Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Customizing the Appointment Checklist

There are a lot of things to remember to do when you create appointment, or when you check patients in at the front desk. And when the phone is ringing and there are patients standing at the front counter, it’s easy to forget things.

Dentrix gives you a checklist at the bottom of the Appointment Information dialog box that you can use to make sure you have completed common tasks such as verifying insurance, collecting a co-pay, updating health history, or scheduling the next appointment. You can customize this checklist to include the tasks you want taken care of for each appointment.


For example, if you have a new cancellation policy that you want to explain to patients, you can add a checklist item that can be tracked as you create and confirm patient appointments.

How To
  1. From the Office Manager, click Maintenance > Practice Setup > Definitions.
  2. In the Definitions Type drop-down, select Appointment Check List.
  3. In the Definitions Text field, enter a checklist item you want to add to the list, and click Add.

Additional Tips
  • You can have up to 12 appointment checklist items in Definitions. If you already have 12 items, you will need to either delete the items you aren’t using or change them to new items you want to use.
  • The Definition Text field is limited to 20 characters.
  • Appointment checklist definitions are global settings, meaning they will apply to all computers in the office.
For additional information, read Preparing for the New Patient Phone Call in the Dentrix Magazine online archive.




Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Creating and Using Claim Remark Templates in Dentrix

Anything you can do to not delay an insurance claim being sent is a good thing. Often, claims are held up because you are waiting for a provider to write a narrative. But by setting up claim remark templates, especially for the most common narratives you use on claims, you can easily attach a narrative and just fill in the specifics for the individual claim.

For example, on a crown procedure, if a tooth has insufficient tooth strength and retention for the crown due to prior endodontic treatment, you can create a custom claim remark template that will only require the addition of a specific tooth number before it can be attached to a claim and sent.

Here’s how:


  1. From the Office Manager, click Maintenance > Practice Setup > Custom Notes > Claim Remarks Setup.
  2. Click New.
  3. Enter a claim remark description and note in the corresponding fields.


  4. Click OK to save the template.
Then, when you need to add this claim remark to an actual patient's claim, open the patient's Ledger, double-click the claim, and double-click the Remarks for Unusual Services block.


Click the Claim Remarks button to view the claim remark templates you have previously created. Select the template you want to use and click Edit.




Enter the specifics (tooth number, surfaces, etc.) that apply to the procedure and click OK



Then click OK again to attach the remark to the claim. And finally, submit the claim using your normal process.

In your next team meeting, identify the most common claim remarks your office uses and create a template for them to save time and be able to submit claims to insurance carriers without delay.

For three simple rules to remember when writing claim remarks, see the previous Tip Tuesday post titled, Reduce Claim Denials by Using Claim Remarks.

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Setting Expiration Dates for Treatment Plan Cases

Imagine that a patient comes in for a cleaning and exam today, and during the exam the doctor diagnoses the need for a root canal and crown on a posterior tooth. The patient has insurance benefits remaining that will cover a portion of the cost of the crown, but those benefits will reset at the beginning of the new year.

Your office fees will also change at the beginning of the year to reflect current industry prices. When you create the treatment case for the patient’s root canal and crown procedure, you want to indicate that the estimated prices you are quoting them are good until the end of the year. How do you do that in Dentrix?

It’s as easy as setting a treatment plan expiration date. You can give your patients a window of time after the case is proposed to accept the case with the proposed fees. Setting an expiration date for a treatment case can be done on a case-by-case basis, and can also be set as a default for new treatment cases you create in the future.

To set an individual treatment plan expiration date:

  1. In the Treatment Planner, select the desired treatment plan case.
  2. Click the Supporting Information button in the Navigation panel.


  3. In the Estimate Expires drop-down box, select the date when the estimate for the case will expire.
You can also set a default expiration date for all new cases relative to the current date, or at set intervals during the year.

To set a default estimate expiration date:

  1. In the Treatment Planner, click the Settings button in the Navigation panel.


  2. In the Default Settings for New Cases group box, expand the Estimate Expires drop-down list and select the desired option.
For additional information, see the Adding Supporting Information to a Case and Customizing Case Settings topics in the Dentrix Help.

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Do Not Update Patient Visit Dates

When you complete procedures in Dentrix, one of the behind the scenes processes that happens is that the patient’s last visit date in the Family File is updated to the date the procedure is posted. This date can tell you when you last saw a patient, and it’s used to help determine active patient numbers in the Practice Advisor and Daily Huddle reports.



But what if a patient comes in to purchase some whitening supplies or an electric toothbrush? These products may not require an appointment, but you still post them as procedures so you can add a charge to the Ledger. When you post them in the Ledger, the patient’s last visit date is also updated, which may not reflect a true office visit.

The same thing happens anytime you enter a custom in-office procedure code (such as sales tax or a missed appointment fee) in the Ledger. 

In Dentrix G7, you can apply a setting to an individual procedure code so that when it is set complete in the Ledger the patient’s last visit date is not updated.

In the Office Manager, select Maintenance > Practice Setup > Procedure Code Setup, select the procedure code to apply this setting to, and click Edit. Then check the box next to Do Not Update Patient Visit Dates.




Take a few minutes to make a list of the procedure codes that should not update a patient’s last visit date, and then edit those codes. That way you can be more confident that the last visit date for each patient is accurate.

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Viewing Case Status History in the Treatment Planner

A dental practice is made up of hundreds of individual patients, each with (give or take) 20-30 teeth in their mouths. And even if you only plan treatment for a fraction of these teeth, that’s a whole lot to try and remember without a little help from Dentrix.

That’s where the case status history in the Treatment Planner comes in. While a provider may remember a patient’s name in between routine office visits, it may be harder to remember specifics about treatment recommendations, such as why certain procedures were accepted or rejected by the patient, especially when they are only in your office a couple of times per year.

With a patient’s case status history, you can see the dates and reasons for changes to their treatment case statuses (as long as your providers are diligent about adding comments when a status is changed).

For example, if the doctor has some questions about why a patient did not accept his original recommended case, he can get the answers he is looking for by looking at the case status history.

To view the case status history:
  1. In the Treatment Planner, select the treatment plan case to view and click the Case Status History button.


  2. To see more information about a case status change, point to the comment with your mouse. A pop-up appears showing the entire comment for the status change.



For additional information, read the Updating Case Status and Viewing Case Status History topics in the Dentrix Help.

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Allowing Individual Users to Reset Their Own Passwords in Dentrix G7

The office manager and practice administrative team have a lot of responsibilities throughout the office, and it can be frustrating for them to have to stop what they are doing to help a staff member reset their password in Dentrix when they can’t log in. And it’s just as frustrating for a staff member to be locked out of Dentrix until they can find someone to reset their password. 

Dentrix G7 includes a new feature to help prevent all that frustration! In addition to the other new password options available you can now allow individual users to reset their own passwords when they forget them.

Each user can select and answer security questions that are stored in Dentrix and use them to reset a forgotten password on their own, without having to interrupt someone on the admin team or losing access to Dentrix.

Implementing and using this new password security feature happens in three main steps.

Step 1: Enable the Password Reset Option

From the Office Manager, click Maintenance > Practice Setup > Passwords > Practice Passwords Setup and click the Password Security button.  Check the box next to Allow password reset with security questions, and click OK.



Step 2: Set up Security Questions for Users

Once you have enabled the password reset option, have individual users log in to Dentrix using passwords as they normally would. When they are prompted, users should select three questions from the drop-down lists, enter an answer for each question, and then click Save.


Step 3: Answer Security Questions to Reset Password

When a user enters an incorrect password, they are to prompted try again or they have the option to reset their own password. Click the Reset Password button to view a series of security questions.


After the user has successfully answered the security question, they are prompted to click Reset Password. Then they can enter and confirm a new password and continue working in Dentrix.



For more information about the new password options in Dentrix G7, watch the new feature overview video


Tuesday, October 2, 2018

New Dentrix G7 Password Requirements

The requirements for Dentrix passwords have been updated in Dentrix G7, so if you are currently using passwords in Dentrix, when you upgrade to Dentrix G7 you will have to make a change. You’ll be prompted to change your password to one that meets the following complexity requirements:


  • Is at least eight characters in length
  • Contains capital and lowercase letters
  • Has at least one number
  • Has at least one special character


In addition to these new complexity requirements, Dentrix G7 also includes new password options. You can set password expiration dates, set rules for when an account is locked out after failed password attempts, and limit the use of previous passwords.
Note: Make sure only the doctor, office manager, or practice administrator has rights to change these new password options.

How To
  1. From the Office Manager, click Maintenance > Practice Setup > Passwords > Practice Passwords Setup.

  2. Click Password Security.


  3. Set the following options as needed for the practice:
    1. Password Expiration - use the options here to give passwords an expiration date and a warning that passwords are about to expire.
    2. Password Security - set a number of password attempts before a user gets locked out, and the amount of time they will be locked out for
    3. Password History - set a limit for the use of previous passwords.
  4. Click OK to apply these settings.
By setting these options, you can make sure that user passwords in your practice are being updated regularly.

Additional Tips
Stay tuned for next week's post about enabling individual users to reset their own passwords using security questions.