Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Posting Multi-Code Procedures from the Ledger

Most of the charges listed on a patient's account will be posted through procedure codes. In many cases, the procedures will have been posted and set complete from the Patient Chart or the Appointment Book. However, in some cases you may need to post procedures from the Ledger.

When posting procedures from the Ledger, you still have the ability to select individual procedures or multi-codes, assign providers to procedures, select tooth numbers and surfaces (if applicable), and note whether the procedure was completed or treatment-planned.

Today's tip comes into play when assigning a provider to multi-code procedures. As you may know, multi-codes are custom code sets that contain a group of procedure codes. Using multi-codes can save you time when posting groups of procedures that are often completed together, like a prophy and exam or a crown and build-up.

Consider this example:
Bob Jones was seen today for a new patient appointment, which includes a comprehensive exam, prophy, fluoride, four bitewings, and six PAs. DDS1 performed the exam, and the rest of the procedures were completed by HYG2. You want to use the NewPt multi-code to post all of these procedures at once.

To post a procedure using a multi-code:

  1. In the Ledger, select the patient and from the menu bar select Transaction > Enter Procedure. The Enter Procedure(s) dialog box appears.


  2. Make sure the correct date is entered in the Date field if the procedure was not completed or treatment planned today.
  3. In the Provider field, click the search button to open the Select Provider dialog box. Select the provider who performed the majority of the procedures within the multi-code, and click OK. (Doing so will make it quicker to change applicable procedure providers in steps 5-7.)


  4. From the Multi-Codes panel, highlight the name of the multi-code you want to post, and click the Add button at the bottom of the panel. The codes contained in the multi-code will appear in the Procedure List.
  5. In the Procedure List, highlight a procedure that was not completed by the provider specified in step 3. 
  6. Click the Provider search button to open the Select Provider dialog box, select the appropriate provider for the highlighted procedure, and click OK.
  7. Click the Change button to apply the change of provider to the procedure.
  8. Repeat steps 5-7 as needed for any other procedures.
  9. Click OK/Post to post the procedures.

Bonus Tips:
  • If you are not familiar with individual procedure codes, when you highlight a procedure in the Procedure List, the Procedure field and the Procedure Description field display so you can verify you have selected the appropriate procedure.
  • For procedures within the multi-code that require tooth and/or surface information, first select the multi-code (see step 4 above). Then highlight the procedure code that requires additional information. Applicable fields appear within the dialog box in which you can enter additional tooth/surface information. Enter the additional information and then click Change (see step 7 above) to apply the changes.
For more tips dealing with the Ledger, posting transactions and dealing with accounts receivable, consider attending the Accounts Receivable Management Workshop in a city near you. For dates and locations visit http://www.dentrix.com/training/workshops.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Quickly Finding Previously Viewed Patients

During the course of a work day you may select hundreds of patients within Dentrix. When selecting a patient, there is a section of the Select Patient dialog box that can save you time, especially if you need to find a patient you've already worked with earlier in the day.

Consider this example:
The phone rings first thing in the morning and one of your patients, Beth Jones, is calling wondering what time her appointment is this morning. You look up her account in Dentrix and let her know her appointment is at 10:30 a.m. Later, Beth comes in and lets you know she has changed insurance carriers, so you open up her Family File so you can enter in her new information. After her appointment you need to open her Ledger so you can create an insurance claim for her procedures and enter her credit card payment. That's three times you've had to search for Beth Jones in Dentrix.

In the Select Patient dialog box, there is a section at the bottom of the window labeled Previously Selected Patients




This section keeps a list of the last 30 patients you have searched for. You can quickly re-select a patient on this list by double-clicking their name, which can be a lot quicker than having to re-search for them by name, especially if you know you've already looked them up once today.

As seen in our example, there are many instances where during the course of a day you may look up the same patient multiple times. Using the Previously Selected Patients list can save you a little bit of time in Dentrix, and a lot of time in the long run.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Keyboard Shortcuts in the Dentrix Perio Module

When you perform a patient perio exam, you can use keyboard shortcuts to help you enter the measurement information into Dentrix. Below are a few different shortcuts and tips to help you:
  • To enter a two-digit pocket depth measurement, use the slash symbol (/) to represent the tens place. For example, if the patient has a  measurement of 10mm, you would use the / and the 0 keys to indicate 10mm.
  • To indicate bleeding or suppuration points, press B for bleeding or S for suppuration on your keyboard.
  • To enter a furcation level of a tooth, press F on your keyboard, and select the desired furcation level from the menu that appears. You can just use the down arrow on your keyboard, or the corresponding number (1-4)  to select the appropriate menu item, and not have to switch to your mouse.

    Note: Only the furcation levels relevant to the selected tooth site are available in the furcation menu. If furcation levels do not apply to a specific tooth site, the furcation menu does not appear when you press F on your keyboard.

  • To enter the mobility classification of a tooth, press M on your keyboard and select the desired classification from the menu that appears.

  • To enter the plaque classification of a tooth, press P on your keyboard and select the desired classification from the menu that appears.

  • To enter bone loss classification for a tooth, press L on your keyboard and select the desired classification from the menu that appears.

Note: When you enter plaque, mobility, or bone loss classifications, they appear as number values in the PMB fields of the Perio module's Data Chart. The P value (left) is the plaque classification, the M value (center) is the mobility classification, and the B value (right) is the bone loss classification.




For additional information about how to better use the Dentrix Perio Chart and Patient Chart modules, attend the Dentrix Clinical Charting workshop in a city near you. For dates and locations, visit www.dentrix.com/training/workshops.

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Using Patient-friendly Procedure Descriptions

Let's be honest, unless you have a background in the dental industry, procedure descriptions such as "partial pulpototomy apexogen" might as well be written in ancient Greek for all the sense they make. And when a patient sees a description of the procedures you have treatment planned for them written in this highly-technical language, it's easy for them to feel uneasy about the kind of treatment they are signing up for.

Luckily, there is a setting in Dentrix where you can replace the technical description of a procedure with one that is more patient-friendly, because "removal of a portion of the pulp to encourage continued development of the root" will sound a whole lot better to patients, and probably make more sense, too.

You can use these patient-friendly descriptions when printing patient treatment cases. In the Treatment Planner, from the View menu, click the Use Patient-Friendly Descriptions option.




To add or edit a patient-friendly description for a procedure:


  1. In the Treatment Planner navigation panel, click the Settings bar. The Settings pane opens.


  2. To add, edit or customize a procedure description, click Patient-Friendly Description. The Patient-Friendly Description dialog box appears.

  3. From the Procedure drop-down list, select a procedure category and individual procedure from the list. Click the + button next to a category to expand it as needed.
  4. Once you have selected a procedure, the Description field is automatically filled with the "technical" description that is sent to insurance, which cannot be edited. In the Patient-Friendly Description field, enter a less-technical description for the procedure. Many procedures already have a patient-friendly description, and these can be edited as needed. For example, the patient-friendly description for procedure D2161 is "Silver-colored filling of a cavity of four or more surfaces of a tooth, typically caused by tooth decay," but could be simplified even further to just read "Silver colored filling."
  5. Click OK to save your changes.
In Dentrix version 6.1, you can also edit patient-friendly descriptions from the Procedure Code Editor dialog box (Office Manager > Maintenance > Practice Setup > Procedure Code Setup).

Bonus Tip
If you primarily treat patients who speak a language other than English, you could edit your patient-friendly procedure descriptions to display that language. For example you can edit the patient-friendly description for procedure D0120 to read, "Examen dental para determinar los cambios desde el anterior examen de salud bucal general."

With a limit of 150 characters, if you keep your patient-friendly descriptions short you could include two languages in the description (such as English and Spanish): "Dental exam for overall oral health (Examen dental para la salud oral en general)."

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Creating Multi-codes in Dentrix

A multi-code allows you to group together procedures you commonly use in order to save time when charting, scheduling, and posting. By creating multi-codes you don't have to post or schedule each of the procedures separately.
Below is a table that shows the multi-codes that come pre-set by default in Dentrix. Note that these multi-codes may have been changed or removed by your office since Dentrix was installed.


You can create customized multi-codes to meet the specific needs of your practice. You can add up to eight procedures in each multi-code, and each multi-code can contain one other multi-code.

To create a multi-code:
  1. In the Office Manager, select Maintenance > Practice Setup > Multi-Code Setup. The Multi-Code Setup dialog box appears.
  2. Click New. The Multi-Code Editor dialog box appears.


  3. In the Description field, enter a description of the multi-code you are creating. The description can have up to 31 characters.
  4. In the Multi-Code field, enter three characters to use for the multi-code.
    Note: Dentrix automatically adds "xx" to the beginning of all multi-codes.
  5. In the Abbrev. Desc. field, enter a short description of the multi-code (up to 9 characters). This description shows on the face of the appointment in the Appointment Book.
  6. In the Appointment Type drop-down list, select the appropriate appointment type. Appointment types classify an appointment according to the amount of production the appointment will generate.
  7. In  the Type group box, select whether this is a Standard multi-code or a Bridge.
  8. Click Add. The Add Code dialog box appears.



  9. Use the search button to select the codes you want the multi-code to include and click OK. You can select from ADA Codes or Dental Diagnostic Codes.
  10. Repeat step 9 for any other procedures you want included in the multi-code.
    Note: You can add up to eight procedures to each multi-code, and one multi-code can be included in that list. For example, if you have more than eight procedures you want to add, create a multi-code for some of the procedures, then add that multi-code to the multi-code you are creating.
  11. Based on the procedure codes included in the multi-code you created, Dentrix automatically calculates the time needed for the appointment and enters it in the Procedure Time field. You can manually adjust this time as needed. Click the search button to open the Appointment Time Pattern dialog box and select the number of time units that should be used in the Appointment Book for this multi-code.
  12. Click OK to close and save the multi-code.
For additional information about multi-code editing, see the various topics linked to the "Multi-Code Setup" topic in the Dentrix Help.