Tuesday, January 31, 2017

New Patients Welcome and make sure you track the referrals

Did you start a new campaign this year to attract new patients? I recently did an online webinar with Laura Hatch and she talked about improving your internal marketing with an option of doing a contest with your team or incentive for your patients. No matter what you implement into your practice for attracting new patients, you will want to make sure you track it in your Dentrix software so you can have statistics on how the marketing campaign performs.

When you start a new marketing campaign, you will want to load it into your Referral Maintenance so your team can add it into the patient’s family file for tracking purposes. Go to the Office Manager > Maintenance > Reference > Referral Maintenance and then click on New and add in the details of the campaign. Make sure that you mark it as a Non-Person so it will show up as a Marketing referral source on the Daily Huddle Report and the Practice Advisor.

After your marketing campaign is complete, you can look at the referral analysis and see how many new patients were referred and how much production it brought into your practice. Check out the article I wrote just recently about the referral analysis by CLICKING HERE.

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.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Case Acceptance . . . how much treatment are you scheduling each day?

If you have been reading my blog for a while, you have gained a lot of
knowledge about treatment planning, case management and following up on unscheduled treatment. Keeping your schedule full is imperative to having a successful practice and knowing what reports to manage to ensure patients don’t fall through the cracks is one of the core systems we manage in the practice.

You might be asking yourself, “What is my case acceptance?” and “How can I show my doctor the cases I am closing every day?” Is there a report that will show the treatment plans that are accepted on a daily basis? What if you are on an incentive plan for case acceptance? How would you show that to your doctor?

All those questions came to me from a practice administrator who is tracking case acceptance for his team. Then, the same question came in from a treatment coordinator who is on a bonus program for closing cases. I found it interesting that I was asked basically the same question by two different offices within the same week so I thought, “If they have this question, I bet the rest of the world does as well.”

You may know that I love, love, love the Treatment ManagerReport for following up on patients with unscheduled treatment. However, this report does not let me filter by accepted cases. For my article today, this is where I want to focus. You can generate a daily list of treatment plan cases that have been accepted so you can now know how much treatment you are scheduling and you can show it to your doctor if you need to report it.

Let’s say that three months ago, a patient was diagnosed with two crowns and she left without scheduling. Today, you called the patient to follow up and you got her scheduled. Woohoo! If you mark the case as accepted, now you have a way of tracking it.

Let’s also say that, today, you have five patients come in and you schedule three of them for treatment. If you also mark those three cases as accepted, they will also show up on the same report. Now you will have an accepted case report with four cases for today.

Go to the Patient Chart with the Treatment Plan Panel in view or the Treatment Planner and click on the printer icon as if you were going to print a treatment plan estimate. Instead of clicking on the Print Treatment Case, click on the Practice Treatment Case Report. Then select today for your date range and highlight Accepted for the case status. You will generate a list of all the cases that were accepted today and be able to show your awesome hard work for today. Great job!

Friday, January 6, 2017

Welcome to 2017 . . . update fees and keeping your reports accurate

It’s a new year! Welcome to 2017! It’s time to think about new insurance benefits, fee schedule updates and making sure that all your reports are up to date. There is a lot going on at the beginning of the year that we need to plan for and make sure your practice is running like a well-oiled machine.

First, let’s tackle the new insurance benefits. Now, not all insurance benefits renew in January but most still do and it is important to keep your insurance as accurate as possible so you can keep your accounts receivable in check. The insurance benefits used is updated and reset back to zero at the time you run the month end process.

It might be time to do a fee increase in your practice or maybe one of your contracted PPO plans has sent you an updated fee schedule (wishful thinking I know) that you need to update. If this is the case, then go to the Office Manager > Maintenance > Reference > Fee Schedule Maintenance. Now you can select the fee schedule you want to update and choose the appropriate process you want to complete. If you are going to update your office fees by a set percentage, then highlight the fee schedule name and click on auto updates and enter the details. If you have a PPO fee schedule plan that you need to update certain procedure codes, then highlight the fee schedule and click on View/Update. Then edit the procedure codes one at a time.

Now, the last thing I want to really hit home is how important it is to run your December month end so that your management reports are as accurate as possible. The month end routine will move your ending balance from the previous month into the beginning balance of the new month, so if you need to know what your A/R is at the end of December for accounting purposes this is extremely important. The easiest way to check your accounts receivable is to look at the Practice Analysis from the Office Manager > Analysis > Practice and then looking at the YTD ending balance. This ending balance will not be accurate if you have not performed month end.

Looking for an amazing year! Thank you for being a loyal reader of my blog.