Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Dentrix Notes Part V: Treatment Notes

Over the last several weeks we have talked about the different areas within Dentrix where you can keep notes. Today's post rounds out the topic of Dentrix notes with treatment notes. Treatment notes are designed to help you keep a complete clinical record for each of your patients and include the following:
  • Clinical Notes - Clinical notes allow you to enter notations about medical conditions, treatment recommendations, or descriptions of work completed for a specific patient. You can write both free-form clinical notes, or use clinical note templates. Clinical notes can be signed and locked so that they cannot be edited. You can print clinical notes in a report.


  • Medical Alerts - You can use medical alerts to remind you of any allergies, illnesses, or conditions your patients may have. 
  • Perio Exam Notes - Perio exam notes are automatically added to a perio exam and consist of the measurements taken during a general periodontal exam, including information about the gingiva, oral hygiene, and X-rays. By default, Dentrix sets the measurement values of perio exam notes to those of a normal healthy mouth.
  • Prescription Notes - You can provide patients with more detailed dosage and usage instructions for a prescription in the Prescription Note field of the New Patient Prescription dialog box. The prescription note appears when you print a prescription.
  • Procedure Notes - Each time you enter a procedure, you can attach a note. Usually, the procedure note would be used to document clinical information about the procedure performed. However, that information can also be entered into the clinical notes. Procedure notes are locked when a procedure is moved into history following the closing of the month. Procedure notes can be printed from the Progress Notes panel.
  • Progress Notes - Progress notes are not text notes. Instead, progress notes are a list of all treatment-planned, completed, referred,  and existing work. They can also include conditions, exams, and clinical notes, if desired. You can print the progress notes from the Patient Chart.
  • Treatment Plan Notes - In the Treatment Planner you can add two kinds of notes: Case Notes and Case Status History Notes. Case notes are text notes that you can add to any individual treatment plan case. (You can also set up default case notes if desired that will be automatically assigned to each new case.) Case notes print on the Case Presentation report. Case Status History Notes are short "comments" that you can add when the status of a case changes.
  • Recommendation Notes - Recommendation notes are pre-written notes that can be automatically printed for patients when they have a specific procedure performed and your print them a walkout statement.
  • Referral Recap Notes - The referral recap note allows you to add notes for the referring provider when you generate a Referral Recap report.
  • Referral Slip Notes - The referral slip note allows you to add a note to the referred-to provider when you generate a referral slip for a patient.
And in case you missed them, be sure to read our previous posts concerning Scheduling Notes, Patient Information Notes, Financial Notes, and Insurance Notes.

Have you ever written a patient note and forgotten just where in Dentrix you put it? Reread a post from August 2016 titled Where Did I Put That Patient Note? that explains how to use the Patient Note Report.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Dentrix Notes Part IV: Insurance Notes

For the last three weeks we've been talking about different areas within Dentrix where you can keep notes. This week we'll focus on notes dealing with insurance coverage, claims, and carriers; why they are important; and how they can be kept in a consistent location where they can be easily accessed and read.

In the Insurance Claim window, there are three kinds of notes that can be entered:


Insurance note locations within claim window.
  1. Claim Note - This note (also called Remarks for Unusual Services) can be used to write short claim narratives that are submitted with the claim. Keep your notes brief, as only 101 characters will display on printed claims, and only 125 characters are sent on electric claims. TIP: You can utilize custom claim remarks templates to make your entries quick and consistent.
  2. Claim Status Note - This note is not submitted with the claim and can be used to document tracking information for the claim once it has been sent. This note can also be printed on the Insurance Claim Aging Report.
  3. Insurance Plan Note - This note should be used to keep track of plan limitations and exclusions that can't be attached to the coverage or payment tables. Insurance plan notes are specific to the insurance carrier and not individual patients. The note displays for all patients covered by the same insurance plan. This note does not print on insurance claims.
To enter notes, double-click the appropriate block within the claim window, enter the information and click OK to close the window and save the note. The Insurance Plan Note can also be accessed from the Office Manager by clicking Maintenance > Reference > Insurance Maintenance. Then select the insurance plan and click the Cov Table button. From the Insurance Coverage dialog box that appears, click the Notes button and enter the note.

If you missed them, be sure to read our previous posts about Scheduling Notes, Patient Information Notes, and Financial Notes. And stay tuned for our final post next week about clinical notes.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Dentrix Notes Part III: Financial Notes

If you've been reading our blog the last couple of weeks, you know the importance of keeping notes in Dentrix, and keeping them in the right location. The Ledger is another key area where notes are valuable. Because money is a big deal to everyone involved, it's important to keep good notes about payments, additional charges, and/or adjustments that were made on a patient account, and to document terms and agreements made about an overdue balance. 

There are a couple of different financial notes, and we'll explain each of them each below.

  • Guarantor Notes and Billing Statement Notes - both notes are accessed by selecting a patient in the Ledger and clicking the Guarantor Notes button or by clicking File > Guarantor Notes.

  • Example of a guarantor note

    • Guarantor Note - The top part of the Guarantor Notes dialog box has an Account Note field where you can enter financial notes about the account. Every patient in the family shares the guarantor note.
    • Billing Statement Note - The bottom part of the Guarantor Notes dialog box has a Billing Statement Note field that should be used to enter text or reminders that you want to print on the billing statement for the selected family. This field is limited to 82 characters, and you have the options of using any custom billing statement notes you may have created previously, and entering a Print on Statement until date.
  • Payment Agreement Note - This note should be used to record any information related to a payment agreement that is included in the payment agreement terms. The terms of the payment agreement can be added to the Payment Agreement Note field by clicking the Copy Agreement to Note button (they appear in the field with a ***NEW*** heading). Additionally, when a payment agreement is cleared from a patient, a copy of the terms of the cleared agreement are entered in this field (under a ***CLEARED*** heading).

  • Example of Payment Agreement Note with agreement terms copied to the note field.

  • Payment Plan Note - This note should be used to record any information related to a Future Due Payment Plan that is included in the payment plan terms.
  • Transaction Note - Similar to a procedure note, you can add notes to any financial transaction posted to the Ledger, including payments, adjustments, finance charges, and late charges.
Example of transaction note entered for a late charge.

If you missed it, be sure to read our previous posts about Scheduling Notes and Patient Information Notes. And stay tuned for next week's Tip Tuesday post about notes dealing with insurance.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Dentrix Notes Part II: Patient Information Notes

Continuing on the theme of Dentrix notes, today's tip will focus on the kinds of notes you can use to document patient information. While you could argue that every kind of note could technically be called "patient information," keep in mind that in the coming weeks we will still be covering financial notes, insurance notes, and clinical notes. Today's post deals with those notes that are specific to individual patients.
  • Document Note - Each time you add a document or image to the Document Center, you can attach a note to the file as part of the Document Information dialog box. You can use this note to clarify information about the document being saved. For more information, see the Entering document information Dentrix Help topic.
  • Office Journal Notes - Notes in the Office Journal have two main functions: to keep a record of past events and to remind you of events in the future. Dentrix adds automatic notes to the Office Journal, and you can manually add the following notes: Phone Call, Reminder, Miscellaneous, and HIPAA Privacy. For more information about the kinds of notes that are automatically entered in the Office Journal see the Understanding the Office Journal blog post.
  • Patient Note - Patient notes apply only to an individual patient, and can be used to keep track of personal information about the patient that doesn't belong in more specific areas. You might include information about hobbies, preferences, family situations, etc. You can choose to print patient notes on the route slip, and can hide them from displaying in the Family File. For more information, see the Entering or editing patient notes Dentrix Help topic.
  • Patient Alert Note - Patient alerts are pop-up messages to remind you of important information. You can create a patient alert for a single patient, an entire family, or selected members of a family. You can set a time limit on patient alerts so that you only see the alert when the information is timely, and you can select which tasks in Dentrix activate the alert so that you only see the alert when it is pertinent. For additional information, refer to our previous post about Effectively Using Patient Alerts.
  • Referral Analysis - As you are reviewing referral information, you can add notes about your referral program in the Note dialog box accessible from the Referral Analysis dialog box. These notes will show anytime you attach the referral source to a patient. Additional information can be found in the Analyzing referrals by patients Dentrix Help topic.
Example of an Office Journal note.
If you missed it, be sure to read last week's tip about Scheduling Notes. And stay tuned for next week's Tip Tuesday post about financial notes.