Saturday, March 12, 2016

Create an environment for efficiency and accuracy with customizing your toolbars

What do I love about Dentrix? I love the fact that you can customize almost anything. I realize that some people think that too many choices leads to confusion and lack of efficiency, but I think the exact opposite. If you can narrow down the choices to exactly what you want in your practice on your monitor, on your reports, on your toolbar, etc., I feel it makes things more precise and streamlined.

I have written a lot of articles on building customized templates, clinical charting button sets, and creating consistent views for the treatment rooms. This systematic type of setup creates an environment where team members thrive on routine and it also creates fewer mistakes. I often hear during training sessions, “What do all these icons do?” or “Do I really need all these icons on my toolbar?” Well . . . the answer is not usually.

In the treatment room workstations, just like you create custom button sets and appointment book views, I would recommend removing several of the icons from the toolbar that your clinical team will never use in the operatory. By cleaning up the toolbars, the eyes have less to scan through which helps make you more efficient. There are two different ways to clean up your toolbars . . .  

The toolbars on the Patient Chart have a drop down menu where you can add and remove items by checking and unchecking. I would recommend setting all the toolbars exactly the same in every treatment room because when the doctor, assistant, or hygienist has to go work in a different room, you want it to look the same. Here are a few icons you could remove (not should, but could) from the toolbars on the Patient Chart. If you decide to remove more than what I have listed, be my guest.

  •  DxWeb – In my last blog, you learned that this runs on only one computer (usually a front office computer) so there is no need for it in the back.
  • DentriXlink – Unless you are bridging a piece of technology (imaging, CT scan, etc) with Dentrix, you will not use this icon in the back.
  • QuickLetters – Most clinical room computers are not equipped with Microsoft Word so this will not work without Word.
  • Send Message – Most clinical room computers are not equipped with Microsoft Outlook so this will not work without using Outlook. Also, you would want to send out any protected patient information using a secure email server.
  • Treatment Manager – This icon will pull up a report on unscheduled treatment. Since this is a managerial report and will require a phone to be handy so you can call the patient, this icon will typically not be used in the clinical room.
  • Marketplace – Even though the Marketplace has some awesome tools that work with your Dentrix software, I hope that the clinical team members are not shopping while they are seeing patients. This can be removed from the clinical room computers.
On all the other modules (Appointment Book, Family File, Ledger, Office Manager), you will need to right click on the empty space on the toolbar to add, remove, and move around the icons. Here are a few recommendations for which workstations should have what on their toolbar.

  • If you are using Perfect Day Scheduling in your practice, then I would make sure that it is turned on the clinical room computers so you can see all the blocks but then remove this icon off the appointment book. I have seen Perfect Day Scheduling get accidentally turned off and then all the blocks disappear off the schedule.
  • The DxWeb icon can be removed from the computers where it does not run every day.
  • The DentriXlink can be removed from the administrative modules if you want.


Keeping your toolbars consistent and clean will create an environment of efficiency and accuracy. Like I said before, “I love how much I can customize Dentrix. It is a wonderful thing!”

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