iWatch on your Christmas list for this year or are you already wearing your iWatch wondering what to do with it? I have a couple of suggestions for you . . . use it to help you manage your time and patients at your dental practice.

Imagine this . . . what if you could get a little buzz on your wrist from your iWatch letting you know that patient in room #1 is ready for an exam and you could check her medical alerts before you even walk into the room? What if you could then speak a command into your iWatch and it would automatically launch the patient’s most recent pano onto the monitor? Using these new apps designed around the efficiency of the dental practice gets me all excited … and it should you too.

I have learned about two new products specifically designed around the iWatch and helping you manage your time around the operatory. Below you will see a video interview I did on a company I spoke with at a recent dental meeting and a link to another product that I absolutely love. If you are interested in this technology, research both products and schedule a demo to look at each one.
CLICK HERE to check out Simplifeye
CLICK HERE to check out OperaDDS

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Be prepared for Year End

Welcome to December! I always loved December because I would get excited to see how the practice did for the year, how it compared to the previous year, and start setting goals for the next year. It is kinda like “A Christmas Carol” for the dental practice . . . past, present, and future. Hopefully you don’t have too many scary ghosts haunting your office numbers.

I want to help you be as prepared as possible for year end. With that in mind, Dentrix put together a great info sheet for you to reference when the time comes to close out your year. 

CLICK HERE to access the Dentrix Year End info sheet