Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Make Filling Out Questionnaires More Convenient For Your Patients

Using patient questionnaires, you can easily keep account information up to date with the information your patients provide.

But what if you could send your patients an email link to an online questionnaire and have them fill it out before they arrived for their appointment? Or, what if you could text them a link when they check in at the front desk and have them update their health history from their phone while they wait to be seen?

And who wouldn’t like the ability to quickly update patient accounts with this information with just a few mouse clicks?

In our recent article, Allow Patients to Fill Out Forms Online, you’ll learn how you can create patient questionnaires in Dentrix, upload them to your practice website or send patients a link to them online, and then use that information to keep Dentrix updated.

Your patients will appreciate the convenience of being able to complete and submit forms from their phone or computer ahead of time, and you can focus on the business of dentistry instead of paperwork when they arrive at your office.

Read this and other articles to help you increase productivity in your practice at

To help your team develop the skills they’ll need to help your practice bounce back, we’ve temporarily waived all Dentrix Mastery Tracks testing fees. For more information click HERE.

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Referring Out an Entire Treatment Case

You just can't do it all yourself, right? Fortunately, Dentrix offers a way to keep a record of procedures that you have diagnosed but will refer out to have completed by a specialist outside of your office.

First, treatment plan the work like you normally would. Then, in the Treatment Planner panel, create a case folder and drag and drop all procedures to be referred out into that case.

With that case selected, click the Update Status button, and select Referred from the drop-down list of options.

You'll be given an opportunity to make a comment on the case, and most importantly to select the Referred To provider.

In addition to adding the referred to provider to all of the procedures in the case, Dentrix also changes the fee to $0.00.

Now is a great opportunity to print a referral slip, which will help you have a successful hand off to the other provider.

When the patient returns to your practice, and has completed the work, update the status of the treatment case again, this time selecting the Completed option. The status of the procedures will be changed to Existing-Other in the Patient Chart.

For related information, read the Charting Referred Procedures article in the Dentrix Magazine online archive.

To help your team develop the skills they’ll need to help your practice bounce back, we’ve temporarily waived all Dentrix Mastery Tracks testing fees. For more information click HERE.

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Creating Customized Billing Statement Notes

Did you know that you can create templates for notes that you want to appear at the bottom of billing statements? 

With Dentrix, you can create a library of custom billing statement note templates you can use to print messages on billing statements, such as your updated office hours during the pandemic, information about financing or payment options, and so forth.

To set up custom billing statement note templates:
  1. From the Office Manager, click Maintenance > Practice Setup > Custom Notes > Billing Statement Notes Setup.
  2. Click New.

  3. Enter a Description for the note and enter the note text in the Note field.
  4. Click OK to save the note.
You can also edit any of the existing notes by clicking on a note in the Description list and then clicking the Edit button to make changes to it.

To add a note template when you generate billing statements, from the Billing Statement dialog box, click the Statement Notes button. This will open the Insert Custom Billing Statement Note dialog box from which you can select the Description of the note you want to add to the statement, and click OK.

Note: This statement message will appear on the bottom of every billing statement, and should not be used for specific notes that only apply to a single patient.

Custom billing statement notes can be one way you can communicate important information to your patients without having to retype the same note on individual statements!

For more information see the Generating Billing Statements and Adding Billing Statement Notes topics in Dentrix Help.

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Sending Modified Recare Due Reminders with Patient Engage When Your Practice Reopens

After your office has been closed for an extended period of time, how can you catch up on rescheduling those patients who missed out on their regular cleanings? One strategy is to let your automated recall system through Patient Engage invite them back.

To make this work, you will need to complete two tasks.

  1. Edit the automated recall messages in Patient Engage so that they invite the patient to reschedule their appointment.
  2. Delete the scheduled appointment that the patient missed, so that the automated system will send out messages.

Step 1 - Select the Messages

Take a look at your reminder settings. In Patient Engage, click the Settings tab (found on the Dentrix Hub page header). On the left-hand navigation panel, expand Communications, and select Personalized Recall.

By default, these reminders will send to unscheduled patients 2 weeks and 1 week before their due date. If the patient remains unscheduled, additional reminders are sent again 1, 2, 4, 13, 26, and 52 weeks after the due date passes. These messages and intervals can be changed to your advantage, and that is exactly what we will do now.

Before you make changes, realize that at some future time, after your office returns to a pattern of normalcy, you’ll want to restore these settings. So before you edit the time intervals, print or create a screen capture of this web page to have as a reference. Before you edit the text of the messages, select the current message, copy the text, and paste it into a notepad or Microsoft Word document for safekeeping. When the time comes to put things back to normal, you’ll appreciate having that information to guide you!

Step 2 - Edit the Messages

First, we’ll edit and repurpose the message that would normally be sent 13 weeks after the due date was past. Click on the word Email

Hover your mouse over the main message, and select Click to Edit. Then make wording changes to invite your patients to return following your closure. Tell them about social distancing measures, cleaning and sterilization processes, or other policies you have implemented to ensure a smooth reopening. When you are satisfied with the message, click Save.

Next click Edit to change the timing of the email reminder. Adjust the number of weeks so that the reminders will be sent to the patients whose appointments were bumped at the beginning of your office’s closure (for example, if your closure was for the last 5 weeks, change this setting to 6 weeks). Finally, Save the changes.

Also, edit the messages going out in your 1, 2, and 4 week campaigns, but leave the timelines as they are. If you adjust to this timeline as described, you’ll have several automatic reminders going out each day to patients who were due for recall 1, 2, 4, and 6 weeks before today’s date. Each individual patient that is overdue by 2 weeks or more will only receive a message every 14 days, so they won’t receive messages too frequently to become annoying to them.

With so many emails reaching your patients each day, they’ll be responding at a staggered rate and process of re-booking can happen quicker. 

Step 3 - Delete Appointments in Dentrix

Remember that these reminders are only sent to patients who are detected by the system as not being scheduled for their continuing care appointment. So the next step—and probably the most scary-sounding one—is to delete the scheduled appointments from your schedule.

Before deleting, print the schedule for reference. Open Office Manager > Reports > Lists > Daily Appointment List, and select the operatories where you schedule your cleaning appointments. Enter the date range of the closure, and select the Operatory Appointment List or the Daily Appointment List (the primary difference is that the Operatory Appointment List is double-spaced while the Daily Appointment List is single spaced). Print the report(s) to have as a reference. 

When it comes to deleting appointments, the slow way is to select each appointment one by one and click the Delete button on the toolbar of the Appointment Book. However, the more efficient way to delete multiple appointments is to use the Appointment List. 

At the top of the Appointment Book, click Appt List. Create a view that shows you only the operatories where you schedule cleaning appointments by clicking Setup, Appointment List View. From the Select List menu, choose Appointments. Select the operatories where you schedule cleaning appointments. Click Save List, name it “Cleaning Appts List” and click OK. This will return you to the main Appointment List window.

From the Select List pull-down menu choose the Cleaning Appts List menu item. Use the calendar menu to select the first day your office was closed. Press CTRL+A to select all appointments displayed. Press the Delete key and then confirm the warning message to delete the appointments. Forward your calendar day-by-day, and repeat the process by selecting and deleting the appointments in these operatories for each day of the closure.

Now that these cleaning appointments are removed, the system will recognize that the patients are not scheduled for the services. Day-by-day, as patient due dates fall in line with the campaigns you set up, the patients will receive their email invitations to book their appointment, including the custom messaging you created.

Step 4 - Reset

Make a note to remind yourself to come back to and reset your reminder settings after a couple of months when your schedule begins to normalize.

Sending modified recare due reminders is part of the virtual waiting room you can set up with Dentrix and other integrated tools like Patient Engage and QuickBill eStatements. Visit to read the article and get other ideas.

To learn more about setting up a virtual waiting room with Dentrix and Patient Engage, register for our free webinar on Tuesday, May 19 at 11:00 AM Mountain Daylight Time.

Friday, May 8, 2020

Posting Patient Forms Online Using the Patient Portal in Patient Engage

In our high-speed connected world, your patients are accustomed to being able to log on and find self-service. The Patient Portal provides patients access to their account information, online forms, and secure messages. Best of all, the portal is designed to require very little administrative and maintenance effort from your team.

And right now, during these times when you will have extra safety measure in your office, the patient portal can help you reduce or eliminate the need to pass tablets or clipboards back and forth between patients so they can fill out their forms. Patients can log in to their portal and fill them out online before they arrive.

Setting up the Patient Portal on Your Website

Patients can access their own Patient Portal account through a link you provide on your website or a button you include in your email messages. You can include information in your emails to all patients and in your appointment reminders directing patients to go to your website to set up and access their Patient Portal.

To add a Patient Portal link on your practice website, from the Dentrix Hub, click Settings, then Business Information. On the right side of the page, look for Patient Portal URL. Copy this link and add it as a link on your webpages wherever you'd like it to appear.

Including a Patient Portal Link in Emails

You can also use the URL you found in the previous step and add it as a button that appears on your emails. From the Dentrix Hub, click Settings, then Communications, and Email Settings. Under the Customize section, look at the Links you have available. You can change any of the links to use a custom link. In the second box, type the text you want to appear (such as “Patient Portal”), and in the third box the paste the URL for your portal.

Send Personal Invitations by Email

You can be a little more personal by sending a patient a message with an invitation. From the Dentrix Hub, select Patients. Open the patient record, and scroll to the Patient Portal Management section. At the right side, click Send patient portal invite.

Patients Using the Portal

No matter which way the patient gets the invitation, they will be directed to your office’s patient portal site. There they can create an account using their name, birthday, and email address. After creating the account, they can log in to their Portal where they’ll see a home screen that summarizes their information and activity with your office.

Encourage your patients to log in and click Online Forms prior to each appointment, where they can update their forms online before their appointment instead of waiting to do so when they arrive at the office. When a patient submits an online form, their responses appear in both the patient’s Questionnaire module in Dentrix and in the Dentrix Hub under the Communications, Online Forms.

Encouraging patients to fill out their forms online using the Patient Portal is part of the virtual waiting room you can set up with Dentrix and other integrated tools like Patient Engage and QuickBill eStatements. Visit to read the article and get other ideas.

To learn more about setting up a virtual waiting room with Dentrix and Patient Engage, register for our free webinar on Tuesday, May 19 at 11:00 AM Mountain Daylight Time.

Facilitating a Virtual Waiting Room with Two-Way Texting in Patient Engage

In addition to the appointment reminders you send to patients through Patient Engage, for a short time while your practice is operating under temporary policies of social distancing and special limitations it might be a good idea to text instructions to the patients who have appointments tomorrow. You can do this through the Dentrix Hub in Patient Engage.

Then, once patients arrive for their appointments you can use the two-way texting feature to allow your patients to let you know they have arrived and to text them when it is their turn to come in.

Texting Instructions to Tomorrow's Patients

One of the things you can do to prepare for the next day’s appointments during this time is to text your patients and remind them how the virtual check-in process will work. 

To text tomorrow patients, in the top-right corner of the Dentrix Hub in Patient Engage, click Contact Patients and then select Tomorrow's Patients to create text messages for patients who are scheduled tomorrow. In the text message, let your patients know about general instructions, such as how the check-in process will work, to prepare them for their appointment.

When you compose a message for multiple patients, use the Insert Custom Tag menu to add a merge field that will fill in your patients’ names into your messages. When the messages are sent, the field will be replaced with your patient’s names, personalizing the messages for each patient.

Two-Way Texting When Patients Arrive

When patients arrive at the office, they will text you to let you know they are there. When you receive the patient’s text message, a notification will appear in the upper-right corner of the Dentrix Hub. Click Texts to view the text message and respond that you will let the patient know when it is their turn to come inside. Bold messages have not yet been read. Click any message to open the conversation’s history.

This is also a good time to send them any last-minute check-in forms

When you are ready for the patient, start a new message by clicking the “+” button in the upper-right corner of the Dentrix Hub and tell the patient to enter the building. 

Two-way texting with patients is part of the virtual waiting room you can set up with Dentrix and other integrated tools like Patient Engage and QuickBill eStatements. Visit to read the article and get other ideas.

To learn more about setting up a virtual waiting room with Dentrix and Patient Engage, register for our free webinar on Tuesday, May 19 at 11:00 AM Mountain Daylight Time.

Sending Patients a Check-In Link with Patient Engage

When you send patients an appointment reminder email and encourage them to update their forms online before their appointment, many of them will do so. Some may not, however, and in that case you can still give them the option to fill out their medical history and COVID-19 screening forms before coming into the office.

With Patient Engage, you can use the Check In feature to send patients a link to complete Questionnaire forms from their phone. Patients can complete their forms before they arrive at the office or while they wait for their turn to enter the office. Their answers are received and available for you to view in the Dentrix Hub dashboard and in the Questionnaire module of Dentrix.

You can send patients updated medical history forms that include COVID-19 screening questions or even special forms you set up for the day of the appointment to double-check on symptoms they may have developed since they filled out their forms online.

Sending Patients a Check-In Link

Form the Dentrix Hub, in the Today’s Follow-Up Actions section, click Check In.

If the patient has not opted in to receive text messages, you will be guided through a basic script that asks for the patient’s consent to receive text messages. Ask the question and enter the response as prompted on screen. The patient will then receive a prompt confirming that they accept text messages.

After they reply, the patient will receive a link to check in.

The link will open a web browser and allow the patient to answer the questionnaire forms that you created and uploaded previously.

Viewing Patient Responses Online in the Dentrix Hub

Once patients have filled out their forms online, you can view the patient’s responses in the Dentrix Hub under the Communications, Online Forms section. Review the answers here to decide if the patient has any symptoms or risk factors that would require them to reschedule their appointment.

Select View to see the patient’s responses to the form.

In the Form Response Details window, scroll through and read the responses. The form may be broken up into Sections (or pages); if so, click each section header to review that detail.
A note is available at the top, which is saved with the form and viewable in the Dentrix Hub. You may also print or export the form and responses using the buttons at the upper right.

Creating and posting online forms with COVID-19 screening questions is part of the virtual waiting room you can set up with Dentrix and other integrated tools like Patient Engage and QuickBill eStatements. Visit to read the article and get other ideas.

To learn more about setting up a virtual waiting room with Dentrix and Patient Engage, register for our free webinar on Tuesday, May 19 at 11:00 AM Mountain Daylight Time.