When I worked in a dental practice, we still had paper charts until 2009 when I helped my practice transition to a paperless environment. This means that we had a ton of treatment sitting in these paper charts that we had to search for manually in order to find patients who were unscheduled. It was an extremely time-consuming process but it is what we had to do in order to keep our doctor’s schedule full.
When you are working in a chartless environment and all your treatment plans are sitting in the computer, you still must follow up with patients who are not scheduled … but the process is much more streamlined. What I love about computer data is that it is all trackable and you can filter it onto a report. I call it “Mining for Gold.”
In Dentrix, there are actually three reports for you to use to track down unscheduled treatment to follow up with patients. I do have a favorite but I will let you decide for yourself what works best in your practice.
- The Unscheduled Treatment Plan Report has been in Dentrix forever and it is what I used back in the olden days. This report gives you information on unscheduled treatment but you have to print it in order to work it and it can be very lengthy. Also, we have to remember that every time we print a report, things will change quickly and then your report is obsolete. To find this report, go to the Office Manager > Reports > Lists > Unscheduled Treatment Plans.
- The Practice Treatment Case Report is also a printed report but you can filter it by very specific data points that you cannot find in other reports. What I like about this report is that you can search for treatment that has been Accepted, Rejected or Proposed if you are marking your cases with this status. This is good information for your doctor to see. In this report, you can also search by the case severity if you are using the stop light feature (for more information on this, CLICK HERE). This report can only be found on the Patient Chart and Treatment Planner modules. Click on the printer icon as if you were printing a treatment plan estimate, but instead click on Practice Treatment Case Report. Then select the parameters you want and click OK.
- The Treatment Manager Report This is by far my favorite report in Dentrix. It offers you a way to search for patients with unscheduled treatment and create your own interactive spreadsheet where you can resort the columns to organize the report any way you want. You also do not have to print this report because everything you need to follow up with the patient is at your fingertips. For more details about using this report, refer to the blog I wrote called “Holes in your Doctor’s Schedule?” and learn more.
“Mining for Gold” is my motto when it comes to looking for patients with unscheduled treatment. You need to be proactive when it comes to following up with patients. You cannot expect them to pick up the phone and call you. Keeping your schedule full is something that requires a little bit of work from you. I hope these report options help make the task a little more efficient.