Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Give your scanner a break . . . two ways to eliminate scanning

Does your front office have a basket over flowing with papers with a sign on it that reads “TO BE SCANNED?” No one in the office wants to touch it because it is one of those tedious tasks that no one wants to do … so it just grows and grows. I know how you feel and many practices I work with say that scanning is one of the biggest pain points they deal with every day.

Let’s look at how we could cut that pile of paper in half … but first let’s look at what’s in that pile and how we can deal with it in the electronic world. Some examples of what ends up in that pile of “TO BE SCANNED” paper are . . .
  • Letters from specialists
  • Treatment plan estimates
  • Insurance EOBs and pre-estimates
  • New patient forms
  • Health history updates
  • Consent forms
  •  Letters to/from patients

We can’t really do much with the paper that comes in through the mail because it is already in a paper form. There is not much we can do other than scan it. What I would recommend is reaching out to the people who are sending you paper and see if you can receive electronic correspondence or (even better) see if they can send the letter as an attachment to an email. NOTE: Make sure you are using a HIPAA-compliant email service when you are sending protected patient information.

There are two in-house ways you can eliminate the scanning without adding any additional cost or third-party service.
  1. “Send to the Dentrix Document Center” is the easiest, most efficient way to get a document into the Document Center without scanning. This can be used for anything you receive in an email, off a website (insurance breakdowns, EOBs, etc.) or as an attachment. You can also send all your treatment plan estimates to the Document Center using this feature and then have the patient sign in the Document Center using an electronic signature device. If your referring doctors are still sending their follow up letter in the mail, you can implement a way for them to send it to you via email and now you can send it to the Document Center without scanning. CLICK HERE for instructions on how this works.
  2. Start using the Dentrix Questionnaire module for all in-house forms, including health history updates, all treatment consent forms, financial arrangement forms and updates to your HIPAA acknowledgement. You can use the Questionnaire Module without adding any expense for electronic services … all you will need is a signature pad. You can print out your consent forms and have them laminated so the patient can read them in a paper form. After that, have the patient sign in the Questionnaire or just pull the form up on your monitor for him or her to read. It is so easy. CLICK HERE to learn how to create a new form.

Give your team a break . . . give your scanner a break and save time. Use this time to do more productive things like fill your schedule and improve your collections. 

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.


  1. We use the questionnaire module and the signature pads for our forms now, including our hipaa form. is there a way for Dentrix to track who has signed their hipaa form without looking for it in the questionnaire? Like a box to check somewhere in the family file?

    1. There is not a specific spot for it in the Family File, but I have seen some offices use the drivers license field or the patient note box.
      Thank you,