Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Do I break the appointment or just deleted it?

The single biggest pain point in the dental practice is holes in the schedule. WhenWhat is the difference between breaking an appointment and deleting an appointment?” Just the other day I encountered an office that was leaving the missed appointments on the appointment book so they could track them. What happens in these situations is that the office has not had any formal training or been given any resources on the best practices for managing the appointment book so they just make up their own system for tracking missed appointments.
I write about keeping the schedule full, it is always a big clicker. One question I receive a lot is, “

Keeping your schedule full is a management system that needs to have a protocol in place so that the entire team knows what to do when a patient misses an appointment and what steps to take to fill that opening. Today, I would like to give you all some best practice tips on what to do with the appointment if the patient does not keep the scheduled appointment.

  • Move the appointment to the Unscheduled List if the patient does not reschedule and you want to follow up with the patient. If you do not want to lose the appointment details, then you can store the visit on the Unscheduled List for a short period of time so you can make a couple of follow-up calls. There are two ways to get an appointment onto the Unscheduled List
    • Wait/Will Call the appointment – Use this if the patient did not show and gave you adequate time to fill the open time. Some offices have a 24- to 48-hour no-show policy so, if the patient cancels outside of that policy, then I would use the wait/will call feature.
    • Break the appointment if the patient is a no-show or cancels inside of your cancellation policy. When you break the appointment, it will put a note on the Office Journal and track the missed appointment on the Family File for future reference.
  • Delete the appointment if you do not need to follow up with the patient and just want to remove the appointment off your appointment book. When you delete an appointment, it will only show up on the Audit Trail and this task can also be password-protected.

For more information on this topic and read other articles, click the links below . . . 

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

What's the best way to block out my Appointment Book?

“I need to make sure my team knows where to schedule appointments because I feel like there is no organization with the schedule,” said a doctor during one of our recent training sessions. “What is the best way to block out our schedule so my team know where to put the correct type of appointment so we can be more productive and less stressed out?”

These were the exact words from a doctor who was trying to create a system for scheduling and didn’t know where to begin with setting some standards for his team. We talked about the different methods for blocking out the schedule inside of the Dentrix software so that he could make the best decision for his practice.
I have seen offices use both the Perfect Day Scheduling feature and the Events feature for mapping their schedule. Today, I wanted to give you some pros and cons for using these tools to help you make the best decision for your appointment book.
  • Perfect Day Scheduling is designed to map out the schedule and give you a guideline for your team so they can easily see what type of appointment goes in that place. The great thing about this feature is that you can place multiple blocks throughout the day and, once you set it up, it will be set up every day until you change the setup. You can set up different colors to symbolize different appointment types. One complaint I get from doctors is that you can easily schedule over the top of the Perfect Day Scheduling blocks. In my opinion, this is more about the discipline of the team member scheduling to the system than the system itself. If you want to read up more about Perfect Day Scheduling, CLICK HERE.
  • Using Events to map out your schedule can be done and it will fix the issue of not being able to schedule over the top of the block. With an event, the team member would have to delete the event in order to schedule an appointment. Events can be created to span over multiple days and you can set them in your appointment book for up to a year time frame. Just right click on the appointment book and click on Create Event. You can also set the Events in different colors to symbolize different types of appointments. 

Our goal here in The Dentrix Office Manager blog is to not only give you great tips and tricks, but also give you resources to make the best decisions for your practice.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Medical Billing or Bust . . . spend your Friday afternoon with me at BDC

An office I have worked with up in the the Seattle area is coming down to the Business of Dentistry Conference to attend my Medical Billing or Bust course on Friday.  They will no doubt have a great time experiencing all that the BDC has to offer but I was honored that the main draw for them was learning about medical billing in the dental practice.

My mission in life is to be a voice, a resource and an advocate to those who are in need.  Before I was a certified Dentrix trainer, blog author and speaker I always tried to help my dental patients get the most out of their dental and medical insurance benefits.  I bring this passion into my Medical Billing or Bust course.

Here are some other articles about Medical Billing . . . 

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Top 3 tips from my BDC course . . . "15 Ways to Make Scheduling Easier"

It is Business of Dentistry month and the countdown to August 17th has started. Since transitioning my own office to Dentrix in 2003, becoming a Certified Dentrix Trainer in 2006 and then accepting the position of the Dentrix Office Manager blogger in 2011, attending the Business of Dentistry Conference is at the top of the list. I love networking with other Dentrix users and offering any resources I can. It is extremely fulfilling.

This year, I am slated to teach seven courses over the two-day event and I wanted to give you a sneaky peek into one of them today. On Saturday, I will be teaching “15 Ways to Make Scheduling Easier” and I have no doubt this will be a great topic. This article will not go through all 15 things for you, but give you my top three items from my course and point you to some blogs that I have written in these areas.
  • Appointment book shortcuts – Everybody loves a shortcut. If you will not be able to attend the BDC this year, here is a blog I wrote that you might like on this topic. CLICK HERE
  • Looking up family appointments – Do you ever have Mom on the phone and she asks, “When are my kids’ appointments?” or “My husband wants to know when he is due for his checkup.”?
  • Using your lists properly – This is a valuable resource to keeping your schedule full. CLICK HERE for an article that relates.