Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Appointment Book Views and Scheduled Production

One of the great features in Dentrix, by Henry Schein One,  is the option to set up Appointment Book Views. Appointment Book Views allow you to customize what the Appointment Book looks like on an individual work-station.

You can select which operatories, providers, days, and times that are displayed when the Appointment Book is viewed. A recent Dentrix Tip Tuesday blog post explains how you can also select which type of information is displayed for each appointment, such as patient name, phone number, chart number, appointment reason, appointment amount, provider etc.
One of the things that I like about setting up Appointment Book views is you can set up a view for a provider to track their projected production for the month. For example, you can create a view for a hygienist or a doctor and be able to see their scheduled production at a glance by first selecting that provider’s view, and then clicking the calendar in the upper left corner of the Appointment Book.


On the Calendar screen, select Scheduled Production to view the scheduled production amount for the provider(s) associated with the Appointment Book view. Scheduled Production is a toggle switch you turn on and off showing a dollar amount listed on the selected calendar day.


By clicking the Options button in the Scheduled Production calendar, you can choose if Dentrix will calculate production with production adjustments or use the production from the Practice Analysis.


When scheduling a high production case, I recommend referring to the scheduled production calendar. You can quickly see which days have lower production and schedule a high production case on one of those days. This helps to ensure the office meets its monthly production goals.

If you have entered monthly production goals they will display on the scheduled production calendar with the variance of the scheduled production to the production goal.
To enter monthly production goals, open the Office Manager. Select Analysis > Practice. In the Dentrix Practice Analysis screen, select Setup > Goals.  Goals are setup for each provider.


Select the provider and enter the year you are setting up goals for. Then click Read Selected Goals. You now have the option to add a monthly goal. Click the Add button and enter the month for the goal (for example, 8 for August) then enter the gross monthly production goal for that provider.

That goal will now display on the scheduled production calendar. Based on the providers you have selected in the Appointment Book View, Dentrix will display those provider’s production goals in relation to the scheduled production. If you have all providers selected, then you will be viewing the production goals for the entire practice.

You can use Appointment Book views to view your scheduled production which can help you schedule appointments in a way that helps you to meet your practice production goals.
Please reach out to me if you have any questions about Appointment Book Views and scheduled production. E-mail me at vectordentalconsulting@gmail.com.

Charlotte Skaggs, Certified Dentrix Trainer
Charlotte Skaggs is the founder of Vector Dental Consulting LLC, a practice management firm focused on taking offices to the next level. Charlotte co-owned and managed a successful dental practice with her husband for 17 years. She has a unique approach to consulting based on the perspective of a practice owner. Charlotte has been using Dentrix for almost 20 years and is a certified Dentrix trainer. Contact Charlotte at vectordentalconsulting@gmail.com.


Wednesday, July 18, 2018

New Patient Numbers

The number of new patients seen each month is an important statistic for every dental practice.  Healthy new patient numbers ensure practice growth. Therefore it is imperative that these numbers be accurate.

There are several reports in Dentrix that show new patient numbers for each month. You can find new patients seen each month in the Practice Advisor Report, the Practice Analysis in the Office Manager, and even on the production calendar in the Appointment Book. I have been in offices that say they don’t think their new patient numbers are correct.

It’s important to understand how Dentrix calculates the number of new patients seen each month. Dentrix looks at the patient’s first visit date in the Family File to get these numbers.



The best way to schedule a new patient appointment, to ensure your new patient numbers are calculated correctly, is to double-click on the desired day, time, and operatory in the Appointment Book and when the Select Patient screen appears, clicking the New Patient button.



Enter the new patient’s name, phone numbers, e-mail address, home address and referral source and select OK. 
In the appointment information window, choose Initial and select the procedures the new patient will be coming in for. Assign the appointment provider if necessary and select OK. 


The new patient’s appointment is now scheduled in the Appointment Book and Dentrix indicates this is a new patient by showing NP in front of the patient’s name on the appointment.


When the patient comes into the office for their first appointment, select the appointment in the Appointment Book and go to the Family File. From the Family File, select File > New Patient with Appt. Select if you are creating a new family or adding to an existing family.


Dentrix pulls in the information you entered for the patient when you created their appointment. Fill in additional information as needed (including birth date, patient status, and gender). Dentrix will assign the patient’s first visit date as the date you are entering the patient into the Family File. This date can be changed manually if necessary. When finished, click OK to save the patient’s information.


Entering new patients this way will keep your monthly new patient numbers accurate. If you have questions about new patient numbers or how to enter patients into the Family File, please e-mail me at vectordentalconsulting@gmail.com.

Charlotte Skaggs, Certified Dentrix Trainer
Charlotte Skaggs is the founder of Vector Dental Consulting LLC, a practice management firm focused on taking offices to the next level. Charlotte co-owned and managed a successful dental practice with her husband for 17 years. She has a unique approach to consulting based on the perspective of a practice owner. Charlotte has been using Dentrix for almost 20 years and is a certified Dentrix trainer. Contact Charlotte at vectordentalconsulting@gmail.com.


Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Using the Dentrix Time Clock

I hope I’m not telling my age when I say that I remember using an actual punch-style timeclock to punch in and out on a time card each day. As the office manager, I would have to manually add up each employee’s hours for each pay period. It was always a time-consuming process. Then we started using the Time Clock feature in Dentrix. It made the process much easier. Dentrix would do the work of calculating each employee’s hours based on a selected date range.

In order to use the Dentrix Time Clock, each staff member will need to have a unique user ID. You can set up each employee with a user ID in the Dentrix Office Manager. Select Maintenance > Practice Setup > Practice Resource Setup.


Remember when setting up employees in the Practice Resource Setup that dentists and hygienists should be entered under Providers, with dentists being primary providers and hygienists being secondary providers.


Assistants and administrative staff should be entered under Staff.

Once set up in Dentrix, staff can use the Time Clock icon located in the Dentrix Launcher to clock in when they arrive the morning, in and out for lunch, and clock out at the end of each day. 


If an employee forgets to clock in or out, they can add a note to on their time card to communicate to the office manager they made an error. 


At the end of each pay period, I recommend the office manager print the Time Clock report. Open the Time Clock Module and select Report. On the report, Dentrix calculates each employee’s hours and gives you a total number of hours for a specific date range. The report displays a list of employees and their hours.


Select the employees you want to include on the report, then select the date range for the pay period. Under the Select Report Types options, check the box to include notes. These would be notes that an employee wrote on their time card, for example, “I arrived at 9:00am, but forgot to clock in”. 

Check to Exclude Days with no Punches/Notes so Dentrix doesn’t print days without punches like weekends. I recommend checking the New Page for Each Employee option and giving it to the employee to review. They can sign the time card to verify they have reviewed it. 

I have found that allowing employees to verify their time card can eliminate future discrepancies regarding hours. You can keep the signed time card with the employee’s check stub, or you can scan it into the employee’s Dentrix Document Center.   

If you have questions about the Dentrix Time Clock, check out the Punching the Clock and Set up Your Time Clock Dentrix Tip Tuesday posts, or e-mail me at vectordentalconsulting@gmail.com.


Charlotte Skaggs, Certified Dentrix Trainer
Charlotte Skaggs is the founder of Vector Dental Consulting LLC, a practice management firm focused on taking offices to the next level. Charlotte co-owned and managed a successful dental practice with her husband for 17 years. She has a unique approach to consulting based on the perspective of a practice owner. Charlotte has been using Dentrix for almost 20 years and is a certified Dentrix trainer. Contact Charlotte at vectordentalconsulting@gmail.com.


Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Dentrix Continuing Care, Part 3 of 3

Over the last few weeks, we have been talking about using Dentrix Continuing Care as an efficient recall system for your office. Using Dentrix Continuing Care you can schedule patients according to their customized frequency interval. For the patients who don’t pre-schedule their appointment, you can use continuing care lists to follow up. If continuing care is not set up correctly, it can’t function properly.

We have discussed how to assign a procedure code to a continuing care type and how to assign office default intervals for a continuing care type. We also discussed how to customize frequency intervals for an individual patient. For example, those patients who may need to be seen more frequently for a procedure, like a prophy.

Now that you have this setup, you may have continuing care types you will no longer use that need to be cleaned up. A continuing care type can be deleted, however to delete it, no patients can be attached to it. Let’s first look at how we can identify patients attached to continuing care type.

One of my favorite ways to identify groups of patients in Dentrix is using the Patient Reports (by filters) in the Office Manager. Open the Office Manager, select Letters and Custom Lists > Misc.  Highlight Patient Report (by filters), and then select Edit.

In this setup screen you have many options for search filters. Dentrix will search your patient database using the selected search filters and create a list of patients that meet your search criteria.

In this situation, I would recommend searching for patients with the Status of patient, inactive, and non-patient to be sure we find all patients in your database attached to the continuing care type you want to delete.


Before you begin selecting your search filters be sure to check that all the filter fields are clear. Otherwise Dentrix will apply those filter fields and your report will be incomplete.

Select >> next to Continuing Care. Choose the continuing care type you want to delete to find which patients are attached to it. I would recommend leaving both the Due Date and Prior Treatment Date fields blank to find all attached patients and I also recommend selecting ALL in the Include box to view patients both with and without appointments. Then click OK to go back to the Setup window.


Click OK again to close the Setup window and then click Open List Manager. The List Manager opens and will show all patients attached to the selected continuing care type that you want to delete. From this list you can highlight a patient’s name and click the Family File icon on the toolbar. 



In the selected patient’s Family File, double-click the Continuing Care block. Select the continuing care type you want to delete, click the Clear button, and then Yes to confirm.


Once all the patients attached to that continuing care type have been cleared, you can delete the continuing care type. To do this, open the Office Manager, Select Maintenance > Practice Setup > Continuing Care > Continuing Care Setup. Choose the continuing care type and select Delete. Then close the Continuing Care Setup window.  


Using these steps, you can clean up your continuing care type and delete any that the office no longer uses. Now that your continuing care system is set up correctly you can use it to easily schedule the patient’s next appointment and you can generate lists from which you can contact patients that don’t have an appointment. Using and maintaining Dentrix Continuing Care is the key to having a successful hygiene department. If you have any questions regarding Dentrix Continuing Care, please e-mail me at vectordentalconsulting@gmail.com.


Charlotte Skaggs, Certified Dentrix Trainer
Charlotte Skaggs is the founder of Vector Dental Consulting LLC, a practice management firm focused on taking offices to the next level. Charlotte co-owned and managed a successful dental practice with her husband for 17 years. She has a unique approach to consulting based on the perspective of a practice owner. Charlotte has been using Dentrix for almost 20 years and is a certified Dentrix trainer. Contact Charlotte at vectordentalconsulting@gmail.com.