Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Effectively Using Patient Alerts

If your office is using patient alerts, then you are probably familiar with the pop-up messages that go along with them. But are you really reading them, or just clicking OK to get on with the task at hand?  If you aren't reading them, is it because they are constantly popping up every time you try to perform a task in Dentrix, and they are more of a nuisance than they are informative?

Today's tip will help you make these pop-up alerts more effective. It's all about how you set up patient alerts. The key to using Patient Alerts effectively is setting them up to only appear when they are relevant and necessary. In the steps below you'll find insight about key settings that will make this feature more effective in your office.
  1. In the Family File, select the patient for whom you want to make an alert.
  2. Click the Patient Alerts button. The Create Patient Alert dialog box appears.


  3. In the Select Date group box, enter the Start and End dates that you want the alert to be active or check Always to permanently activate the alert.
    *If the alert is only going to be relevant for three weeks, enter a starting and ending date. That way the alert will stop popping up after the information is outdated!

     
  4. If desired, in the Options group box, check Show Symbol on Appointment to display a flag on the face of the appointment.
     
  5. Check Display Aged Balance with Note to display the patient's balance at the bottom of the patient alert pop-up.
    *If you are setting up the alert for a financial reason, such as the need to collect at time of service, then check this option so you can see at a glance what the balance on the account is without having to switch to another module.
     
  6. If you want the note to be applied to one or more family members, check Also apply Patient Alert to and mark the desired option:
    • Mark All Family Members to apply the patient alert to all family members.
    • Mark Select Family Members to select the family members to whom you want to apply the patient alert.
    *Be judicious when using this option. If the alert really only applies to the guarantor, then don't use this option and have it popping up for every family member.

  7. Enter a Description for the alert (Collections or Pre-Medicate, for example).
     
  8. Enter a detailed description for the alert in the Note field.
     
    *Be sure to include enough information that the reason for the alert is clear to anyone who reads it.
     
  9. In the scroll pane provided, select the areas of Dentrix in which you want the alert to display. 
    *This is the most important thing to consider when creating alerts, and the most often misused. Think about the alert you are creating, and in what areas of Dentrix this alert is relevant. For example if your alert has to do with not scheduling an appointment for John Doe until his outstanding balance is paid off, then you should really only set the alert to show when you are performing the scheduling tasks--Create New Appointment, Edit Existing Appointment, or Move Appointment. You don't need to see this alert any other time. Think about the tasks listed here and only select the ones that directly pertain to the alert you are creating.
     
  10. Click OK.
  11. Click Close to return to the Family File.
Patient alerts are meant to alert you to certain situations concerning your patients, and if you aren't reading them because they are popping up too often or unnecessarily, then they are ineffective. Make them work for you. Set them up according to the information given above, and edit those that are currently in use to be most effective for you.

To learn more about patient alerts and other patient notes, sign up for the Organizing Your Patient Notes course offered at this year's Business of Dentistry Conference.

Visit http://businessofdentistry.com/dentrix/ for more information about the 2014 Dentrix Business of Dentistry Conference, including information on how to register for the conference, conference speakers and agenda, and a complete list of Dentrix courses being offered. 

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