Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Cleaning Up Your Unscheduled List

One of the questions we hear a lot in our support calls is, "How can I clean up my Unscheduled List?"

Before answering that question, let's first make sure we know how patients end up on the Unscheduled List. There are two ways.  

When you break an appointment on the schedule, the appointment is added to the Unscheduled List as a broken appointment. All the appointment information (provider, procedures, appointment length) is preserved in the Unscheduled List, and the broken appointment counter in the Family File is updated. 

When a patient cancels their appointment with plenty of advance notice but doesn't want to or can't reschedule right away, you should mark the appointment as Wait/Will Call (in the Appointment Information dialog box). This adds the appointment to the Unscheduled List, preserves the appointment information, but does not update the broken appointment counter in the Family File.

You can access the Unscheduled List from the Appointment Book by clicking Appt Lists from the toolbar and selecting Unscheduled List.

The Unscheduled List should be your "go-to" list when you have cancellations or otherwise have holes to fill in your schedule. You have all the information you need to make a call to the patient right in the list (patient phone number, appointment length, appointment reason/procedures, etc.). Plus you have an Office Journal button built into the Unscheduled List toolbar that you can use to document the phone conversation you have with the patient.

If the patient is ready to reschedule the appointment, you can click and drag the appointment to an open spot in the Appointment Book, or onto the Pinboard. You can also double-click the information on the Unscheduled List to open the Appointment Information dialog box and manually make changes to the date, time, operatory, provider, etc. as needed.

As a cleanup measure, you should delete appointments from the list that will never be rescheduled. Appointments should be deleted when:

  • You have tried to contact a patient on the list several times with no response
  • The patient has indicated that they do not want to receive the treatment listed on their broken appointment
  • The patient has moved/left your practice
Delete the appointment from the Unscheduled List by selecting the appointment in the list and clicking Appt > Delete Appointment

By regularly filling holes in your schedule from the Unscheduled List, and by cleaning up appointments on the list that will never be rescheduled, you can keep your Unscheduled List relevant and useful.

For more information on the Unscheduled List, log in to the Dentrix Resource Center and view the Schedule Optimization webinar (article #45620) or view the Opening the Unscheduled List and Rescheduling from the Unscheduled List topics in the Dentrix Help.

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