Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Make a Habit of Checking for Dentrix Updates

As we approach the new year, let’s talk about a process you’ll want to make sure you are implementing in your practice—keeping your Dentrix software updated.

You probably receive notifications when updates, hotfixes, or other critical updates are available in Dentrix. But did you know that you can check for updates on your own when you are ready to install them?

To check for available updates, from the Office Manager menu, click Help > About Dentrix. On the About Dentrix screen, click the Check for Updates button.

The Dentrix Update Manager screen shows all available updates.

Installing the latest updates is one of the tasks you should complete before you close the year in Dentrix. Read the Dentrix Magazine article titled, Closing the Year in Dentrix for more information about closing the year.

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

A Tidy Batch Processor is a Happy Batch Processor

You probably know that every time you generate a report, create an insurance claim, print a route slip, or generate a billing statement a line item is added to the Batch Processor in the Office Manager.

After a busy day, that Batch Processor list can be overwhelming. Chances are you don’t need to keep most of those items day after day. If you’ve printed the report or electronically transmitted the claim, delete it from the Batch Processor. With so many items stored in the Batch Processor, it can be hard to find one specific item you are looking for.

To delete items from the Batch Processor, select the items you want to delete (use CTRL + click to highlight multiple items at once), and then click the Delete Report(s) button.

By default the Delete Selected Reports option is selected, but you can change to any other option that fits your needs. Then click OK, and you’re on your way to an easier-to-manage Batch Processor.

For more information, read the Batch Processor Overview and Deleting a Report topics in the Dentrix Help.

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Posting Treatment in the Chart - Three Different Methods

For some tasks in Dentrix, there are multiple ways you can complete the task, with the same end result. Charting procedures in the Patient Chart is one of the tasks where there are different methods you can use, each with their own advantages. This blog post explores three methods of charting treatment. Chances are, you’re already using one of these methods, but there might be an alternative method you can begin using, to make posting procedures a little easier.

Posting Treatment Using Procedure Buttons

One method you can use to post treatment is by using procedure buttons. Posting procedures using this method saves time because you don’t have to search through a list of procedures, and you can easily memorize which button represents a certain common procedure. These buttons can be customized to represent the most common procedures you post in your practice, as well as be customized for different Dentrix users.

To post treatment using procedure buttons:
  1. Select a patient and tooth/teeth that require treatment.
  2. Click the appropriate procedure button.
  3. Select a provider for the procedure and select an appropriate procedure status.
  4. Add surfaces or quadrants as required for the procedure and click OK to post.

Posting Treatment Using Procedure Code Panel

Another way to post treatment is by using the Procedure Codes panel. An advantage to using this method for posting procedures is that you can select multiple procedures at once and post them all at the same time. In the Procedures Codes panel you can search for and select the procedures you need from the list. If a procedure code doesn’t appear in the category list, you can add a procedure code to the list or click <<More Codes>> at the bottom of the category to see a complete list.
To post treatment using the procedure code panel:
  1. Select a patient and tooth/teeth that require treatment.
  2. In the Procedure Codes panel, expand the ADA category containing the procedure(s) you want to post and select the procedure(s).
  3. Click the Post button.
  4. Select the appropriate surfaces and/or quadrants for the procedures if needed and click OK to post.

Posting Treatment Using the Procedure Code Field

A third method you can use to post procedures is by typing a procedure code directing into the Procedure Code Listing field (between the provider drop-down list and the procedure status buttons). You probably already have many procedure codes memorized, so the ability to simply type the code into a field can really speed up the posting process because you don’t have to search for a procedure code in the list or search for a procedure button.
To post treatment using the procedure code field:
  1. Select a patient and tooth/teeth that require treatment.
  2. Type the procedure code in the Procedure Code Listing field. Note: This field will not be present if Auto-State is turned on.
  3. Select a provider for the procedure and select an appropriate procedure status.
  4. Check the appropriate surfaces and/or quadrants for the procedure as needed and click OK to post.

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Patient Appointment Information in eDex

In a previous Tip Tuesday post, we introduced eDex as an electronic contact manager, similar to the old Rolodex you used to have at the front desk.

You can add entries in eDex for those contacts you don’t already have in Dentrix, like your labs, pharmacies, cleaning service, IT guy, etc. But did you know you can also use eDex to find information about your patients as well?
For example, open the eDex module and select one of your patients. The right side of the screen shows you a collection of important information about the patient, such as:
  1. Basic contact information and a More Information button you can use to get more specifics
  2. Employer and insurance information
  3. Date of the patient’s next appointment
  4. Appointment status which can be updated from the drop-down list
  5. Appointment Book button that links directly to the next appointment
  6. Patient notes
  7. Account notes (pulled from the guarantor notes)

For additional information, read Managing Your Contacts in Dentrix in Dentrix Magazine.

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Customizing the Appointment Checklist

There are a lot of things to remember to do when you create appointment, or when you check patients in at the front desk. And when the phone is ringing and there are patients standing at the front counter, it’s easy to forget things.

Dentrix gives you a checklist at the bottom of the Appointment Information dialog box that you can use to make sure you have completed common tasks such as verifying insurance, collecting a co-pay, updating health history, or scheduling the next appointment. You can customize this checklist to include the tasks you want taken care of for each appointment.

For example, if you have a new cancellation policy that you want to explain to patients, you can add a checklist item that can be tracked as you create and confirm patient appointments.

How To
  1. From the Office Manager, click Maintenance > Practice Setup > Definitions.
  2. In the Definitions Type drop-down, select Appointment Check List.
  3. In the Definitions Text field, enter a checklist item you want to add to the list, and click Add.

Additional Tips
  • You can have up to 12 appointment checklist items in Definitions. If you already have 12 items, you will need to either delete the items you aren’t using or change them to new items you want to use.
  • The Definition Text field is limited to 20 characters.
  • Appointment checklist definitions are global settings, meaning they will apply to all computers in the office.

For additional information, read Preparing for the New Patient Phone Call in Dentrix Magazine.

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Creating and Using Claim Remark Templates in Dentrix

Anything you can do to not delay an insurance claim being sent is a good thing. Often, claims are held up because you are waiting for a provider to write a narrative. But by setting up claim remark templates, especially for the most common narratives you use on claims, you can easily attach a narrative and just fill in the specifics for the individual claim.

For example, on a crown procedure, if a tooth has insufficient tooth strength and retention for the crown due to prior endodontic treatment, you can create a custom claim remark template that will only require the addition of a specific tooth number before it can be attached to a claim and sent.

Here’s how:
  1. From the Office Manager, click Maintenance > Practice Setup > Custom Notes > Claim Remarks Setup.
  2. Click New.
  3. Enter a claim remark description and note in the corresponding fields.

  4. Click OK to save the template.

Then, when you need to add this claim remark to an actual patient's claim, open the patient's Ledger, double-click the claim, and double-click the Remarks for Unusual Services block.

Click the Claim Remarks button to view the claim remark templates you have previously created. Select the template you want to use and click Edit.

Enter the specifics (tooth number, surfaces, etc.) that apply to the procedure and click OK.

Then click OK again to attach the remark to the claim. And finally, submit the claim using your normal process.

In your next team meeting, identify the most common claim remarks your office uses and create a template for them to save time and be able to submit claims to insurance carriers without delay.

For three simple rules to remember when writing claim remarks, see the previous Tip Tuesday post titled, Reduce Claim Denials by Using Claim Remarks.

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Setting Expiration Dates for Treatment Plan Cases

Imagine that a patient comes in for a cleaning and exam today, and during the exam the doctor diagnoses the need for a root canal and crown on a posterior tooth. The patient has insurance benefits remaining that will cover a portion of the cost of the crown, but those benefits will reset at the beginning of the new year.

Your office fees will also change at the beginning of the year to reflect current industry prices. When you create the treatment case for the patient’s root canal and crown procedure, you want to indicate that the estimated prices you are quoting them are good until the end of the year. How do you do that in Dentrix?

It’s as easy as setting a treatment plan expiration date. You can give your patients a window of time after the case is proposed to accept the case with the proposed fees. Setting an expiration date for a treatment case can be done on a case-by-case basis, and can also be set as a default for new treatment cases you create in the future.

To set an individual treatment plan expiration date:
  1. In the Treatment Planner, select the desired treatment plan case.
  2. Click the Supporting Information button in the Navigation panel.

  3. In the Estimate Expires drop-down box, select the date when the estimate for the case will expire.
You can also set a default expiration date for all new cases relative to the current date, or at set intervals during the year.

To set a default estimate expiration date:
  1. In the Treatment Planner, click the Settings button in the Navigation panel.

  2. In the Default Settings for New Cases group box, expand the Estimate Expires drop-down list and select the desired option.

For additional information, see the Adding Supporting Information to a Case and Customizing Case Settings topics in the Dentrix Help.

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Do Not Update Patient Visit Dates

When you complete procedures in Dentrix, one of the behind the scenes processes that happens is that the patient’s last visit date in the Family File is updated to the date the procedure is posted. This date can tell you when you last saw a patient, and it’s used to help determine active patient numbers in the Practice Advisor and Daily Huddle reports.

But what if a patient comes in to purchase some whitening supplies or an electric toothbrush? These products may not require an appointment, but you still post them as procedures so you can add a charge to the Ledger. When you post them in the Ledger, the patient’s last visit date is also updated, which may not reflect a true office visit.

The same thing happens anytime you enter a custom in-office procedure code (such as sales tax or a missed appointment fee) in the Ledger.

In Dentrix G7, you can apply a setting to an individual procedure code so that when it is set complete in the Ledger the patient’s last visit date is not updated.

In the Office Manager, select Maintenance > Practice Setup > Procedure Code Setup, select the procedure code to apply this setting to, and click Edit. Then check the box next to Do Not Update Patient Visit Dates.

Take a few minutes to make a list of the procedure codes that should not update a patient’s last visit date, and then edit those codes. That way you can be more confident that the last visit date for each patient is accurate.

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Viewing Case Status History in the Treatment Planner

A dental practice is made up of hundreds of individual patients, each with (give or take) 20-30 teeth in their mouths. And even if you only plan treatment for a fraction of these teeth, that’s a whole lot to try and remember without a little help from Dentrix.

That’s where the case status history in the Treatment Planner comes in. While a provider may remember a patient’s name in between routine office visits, it may be harder to remember specifics about treatment recommendations, such as why certain procedures were accepted or rejected by the patient, especially when they are only in your office a couple of times per year.

With a patient’s case status history, you can see the dates and reasons for changes to their treatment case statuses (as long as your providers are diligent about adding comments when a status is changed).

For example, if the doctor has some questions about why a patient did not accept his original recommended case, he can get the answers he is looking for by looking at the case status history.

To view the case status history:
  1. In the Treatment Planner, select the treatment plan case to view and click the Case Status History button.

  2. To see more information about a case status change, point to the comment with your mouse. A pop-up appears showing the entire comment for the status change.

For additional information, read the Updating Case Status and Viewing Case Status History topics in the Dentrix Help.

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Allowing Individual Users to Reset Their Own Passwords in Dentrix G7

The office manager and practice administrative team have a lot of responsibilities throughout the office, and it can be frustrating for them to have to stop what they are doing to help a staff member reset their password in Dentrix when they can’t log in. And it’s just as frustrating for a staff member to be locked out of Dentrix until they can find someone to reset their password.

Dentrix G7 includes a new feature to help prevent all that frustration! In addition to the other new password options available you can now allow individual users to reset their own passwords when they forget them.

Each user can select and answer security questions that are stored in Dentrix and use them to reset a forgotten password on their own, without having to interrupt someone on the admin team or losing access to Dentrix.

Implementing and using this new password security feature happens in three main steps.

Step 1: Enable the Password Reset Option

From the Office Manager, click Maintenance > Practice Setup > Passwords > Practice Passwords Setup and click the Password Security button. Check the box next to Allow password reset with security questions, and click OK.

Step 2: Set up Security Questions for Users

Once you have enabled the password reset option, have individual users log in to Dentrix using passwords as they normally would. When they are prompted, users should select three questions from the drop-down lists, enter an answer for each question, and then click Save.

Step 3: Answer Security Questions to Reset Password

When a user enters an incorrect password, they are to prompted try again or they have the option to reset their own password. Click the Reset Password button to view a series of security questions.

After the user has successfully answered the security question, they are prompted to click Reset Password. Then they can enter and confirm a new password and continue working in Dentrix.

For more information about the new password options in Dentrix G7, watch the new feature overview video.

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

New Dentrix G7 Password Requirements

Updated 10/11/2019

The requirements for Dentrix passwords have been updated in Dentrix G7, so if you are currently using passwords in Dentrix, when you upgrade to Dentrix G7 you will have to make a change. You’ll be prompted to change your password to one that meets the following complexity requirements:
  • Is at least eight characters in length
  • Contains capital and lowercase letters
  • Has at least one number
  • Has at least one special character
In addition to these new complexity requirements, Dentrix G7 also includes new password options. You can set password expiration dates, set rules for when an account is locked out after failed password attempts, and limit the use of previous passwords.

Note: Make sure only the doctor, office manager, or practice administrator has rights to change these new password options.

How To
  1. From the Office Manager, click Maintenance > Practice Setup > Passwords > Practice Passwords Setup.

  2. Click Password Security.

  3. Set the following options as needed for the practice:
    1. Password Expiration - use the options here to give passwords an expiration date and a warning that passwords are about to expire.
    2. Password Security - set a number of password attempts before a user gets locked out, and the amount of time they will be locked out for.
    3. Password History - set a limit for the use of previous passwords.
  4. Click OK to apply these settings.

By setting these options, you can make sure that user passwords in your practice are being updated regularly.

Additional Tips

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Separating Medical Conditions from Allergies in the Dentrix G7 Health History Module

Updated 10/9/2019

If you’ve upgraded to Dentrix G7, you’ve probably seen the new Health History module. One of the great new features that wasn’t available in previous versions of Dentrix is the ability to separate medical alerts and allergies. In previous versions, they were all in the same list, and some offices would label the allergies with a hyphen to keep them alphabetically together in the list (for example: Allergy-Penicillin).

With the Health History module, you don’t have to do that! There are separate categories for medical conditions and allergies. And best of all, there are no limitations on how many medical conditions or allergies you can store in your database!

When you upgrade to Dentrix G7 all your previous medical alert entries are imported when you upgrade, but they are still in one list. You can quickly move the allergies you had saved into their own category with just a few quick mouse clicks.

How To
  1. From the Health History module, click the Setup button (it looks like a gear in the top right corner).
  2. Click the Medical Conditions tab and highlight any allergies on the list. Hold down the CTRL key on your keyboard to select multiple allergies at once.
  3. Click the Move to Allergies button.

Additional Tips

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Inactivating a Medical Condition in Dentrix G7

Within the Health History module, you now have a comprehensive history of the patient’s medical conditions, and the ability to quickly see which conditions are current based on the information in the Status column.

One of the new features introduced with the Dentrix G7 Health History module, is additional date fields associated with adding a medical condition or allergy to a patient’s record. When you add a condition, you will see the following date fields:
  • Reported Date – This defaults to the current date, and reflects the date you were notified by the patient of the condition. You can modify this date if needed.
  • Start Date – This also defaults to the current date, but should reflect date the medical condition started.
For example, if a patient was diagnosed with diabetes last October, and only filled out a new patient questionnaire today, you would enter today’s date in the Reported Date field and the date from October 2017 as the Start Date field.

You also have the ability to inactivate a medical condition or allergy for a patient, when it is no longer current. By inactivating a condition rather than simply deleting it, you maintain an accurate comprehensive health history that can be referred back to if needed.

For instance, if you have a patient who previously had been assigned the Pregnancy condition in Dentrix, but now has a three-month old baby. While viewing that patient’s health history, inactivate the Pregnancy condition, and in the Inactivated Date field, enter the birth date of the child.

To inactivate a condition for a patient:

  1. With a patient selected in the Health History module, select the medical condition or allergy to be inactivated.
  2. Click the Inactivate button, confirm you want to inactivate the condition, and click OK.
  3. Enter an Inactivation Date. The current date appears by default, but can be edited as needed.
  4. Add a Note as necessary, and click OK.

Additional Tips

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Automatically Closing Claims without Assignment of Benefits

It would be nice to know ahead of time if your office wasn’t going to receieve an insurance payment for a patient’s procedure.

If, you do not check the Assignment of Benefits box in the Insurance Information dialog box when you are setting up a patient’s insurance coverage in Dentrix, any insurance claims you create for the patient will remain open even though your office won’t receive the payment.

But, with a new Dentrix feature, added in version G6 you can activate a prompt that will notify you that a claim doesn’t have this assignment of benefits. This prompt will also ask if you want to post a $0 insurance payment and close the claim.

Using this new feature will prevent these claims from showing up on your Insurance Aging Report, and will remove the claim amount from the insurance totals in your Ledger.

Here’s how to activate this feature:
  1. In the Ledger, click File > Insurance Payment Setup.
  2. Check the Prompt to close claims without Assignment of Benefits box to activate the feature.

Once the feature is activated, when you create claims for patients without assignment of benefits, a prompt appears.

By clicking Yes, Dentrix will post a $0 payment on the claim and mark it as received.

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Changing Providers Attached to Procedures - After the Procedure is Set Complete

One of the most popular updates to Dentrix in recent years has been the ability to change the providers attached to procedures before setting them complete. But what if an appointment (or a whole day's worth) were completed with the incorrect provider?

Luckily, there's a quick way to assign the correct providers to multiple procedures at once from the Patient Chart. We've shared this tip previously, but it's still as relevant now as it was back then. Read it here: Changing a Provider for a Selected Procedure.

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

New Patient Appointments - Additional Ways to Contact the Patient

Did you know that when you create a new patient appointment, you have the ability to add a mobile number and email address for the patient?

These new patient information fields, added in Dentrix G6, accommodate those new patients who don't have a home phone number or who prefer to communicate with your practice via email. By creating a new patient appointment and entering this information, you have a way to contact the patient should you need to.

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Viewing All Patients with Payment Agreements

Updated 10/9/2018

Payment agreements represent income for your practice. Once you’ve set up an agreements for patients, the most important thing you need to do every month is follow up on those agreements and make sure patients are paying as you agreed. The new Payment Agreement Manager, available in Dentrix G6.4 or later, makes this important task easier and more convenient. Now you can view a list of all your patients with payment agreements and their agreement details without running reports and opening the Ledger for individual patients.

First, you can quickly generate a list of all patients on a payment plan from the Ledger by clicking File > Payment Agreement Manager.

From the Payment Agreement Manager you can view the payment agreement information for all patients at once, or double-click any name to see the agreement details.

Unlike a regular report, you can sort the information in the Payment Agreement Manager. Want to arrange the list by remaining balance, largest to smallest? Click the Balance Remaining column header, and the list is rearranged just the way you want it.

You can also hide or show additional columns of information, as well as arrange columns to fit your needs. Right-click any column header, and a list of available options is shown. Items shown with a check mark are already visible in the list, and more can be added with a simple click.

For additional information, read See All Your Patient Payment Agreements in One Place in Dentrix Magazine.

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Attaching Multiple Providers to an Appointment

Updated 10/9/2019

A patient being seen for prophy, bitewings, and a periodic exam will be seen by both the hygienist and the doctor. Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to attach both of those providers to the appointment when you add those procedures to the appointment?

And when you complete an appointment, wouldn’t it be great if you could assign the correct provider to individual procedures when the appointment is set complete? You wouldn’t have to correct posting errors later to assign the correct provider.
If you’re using Dentrix G6 or G7, you can!
One of the new features in the Appointment Book, added in Dentrix G6, is the ability to attach a second provider to an appointment.
When you create an appointment and attach a provider, you can also attach an additional provider at the same time.

When you complete the appointment, each procedure is listed individually and you can assign providers to each procedure easily by selecting the procedure and clicking the Change Provider button.

This will bring up a list of all providers associated with the appointment (the provider and the additional provider attached when the appointment was created), which saves you from having to look through a list of all the providers in the practice.

For additional information, read our previous tip titled, Assigning Providers to Procedures Before Completing Them.

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Requiring Start/Completion Dates for Procedures

Updated 10/9/2019

Some insurance carriers require start and completion dates on claims for procedures such as crowns and dentures. You can set up these procedure codes to require this information when they are set complete it the Patient Chart or the Ledger so that you don't have to track that information down when you're ready to send a claim.

How To
  1. In the Office Manager, select Maintenance > Practice Setup > Procedure Code Setup.
  2. Expand the appropriate category in the procedure code list, select the procedure code you want to require start/completion dates for, and click Edit.
  3. Check the box next to Require Start/Completion Dates.

  4. Click Save to save your changes and then click Close.

Once a procedure is set to require start/completion dates, when that procedure is set complete in the Patient Chart, a pop-up message appears letting you know that dates are required and that the current date has been added for both the Start Date and Completion Date.

Sometimes you’ll have to modify the dates, like if a patient has a crown procedure that is completed over two consecutive days due to excessive swelling. Double-click the procedure in the Chart or Ledger and edit the dates as necessary.

For more information, read the Editing ADA-CDT Dental Codes topic in Dentrix Help.

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Comparing Perio Exam Information

Updated 10/9/2019

When you see patients for periodontal maintenance, it can be helpful to show them a comparison of today's exam versus their previous one, particularly if there are important changes or improvements you want them to be aware of.

In the Dentrix Perio Chart, you can easily compare the results of up to five periodontal exams at once.

How To
  1. In the Perio module, click View > Exam Comparison. Then check the exams you want to compare and click OK.
  2. Click the Show Options button to select the information you want to compare on the exam.

  3. In the Compare/View group box, select the data or graphical information you want to compare.
  4. Click Close to return to the Perio module.

Additional Tips
  • If you choose to view a graphic comparison, such as gingival margin or clinical attachment level, additional display options are available. Check the option(s) you want to see in the graphic chart.
  • You can only view the graphical data for one exam at a time. Select the date of each exam you want to compare using the Display Options For drop-down list. Select another date to toggle between the exams.
  • See the Exam Comparison Overview topic in Dentrix Help for more details.

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Everything You Need to Make Collections Calls, All in One Place

Before you sit down to make collections calls, it's important to have all the information available that you'll need to talk to patients about their overdue balance.

First, use the Collections Manager to find the accounts you want to focus on, such as patients on payment agreements who have missed a payment.

Once you've got your list of patients to contact, you'll need information such as account balance, last payment amount and date, insurance estimate, and even notes from past conversations available for reference during your call.

Your secret weapon for these collections calls is the More Information dialog box. From within the Collections Manager, select a patient's name and then click the More Information button to access all the information you need for your phone call--all in one place.

All the information you need to talk to patients about their overdue balances is at your fingertips:

  1. In the Phone section, you have access to the phone number(s) you’ve entered for the patient in the Family File. 
  2. In Balance Information section, you can see basic information about the balance on the account, as well as last payment dates and amounts, and the last time the patient received a billing statement. If you need additional financial information, you can click the Ledger button to access the guarantor’s account.
  3. Once you have contacted the patient, use the Add Journal Entry button to document the phone call, who you talked to, and the information discussed, which can be reviewed later as needed.
By using the Collections Manager to find groups of patients to contact and the More Information dialog box to find the specifics about their overdue account, you have all the information you need make collections calls.

For additional information, see Simplifying Collections with the Collections Manager in Dentrix Magazine.

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Creating Appointment Book Views that Work for You

Almost everyone in the practice looks at the Appointment Book daily, but different people in the practice will need to see different information on the appointment. For example, a scheduling coordinator may want to see patient names, phone numbers, and procedures. A hygienist in the operatory may not want the appointments to show names or phone numbers for privacy reasons. And an insurance coordinator may want to see the patient name, primary insurance, and guarantor name on the appointment.

You can customize the information that is displayed on appointments by creating unique Appointment Book views. That way different staff members will have a distinct way of looking at the Appointment Book and only see the information they care about.

  1. From the Appointment Book toolbar, click View. You’ll see a list of existing views. 
  2. To edit an existing view, click Edit. To create a new view, click New.
  3. In the Appointment Display Info group box, use the drop-down list to set the information you want to view on the Appointment and the order in which you want to see it. For example, if you are the insurance coordinator who wants to see patient name, insurance, and guarantor information, set those options in lines 1, 2, and 3 respectively.

    Set other view options as needed, and then click OK to save. The view you just created will be highlighted in the Select View list, and assigned a corresponding function key. Click OK to return to the Appointment Book.
  4. Use the function keys (F1-F12) to change the Appointment Book view to the one you created. The appointment now shows the information you specified in the view.

  5. Based on the view we set up, this example shows the patient name, insurance carrier, and guarantor name on the first three lines of the appointment.

For additional information, read the blog post titled, Wrapping Appointment Reasons on Appointments, or the Dentrix Magazine article titled, 10 Time-Saving Tips for the Appointment Book.

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Find the Procedure Code Statistics the Doctor Is Asking For

Has something like this ever happened to you? The doctor has a meeting this afternoon and wants a report that tells him these three things:

  1. How many times the practice completed any type of filling procedure this year

  2. The total production amount from completed fillings procedures this year compared to other procedures from the Restorative category

  3. A comparison of the number of amalgam fillings completed versus the number of composite fillings
Where would you even go to look for these numbers? The answers are all in the Practice Analysis Report…if you know how to look for them.

To generate the Practice Analysis report, from the Office Manager, click the Practice Analysis button. Then on the Practice Analysis screen, click the Reports option.

To answer the doctor’s questions, run the Practice Analysis Production Summary Report with a date range of January 1 through today’s date, and include the procedure code range of D2140 – D2999 (all the procedure codes in the Restorative category). Then print (or batch) the report.

To answer question A, tally the quantity of each filling procedure completed. The procedures will be sorted on the report by procedure code.

To answer question B, add up the total production costs for the filling procedures and subtract that from the total production charges listed at the bottom of the report.

And finally, to answer question C, compare the quantity of amalgam procedures to the quantity of resin and resin-composite procedures.

For more specifics, read our previous tip titled, Determine Production Totals with the Practice Analysis-Production Summary Report.

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Using the Unscheduled Treatment Plans List

It’s never too early to start thinking about scheduling patients for their unscheduled treatment-planned work before the end of the year.  One tool you can use to find these patients is the Unscheduled Treatment Plans list.

This list will display patients and their treatment-planned procedures that have not been scheduled. And because this list also includes insurance information such as renewal month and benefits remaining, you can use this information to help you encourage patients to schedule their appointments before those benefits run out.

To generate the Unscheduled Treatment Plans List, in the Office Manager, click Reports > Lists > Unscheduled Treatment Plans.

Use the following settings to make it easy to use the report.
  • Make the size of the report more manageable by entering a specific Treatment Plan Provider or Treatment Plan Amount.
  • Make sure you select the Detailed Report type. That will print insurance benefit information on the report.
  • Exclude Referred TO Procedures since those will be completed by another doctor.
  • Exclude Continuing Care Procedures if you do not want to call patients for treatment like scaling and root planing. 

For additional information about finding patients with unscheduled treatment, read the Mining for Gold: Three Reports for Searching Out Unscheduled Treatment article in the Dentrix Magazine.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Assigning Visits to Treatment Plans

Updated 10/9/2019

When a patient has an extensive treatment plan, you can organize the individual procedures within a case into visits. By ordering the procedures within the treatment plan, you can make it easier for the patient to understand the treatment and make it easier to schedule procedures in the order they need to be completed.

For example, let’s say you have a patient whose treatment plan includes a root canal and crown on tooth 17 and two fillings on anterior teeth. You can assign these procedures to different office visits based on when the procedures need to be completed. Tooth 17 needs immediate attention, so you want the first visit to include the procedures for the root canal and the crown build-up, the second visit to include the procedure for the crown placement, and the third visit to include the fillings.

How To
  1. In the Treatment Planner, expand the treatment plan case that contains the procedures to be assigned into visits.
  2. Select the procedure(s) to be included in the first visit and click the Create Visit button.

  3. Repeat step 2 for procedures to be assigned to the next visit. As visits are created, the number of the visit increases chronologically.

Additional Tips
  • After you have ordered procedures by visit, you can make edits to the different visits as needed. Right-click the procedure(s) you want to change, and select an appropriate Move to Visit __ option from the list.
  • To remove a visit from a procedure, right-click the procedure and select the Delete Visit option.
  • Read the Assign Treatment Plan Procedures to Visits article in Dentrix Magazine.

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

A Chance to Update the Contact Information for Patients Being Seen Today

We live in a modern age. Just about everyone has a cell phone or an email address, and it is probably part of your new patient forms to gather this information. But what about your current patient base. Do you have that information for them?

One quick way to know which of your current patient records need this information updated is by using the Daily Huddle Report. Because this report is based on the patients being seen for today’s appointments, you can set this report to flag patients who don’t have an email address or mobile phone number entered in Dentrix. Then you can ask for that information when they check in for their appointment later today.

How To

  1. In the Office Manager, select Analysis > Practice Advisor, and then click the Daily Huddle Report button.
  2. Set filters for the Daily Huddle Report as needed, and click Scheduled Patients Setup.
  3. In the Select Report Sections & Order group box, make sure that the Patients who have No Email Address and Patients who do not have a PHONE # boxes are checked.

  4. In the Select PHONE Number Types group box, select Mobile.
  5. Set other options and filters as needed, and click OK.
  6. Click Preview to view the report.

The Scheduled Patient Summary page of the report will list all of today’s patients and identify which of those patients don’t have email addresses and/or mobile phone numbers in Dentrix. When those patients come in for their appointments today, you can gather that information and add it to their Family File.

For more ideas about how to use the Daily Huddle Report, read Secrets of a Successful Daily Huddle and Supercharge Your Daily Huddle in Dentrix Magazine.

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Changing a Patient Status in Dentrix - What Happens?

In the Family File, you have the option of setting a patient’s status to one of four settings: Patient, Non-Patient, Inactive, or Archived. But do you understand what happens in Dentrix when you choose a status? Do you know when you should change a status?

Here are a couple of guidelines about patient statuses:

  • Someone with a Patient status is an active patient in your practice and will be included in search results and reports.
  • Someone with a Non-Patient status is not seen as a patient in your practice, but can be a guarantor or insurance subscriber for another patient. For example, the father of one of your patients who is not a patient himself would be entered in the family’s account as a non-patient guarantor.
  • Patients are most often changed to an Inactive status when they have not been seen in more than a year and you have tried to contact them without results. Inactive patients are removed from continuing care lists and can be filtered out of reports.
  • The Archived status is best for patients who have notified you that they will no longer be seen as a patient in your practice, or patients who have died. Archived patients are removed from all search results and continuing care lists, all future appointments for the patient in the Appointment Book are deleted, and all insurance information in the Family File is deleted.

By making an effort to keep patient statuses updated and current, you will improve the accuracy of reports that include active patient numbers.

For more information about archiving patients, read the Archiving Patient Records tip.

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Customizing Clinical Note Templates and Categories to Fit Your Practice Needs

Dentrix comes with several pre-installed clinical note templates and prompts. Depending on the needs of your practice, there may be templates that you use every day. But there may also be templates that you have never used and don’t need.

If you delete the individual templates and categories you don’t need, it will be easier to find the clinical note templates you actually need.

For example, a pediatric dental practice may want to delete the clinical note template categories for Orthodontics and Fixed Prosthetics so they don’t take up space in the clinical note list.

To delete a clinical note template you no longer need:
  1. In the Patient Chart, click the Clinical Notes tab, and then click the Template Setup button.

  2. Expand the template category to view the templates in that category and select the individual template you want to delete. Then click Delete Template.
  3. Click Yes to the confirmation message that appears.

To delete clinical note templates category:
  1. Delete each template within the category by following the steps above. Then click Category Setup.

  2. Select the category to be deleted from the list, and then click Delete Category.
  3. Click Yes to the confirmation message that appears.

Additional Tips
  • Deleted templates cannot be restored and must be re-created from scratch. It's best to consult with the entire staff to make sure no one is using a template you want to delete, before you delete it.
  • You cannot delete a clinical note category that still contains templates. First delete all the templates within the category, then delete the category.
  • To learn how to customize clinical note templates, read Stay on Top of Your Clinical Notes in the Dentrix Magazine online articles archive.
  • For a full list of the default clinical notes templates that come pre-installed with Dentrix, read Knowledgebase article # 66217 in the Dentrix Resource Center.