Monday, January 23, 2017

Keeping track of your patients medical alerts can be a little tricky

Keeping track of your patient’s medical alerts can be a tricky thing. There is a big difference between legal documentation and just keeping your team informed about current issues. In your Dentrix software, there are many places you can keep tabs on the specifics … but there are also many differences in how, where and why you would use all these different places. Let me break it down for you so you can make informed decisions on what is best for your practice.
  • Medical Alerts – This is the + icon that turns from white to red when you enter something in this list. You can have up to 64 things in this list and the list can be edited from the Definitions. In Dentrix G5.2, I think Dentrix added a note box so you could add more details about allergies and other generic medical conditions like cancer. Use this section as a visual aide for your team to see at a glance if there are any medical alerts you should be worried about. However, do not use it as a legal health history update. The Medical Alerts cannot be date stamped or signed for security.
  • Patient Alerts – Many offices will use the “pop-ups” as a way to keep the team informed about the patients’ medical conditions, allergies and medications. Just like the Medical Alerts (red plus), the Patient Alerts cannot be date stamped or signed for security purposes. The alerts could easily be deleted by a team member accidently so this is a good place for visual reminders but not a good place for secure, legal documentation.
  • Patient Notes– The reason I am putting this in here is not that I am recommending it. It is that I see many offices using this note as a place for medical conditions and I want you to know it is also not one of my recommended places for secure medical information. The Patient Note is also a good visual because it will print on the Route Slip. However, just like the previous two places above, it is not a secure, legal place for health history documentation.

It’s good to have these quick visual icons and pop-ups to make sure your team is prepared to take care of your patients before they sit them down in the treatment room. However, these quick visual icons are not enough for complete medical documentation. In this world of risk management, it is important to protect your documentation as much as possible.

In addition to these visual icons and pop-ups, there are three places you will want to consider for your secure, legal documentation for health history and medical conditions. Check out the following blog articles that address these locations in your Dentrix software and how to best integrate it into your practice.

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 and contact Dayna at

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