Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Following Up with Patients When You're Away from the Office

Consider these two scenarios:

  • The doctor wants to take home a list of patients for the day so he can make follow-up calls with patients who had difficult procedures, such as implants or extractions.
  • The weather forecast in your area is looking increasingly bleak, and a massive storm is expected.  The office manager wants to take home a list of patients scheduled for the next couple of days in case the office has to close early or cancel appointments in the morning if the storm continues as predicted.

Both scenarios allude to a list you can generate with patient contact information. Where can you generate such a list?

The Scheduled Patients Phone List is part of the Daily Huddle Report and can be generated to include a selected date’s scheduled appointments. This list includes the date and time of their appointment, the assigned provider, and patient’s names and phone numbers.

Generate the Scheduled Patients Phone List from the Office Manager by clicking Analysis from the top menu, and then selecting Practice Advisor. Then select Daily Huddle Report. Select the date you want to print scheduled patients for under Enter Date for “Today” and make sure the Scheduled Patients Phone List option is selected. Then click Preview to open the list. 

From the Preview window, you can print the list as needed and take it home to use when making phone calls.

For additional information on getting the most out of the Daily Huddle Report, see the following articles in Dentrix Magazine:

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Changing Colors in the Patient Chart

The Patient Chart is a visual tool you can use to document a patient’s oral health. Within the chart, certain colors are used to document conditions and diagnoses, previously completed procedures, and treatment-planned procedures. 

To make this visual tool effective for your team, you can customize the colors that are used within the Patient Chart—both the paint colors (those used to represent treatment plans, completed work, existing work, and conditions) as well as the overall theme (background color options for graphic tooth chart). 

You can find both paint colors and themes settings in the Patient Chart by clicking Setup and then Chart Display Setup

Paint Colors

It’s important to discuss the color scheme you want to use for Paint Colors with your entire team. Because Patient Chart colors are workstation-specific, meaning that different computers on the network can have their own color scheme, the colors you select for the different Paint Colors options should be consistent office-wide. You don’t want treatment-planned procedures to be shown in red on one workstation and blue on another, as that can get confusing as you move to different workstations around the office. You may also want to ask around your office about color blindness and, depending on feedback, avoid colors (such as red and green) that may be difficult for some users to distinguish. Decide which Paint Colors your practice wants to use for each option and stick to it. 

For specifics on how to change Paint Colors, see the Customizing Patient Chart Colors topic in Dentrix Help.


The background color(s) in the Patient Chart are determined by a list of options under Themes. There are several pre-designed themes available to select in the drop-down list. Depending on the colors you have decided to use as Paint Colors, some of the themes might contain colors that make it difficult to see or distinguish those colors.

For example, having Conditions/Diagnoses that paint in black may be difficult to see against the dark blue background of the Blue Haven [Default] Theme. Try a different Themes option for a more distinct contrast.

From the Themes drop-down list, select one of the pre-defined themes and see a preview of what it will look like in the Chart window. 

You can further manipulate the colors with the drop-down options under Screen Colors. If you make changes to any of the Screen Colors options, when you are finished, click Save Theme and assign it a name. Your new theme will be available to select in the themes pull-down menu on all of the other computers in the office.

For more specifics on how to change themes in the Patient Chart, see the Customizing Patient Chart Colors topic in Dentrix Help.

Related Information

Did you know you can assign the same Paint Colors visible in the graphic Chart to coordinate with your progress notes? To learn how, read our previous tip titled, Giving Progress Notes a Little Color.

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

A More Useful Fee Schedule Report

How do you document your office fees? For many years, the Fee Schedule Report has been the go-to method. The printed report has some limitations. It can create a hard-copy record of either one or five fee schedules. 

If you choose one fee schedule, the report will not include any procedures with a $0.00 fee. If you choose five fee schedules, you must include a sequential range of five (for example, fee schedules 3-7, or 14-18 – no skipping, picking, or choosing).

The Fee Schedule Maintenance area (Office Manager > Maintenance > Reference > Fee Schedule Maintenance) holds a more powerful and flexible way of viewing and documenting your fees: Export them to a file!

For specifics, see the Exporting Fee Schedules topic in Dentrix Help. 

Your exported file can be opened in a spreadsheet, such as in Microsoft Excel. From there you can print the file, perform data analysis and comparison, or share the file with someone else. 

You can even make changes to your fees if needed and then import them back into Dentrix. For specifics, see the Importing Fee Schedules topic in Dentrix Help.

For additional information, read It’s Time to Update Office Fees Again in Dentrix Magazine.

Tuesday, September 8, 2020

If You Aren't Using It, Delete It

As time has passed, your Dentrix system may have accumulated extra payment types and adjustment types that you no longer use. You may have even reached the limits and cannot add additional types.

In Dentrix you can remove unneeded payment and adjustment types, which can free up the spots so you can enter new types you may need. This also makes your selection lists smaller when it’s time to apply an adjustment or make a payment.

Reviewing the Payment and Adjustment Types You Use in Your Practice

In the Office Manager, open Reports > Management > Practice Analysis Reports. Select the Payment Summary and Adjustment Summary reports. Enter a date range of several years, which will help you understand how frequently you use each type. View the reports and take note of the quantity of each adjustment or payment type that has been used during your date range. If you find that you aren’t using a specific type, consider deleting it.

Deleting Adjustment Types

In the Office Manager, open Maintenance > Practice Setup > Definitions. From the Definition Type menu, select Adjustment Types. Select an adjustment type, and then click Delete. Select a replacement type (if the selected type has been used anytime in the past, it will be replaced on those Ledgers with this replacement adjustment type). Click OK.

Deleting Payment Types

In the Office Manager, open Maintenance > Practice Setup > Definitions. From the Definition Type menu, select Payment Types. Select a payment type, and then click Delete. Select a replacement type (if the selected type has been used anytime in the past, it will be replaced on those Ledgers with this replacement payment type). Click OK.

Tuesday, September 1, 2020

3 Tips to Keep in Mind When Entering Batch Insurance Payments

Insurance carriers will frequently send you an EOB and payment for multiple claims and patients at once. You can open each patient's Ledger, open the claim, and enter the payment one by one. Or, you can use the Enter Batch Insurance Payment feature—a great tool to help you efficiently enter insurance payments!

For step-by-step instructions on how to enter a batch insurance check payment, click HERE

Keep these three extra tips in mind as you enter batch insurance payments:

  • To select all of the group plans at once for a specific insurance carrier, click the first alphabetical plan, scroll down to the last plan, and hold down the Shift key while you click the last listed plan, and click OK. That way, you’ll capture all of the group plans that are entered in your database for the same carrier and you’ll be able to see the claims for that insurance company. 

  • After you’ve finished entering all the payments for the claims associated with insurance check, make sure that you click the Generate Statements button as part of your process for entering batch insurance payments. A billing statement for patients to whom you posted an insurance payment will be created and sent to the Batch Processor.  Generating and sending these statements as part of your batch insurance process means that patients are aware of their balances sooner than they would be if you waited to send a statement in your next scheduled billing cycle.