Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Things To Do When You Can't See Patients

The global pandemic, COVID-19, is affecting businesses dramatically. Dental offices have been ordered by state governors to postpone elective dental procedures. In my home state of Florida, elective procedures are postponed until May 8th. However, dentists must still be available to treat emergency procedures for their patients. For some offices this may mean having a limited number of staff in the office to answer the phone and assist the doctor in providing emergency care to patients.

Here are some other things that staff can do to be productive during this time when you aren’t providing regular patient care:

Run Software Updates

During a normal workday, it can be challenging to find time to have all computers out of Dentrix in order to run system updates. This may be a good time to update your software to the latest version.

Inactivate Old Providers and Staff

This process must be done when all workstations are logged out of Dentrix, so it can normally be difficult to find time to do this. The benefit of inactivating old providers is that there will be fewer providers to choose from in Dentrix, for example, when scheduling an appointment. This can make it easier and faster for team members to select the correct provider.

If you inactivate staff that no longer work for the practice, you won’t have to select from a long list of old employees when you generate timecards, which can save you time.

Clean Up Employers and Insurance Plans

Over time, offices tend to accumulate duplicate employers and insurance plans. This would be a good time to clean up your database by joining and purging employers and insurance plans. Dentrix will not allow you to purge an employer or insurance plan attached to a patient, so first you may want to generate an Employer List and Insurance Carrier List to identify which ones you want to purge.

Delete Duplicate Referral Sources

Just like employers and insurance plans, referral sources can develop duplicates. These can be cleaned up in Referral Maintenance in the Office Manager. You can’t delete a referral source attached to a patient. You can use the Referral Analysis to identify which patients are attached to a referral source you want to delete. These patients can then be moved to a referral source you want to keep, by adding that referral source to the patient’s Family File (remember to change the date of the referral) and deleting the referral attached to the duplicate source you plan to delete.

For additional resources during this time, see the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Resources For Your Practice article on the Dentrix Magazine online site.

Stay healthy and safe everyone! If you have questions about these topics or others, please email me at

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

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