Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Access Appointment Book from Treatment Planner

Did you know you can access the Appointment Book from the Treatment Planner? This makes making chair-side appointments easy!

From the Treatment Planner, click Options > Other Appointments. This opens the Appointment Book as well as the Family Appointment List dialog box. 


From this dialog box you can select family members, and see each person's past and future Continuing Care appointments, as well as procedures included in treatment plans. 


Click the Create New Appointment button and fill in the necessary information to schedule their appointment.





Using this feature is a great way to save a patient's time and avoid bottlenecks at the front desk after appointments.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Customize the Daily Huddle Report

The Daily Huddle Report is a highly customizable report you can use to see specific statistics for each scheduled patient on the date the report is generated. 

For example, wouldn't you like to know: 

  • Which patients have no email address on file? 
  • Which patients have no insurance? 
  • Which patients have an appointment with a lab case attached? 
  • Which patients have medical alerts? 
  • Which patients have overdue Continuing Care? 
By taking the time to customize the report, you can see the answers to the above and 20 additional questions, and then use the information the report supplies to follow-up with patients as they come in for their appointments.




For more information, see the Daily Huddle topic in the Dentrix Help, and click on the titled Scheduled Patients Summary sub-topic.  For information on how to run the report, see the Running the Daily Huddle Report topic.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Patients with Unused Insurance Benefits

As the end of the year is fast approaching, it's a good idea to find those patients who have treatment-planned procedures without appointments AND who have unused dental insurance benefits remaining.

It's a win-win situation. You get to clean up your Treatment Manager list and increase your production and your patients still have insurance benefits remaining that most likely they need to use up or they will lose them when the coverage year starts over in January.


Generate a list of patients who meet this criteria, and start calling them to schedule those appointments before the year runs out!

For information on how to generate this list read the article titled, Using the Treatment Manager to Keep Your Schedule Full in the online Dentrix Magazine archive.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Reduce Claim Denials by using Claim Remarks

Insurance billing experts say that a short explanation of why treatment was performed can make all the difference when insurance carriers are considering whether or not to cover a procedure.


Be sure to include a note in the Remarks for Unusual Services box on the insurance claim, and remember to follow these simple rules when writing claim remarks:
  1. Keep it short. You’re busy and the consultant who will review the claim is busy. The longer the narrative, the less likely it is to be read, so be brief.
  2. Keep it simple. The consultant doesn’t need to know the patient’s entire oral health history. Only include information relevant to the doctor’s decision to follow a specific course of treatment.
  3. Recycle. Reuse your narrative wording with narrative templates.



For more information about creating templates for frequently used insurance claim remarks and how to use the templates you create as part of an insurance claim, see the Dentrix eNewsletter article titled, 
Reducing Claim Denials with Claim Remarks.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

The Day Sheet Report

Did you know that not only can you generate a Day Sheet report based on a date range, you can specify if you want the report to reflect either the Entry Date or Procedure Date? While most of the time entries and procedure dates for a transaction are the same, if a procedure was back-dated, the dates will differ, making the ability to generate the report with these options important. 




For more information, see the Day Sheet topic and accompanying video in the Dentrix Help.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

View Appointment History

Did you know you can see changes that have been made to a specific appointment in the Appointment Book? If you need to track how many times you've rescheduled a particular appointment, the Appointment Information History feature allows you to see when changes were made to an appointment, what information was changed, and who made the changes (if you have passwords enabled in Dentrix). 



For more information about using the Appointment Information History feature see the Dentrix eNewsletter article titled Tracking Appointment Changes.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Treatment Plan Expiration Dates

It's important to set expiration dates for the fee estimates in the treatment plans you create. Setting expiration dates helps you increase case acceptance and encourages patients to accept their treatment before estimates expire and fees increase.




In the Treatment Planner, you can set expiration dates for plans you create, and when they expire, you can update the fees to re-align them with your other practice fees. To learn more about treatment plan estimates see the Dentrix eNewsletter article titled: Setting Expiration Dates for Treatment Plan Estimates.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Daily Huddle Report

Are you using the Daily Huddle Report to review the events of the previous day and make plans for the current day?  The Daily Huddle Report lists daily practice statistics about production, collections, case acceptance, new patients and scheduling which can helps your team monitor progress on monthly goals and improve your business operations and patient care. 



For more information, read the Secrets of a Successful Daily Huddle article in the online Dentrix Magazine archive.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Editing Family Relationships

It doesn't happen often, but at times you may need to edit family relationships in Dentrix due to situations such as marriage or divorce. 

You can edit family relationships from the Edit menu in the Family File, including setting or changing the Head of House, move patients back and forth between two families as needed, add patients to a new family, or merge two families together.



For more information about editing families, see the various topics under Managing Family Relationships in the Dentrix Help.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Creating Clinical Note Templates

Tired of typing the same clinical note information over and over again? Set up custom clinical note templates to prompt you to add important information such as dates, type and amount of anesthetic used, and type of materials used to ensure your notes are detailed and accurate. 



For more information about creating clinical note templates, see the Clinical Notes Made Easy article in the online Dentrix Magazine archive.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Rescheduling Groups of Appointments

Have you ever had a time when you have received a phone call from a patient saying that they (and their three kids) can't make it to their appointments today? Or a phone call from the doctor or hygienist saying that they are sick and can't see any of their scheduled patients for the day?

Maybe you come in to work to find that an operatory chair is broken and won't raise or lower and so you are going to have to reschedule all appointments assigned to that room for the day.  Or the combination of a rainstorm the night before and an open window means that the entire backroom is flooded and you need to reschedule all appointments for the day?

Rescheduling appointments en masse in Dentrix is a snap!

From the Appointment Book, right click on any appointment and hover over the Move to Pinboard option.  It gives you further options that include:
  • Moving the selected appointment
  • Moving an entire family's appointments for the displayed date
  • Moving an entire provider's appointments for the displayed date
  • Moving an entire operatory's appointments for the displayed date
  • Moving ALL appointments for the displayed date

You can use these options to quickly move groups of appointments to the Pinboard. Then use the Pinboard as a temporary holding place while you find other open slots for those appointments. Dentrix saves all the information attached to the appointment for you so rescheduling is a snap!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Using the Treatment Manager to Fill Holes

You can easily generate a list of patients who have treatment-planned procedures that still need to be completed. Using the Treatment Manager (Appointment Book > Options > Treatment Manager) you can create a customized list of patients based on any combination of provider, appointment date, whether they have an appointment scheduled, and/or by insurance benefits remaining for the year. Once you have generated the list, use it as a guide to fill holes in your schedule.



For more information, see the Using the Treatment Manager to Keep Your Schedule Full article in the online Dentrix Magazine archive.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Check Family Appointments with the More Info Button

Did you know that you can use the More Info button in the Select Patient dialog box to see at a glance if any of a patient's family members have an appointment or continuing care scheduled? There is no need to open the Family File or Appointment book to see this information. During a patient's appointment, click the More Info button to make sure every family member is scheduled or due for continuing care, which will save time having to call and set up appointments later.


Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Enter Refund Adjustments with Insurance Payments

Did you know you can now enter refund adjustments when you add an insurance payment to a claim? Dentrix has always made it easy to enter write-off adjustments when you add a payment to a claim, and now  you can also enter refund adjustments. 


For more information,read the Managing Insurance Payment Adjustments article in the online Dentrix Magazine archives,  or the Setting up Insurance Write-Off Adjustment Types and Setting up Insurance Refund Adjustment Types topics in the Dentrix Help.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

The Practice Advisor Report

How does your practice compare to industry-standard benchmarks for production and collections?  Use the Practice Advisor Report to find out. In the Practice Advisor, you can view key performance indicators for production, collections, continuing care, schedule management, and new patient analysis.

The Practice Advisor Report shows you your totals for the previous month, the current month to date, and the year to date. The Variance column shows you any differences between the benchmarks and your actual totals, with alert icons in the Variance column that correspond with suggestions found on the footnotes pages of the report.




To run the Practice Advisor Report:

  1. Open the Office Manager.
  2. Select Analysis > Practice Advisor.
  3. In the Practice Advisor dialog box, click the Practice Advisor Report button.
  4. In the Practice Advisor Report dialog box, set the options for the data you want to populate the report.
  5. To view the report, click the Preview button.

For more information, see the various topics linked under Practice Advisor Report in the Dentrix Help.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Scheduling Events for Operatories

Using the Schedule Event feature, you can close individual operatories and block out time in the Appointment Book for things like staff meetings, vacation schedules, or operatory repairs without having to create "fake" appointments.



To create an event:

  1. Open the Appointment Book and click File > Schedule Event.
  2. Select the appropriate start/end times, date(s), and operatories to be included in the event and give the event a description such as Closed for Repairs, Staff Meeting, etc.
  3. Click OK.
It's that easy! Once an event has been created, it can be edited, deleted, or moved to the Pinboard by right-clicking it in the Appointment Book. Plus, you can schedule events up to a year in advance!

For more information see the Scheduling Events for Operatories topic and video in the Dentrix Help.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Adding Electronic Attachments to Insurance Claims

Did you know you can include digital documentation with electronic claims sent to insurance carriers? You can attach digital X-rays, perio charts, photos and more.  Double-click on an insurance claim in a patient's Ledger, and from the Primary Dental Insurance Claim window, double-click the Claim Information block to open the Insurance Claim Information dialog box. 



Click the Include Attachment(s) button and include materials to attach to the claim from the Document Center, perio exams, images from Dexis, etc. 


For more information see the Sending Attachments Electronically topic in the Dentrix Help.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Updating Office Fees

Did you know you can update your fees several ways? You can update all your fees at once by making automatic fee schedule changes, update the fees in patient’s treatment plans whose estimates have expired, or manually update the fee for each procedure code. 



For more information about managing your office’s fee schedules, see the Updating Office Fees blog post.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Using the Continuing Care Module

Keep your schedule full by scheduling appointments for patients whose continuing care is due. Generate a list of patients due for continuing care appointments in the Continuing Care module. From any Dentrix module click the Continuing Care button and select the Views menu option. Select the view you want to use to see patient information (by default there is an Overdue option), or use the Continuing Care Views Setup option to create a custom view for generating lists of patients.



To learn more about generating lists of patients needing continuing care appointments, see the Don't Let Patients Fall Through the Cracks article in the online Dentrix Magazine archive.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Setting Up Appointment Book Flip Tabs

You can set up flip tabs to move to a date in the Appointment Book that is either Absolute or Relative. Absolute tabs require you to enter a specific date the Appointment Book will jump to when the flip tab is used, while Relative tabs require you to enter the number of days, weeks, or months you want to the Appointment Book to jump to. 



For more information about setting up and using flip tabs, see the Setting Up Flip Tabs topic and video in the Dentrix Help.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

The Hover Window

Tired of having to open the Family File or click the More Information button from an appointment to find information about a patient? Instead, use the Hover Window option. Customize the hover window and view the kind of information your office will need to see.

For more information about customizing the Hover Window feature, see the Patient Information at Your Fingertips article in the online Dentrix Magazine archive.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

The Dentrix Collections Manager

If you need a report from which you can view patient balance information, and use filter criteria to identify patients based on account aging, insurance claim status, or last payment date, use the Collections Manager.



Once you have customized the report by selecting from over 30 columns of information to display, you can use it to generate collection letters, send email messages, or use it as a list to make collections phone calls from. For more information read the Simplifying Collections with the Collections Manager article in the online Dentrix Magazine archives.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Viewing Rejected Treatment Plan Cases

In the Treatment Planner, when you assign a case status of Accepted to a case that is linked to another case, all of the cases linked to the accepted case are automatically assigned the status of Rejected. That way you still have a record of the treatment plans you proposed to the patient should you ever need them again in the future. To see rejected cases/procedures, make sure the Include Rejected Cases option is checked in the Treatment Plan Case Setup panel.

Additionally, when you set a case either Recommended or Accepted, only the treatment-planned procedures within that case continue to be visible in the Patient Chart.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Procedures Not Attached to Insurance Claims Report

One report you should run daily is the Procedures Not Attached to Insurance Claims Report. This report displays a list of insured patients with completed procedure(s) that have not had a claim created. You can filter this report to include a range of patients, providers or procedures performed within a date range. You should run this report to ensure procedures are billed to a patient's insurance.


For more information about this report, see the Procedures Not Attached to Insurance Claims topic and accompanying video in the Dentrix Help.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Automatic Fee Schedule Changes

You can save time when you use the Automatic Fee Schedule Changes utility  to change an entire fee schedule at once rather than changing one fee at a time. In addition to copying fee schedules, you can change entire fee schedules by selecting the option to increase or decrease the current fees by either a dollar amount or a certain percentage.


For more information about using the Automatic Fee Schedule Changes utility, see Editing Fee Schedules Automatically topic in the Dentrix Help.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Updating Treatment Plan Fees

Do you want to update your treatment plan fees that have passed their expiration dates, but still honor those that have not? With the Update Treatment Plan Fees button in the Treatment Planneryou can open a dialog box in which you can specify a cut-off date for the update and all treatment plan procedures posted before that date are updated according to the patient's current fee schedule.


For more information, see the Updating Treatment Plan Fees topic in the Dentrix Help.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Using the ASAP List

How often do you schedule appointments only to have patients say they would also be interested in the next available opening? Use the ASAP List to accommodate patients who request to be seen as soon as possible while still keeping their currently scheduled appointment in place. 

To view appointments already on the list, from the Appointment Book menu select Appt Lists and the from the Dentrix Appointment List dialog box, use the Select List drop-down to select ASAP. For more information about using the ASAP List, see the Opening the ASAP List topic in the Dentrix Help.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Send Copy of Billing Statement to Document Center Automatically

Do patients call your office with questions about their billing statement, and you wish you could see the same piece of paper that they have in their hands? Now you can!

In Dentrix, you can automatically have a copy of the Billing Statement sent to the guarantor's Document Center whenever statements are printed or sent electronically through QuickBill. That way when they call your office with questions, you can quickly pull up the exact document they are referring to.

To activate this feature, go to Office Manager > Maintenance > Practice Setup > Preferences, and select the Print Options tab. Check the box labeled Copy Billing Statements to Document Center. It's that easy!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Printing Walkout Statements

The Family Walkout Statement is a printed record of the treatment that the family had done that day, including the charges and the patient/family balances. It can also show all of the family's future appointment dates, saving time and money by not having to write that information on separate appointment cards or reminder postcards.

Dentrix provides you with several options when printing a Walkout Statement. For more information see the Setting up walkout statements topic in the Dentrix Help.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Using Accelerator Keys in Dentrix

Dentrix has keyboard shortcuts that are programmed to specific letters on the keyboard (called accelerator keys). To use accelerator keys, push the ALT button. Certain letters in fields and menus will be underlined. When you press that letter key, the field or menu will open just as if you had clicked it with the mouse.

How a menu appears before you press the ALT button on your keyboard.


For example, if you want to open the Set Head of House dialog box in the Family File, press ALT, then press E to open the Edit menu, and then press H to open the Set Head of House dialog box.

How a menu appears after you press the ALT button on your keyboard.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Creating Alternate Treatment Plans


With the Dentrix Treatment Planner you can organize treatment-planned procedures into alternate cases to provide patients with different treatment options. Once you have presented the options to your patient, you can change the status of the case to show which case has been proposed, accepted, referred or rejected.

To learn more, see the Creating Alternate Treatment Plans article in the Dentrix Magazine online archive.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Using the Unscheduled List

Did you know that when you break a scheduled appointment, it is moved to the Unscheduled List? You can use the Unscheduled List to manage your broken appointments and fill holes in your schedule. To open the Unscheduled List, in the Appointment Book, select Appt List and the in Select List drop-down, select Unscheduled List. Double-click an appointment in the list to make changes to the appointment information.


To learn more, see the Creating Custom Appointment Lists blog post.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Use the Presenter to Better Explain Procedures

Have you ever tried to explain a procedure to a patient and get a "deer in the headlights" look from them? Use the Presenter module in Dentrix to show them instead. The Presenter includes default patient education topics for many of the most common procedures. When you treatment plan a procedure in the Patient Chart or Treatment Planner, the appropriate patient education topics are automatically added to the patient's case presentation in the Presenter. You can customize the procedure codes associated with certain topics and view, add, or remove the procedure code associations for any education topic in Dentrix at any time.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Patient Chart Keyboard Shortcuts

In a fast-paced environment like a dental office, it's important for you to accomplish tasks as quickly and efficiently as possible. Did you know that you can use keyboard shortcuts to accomplish some of the most common tasks in Dentrix? Using shortcuts saves you time and speeds up your daily routines, which helps you make your office more efficient.

Here's a few keyboard shortcuts you can use in the Patient Chart:

F1 = Opens the Help menu
F2 = Opens the Select Patient dialog box
F3 = Prints the Patient Chart

Alt + F4 = Exits the Patient Chart
F5 = Refreshes the Patient Chart

Try out some of these shortcuts this week, and leave a comment telling us about some of the keyboard shortcuts your office uses.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Keeping Up with Continuing Care


By looking at the Continuing Care block in the Dentrix Family File, you can tell where a patient stands with their continuing care plan. An empty block indicates that no continuing care has been set, while a block containing red dates and descriptions (see image above) means the patient is overdue for treatment. When a patient calls or comes into your office, check the Family File to see their continuing care status, and encourage them to get back on schedule with their treatment if needed.

For more information about setting up patients on a continuing care plan, see the Dentrix eNewsletter article titled Getting Patients Back on Schedule with Continuing Care.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Appointment Book Keyboard Shortcuts

In a fast-paced environment like a dental office, it's important for you to accomplish tasks as quickly and efficiently as possible. Did you know that you can use keyboard shortcuts to accomplish some of the most common tasks in Dentrix? Using shortcuts saves you time and speeds up your daily routines, which helps you make your office more efficient.

Here's a few keyboard shortcuts you can use in the Appointment Book.


Function Keys (F1, F2, F3, etc.) = Switch between Appointment Book Views

Shift + F2 = Opens the Select Patient dialog box*

CTRL + D = Changes to the Day View

CTRL + W = Changes to the Week View

CTRL + U = Opens the Patient Picture (when a patient is selected)

*This shortcut actually works in the Family File, Ledger, Patient Chart,Perio Chart and Document Center modules as well!

Try out some of these shortcuts this week, and leave a comment telling us about some of the keyboard shortcuts your office uses.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Billing/Payment Agreements

Often patients may not be able to pay the full amount for procedures at the time of service. In the Ledger, click the Billing/Payment Agreement Information button and set up payment agreements with patients to collect a portion of the payment up front and work out a plan for the patient to make the remaining balance payments over time.



For more information about setting up payment agreements, see the Setting Up a Payment Agreement in Dentrix blog post.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Find New Appointment Time

Having a hard time finding an open appointment time that works for a patient with a crazy schedule? Using the Find New Appointment Time feature, you can enter various filters to find the first available appointment time that will work for your patient.



For more information, see the Finding "Just Right" Appointment Times article from the Dentrix eNewsletter, or search for Finding New Appointment Times in the Dentrix Help.