Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Adding an Addendum to Clinical Notes

Clinical notes are a vital part of your patients’ records. You want to make certain that the notes accurately record the condition of your patients and the treatment you give them. For added security, Dentrix locks a clinical note from being changed after it is signed or after end-of-the-month procedures are completed. However, these records may need to be updated from time to time.

If you ever need to clarify, correct, or add more details to a clinical note that has been locked (either automatically at month-end or by signing it), you cannot just edit the note. However, you can add an addendum.

Here's how:

  1. In the Patient Chart, select the patient whose clinical note you need to make an addendum to.
  2. In the Clinical Notes Panel, click the Clinical Notes tab, select the appropriate clinical note and click the New Addendum button.

  3. If needed, use the provider drop-down list to select the appropriate provider for the addendum.
  4. Enter the new, corrected information for the addendum and click OK.
  5. Click OK to the warning message asking if you want to add the addendum.

The addendum is immediately added to the beginning of the original clinical note with today's date and is automatically "signed" by the provider you selected, immediately locking the note from further editing.

When amending the original clinical note, keep the following in mind:

  • Make sure the date is correct on the addendum. The date should reflect when the change is made, not necessarily the date of the original note.
  • If you are not the author of the original clinical note, confirm the content of the addendum with the original author.
  • Note the justification for the modification to the original clinical note within the addendum.
  • You have access to your clinical note templates from with the New Addendum dialog box to use as needed.

Additional Information

Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Access Dentrix from a Consistent Location No Matter Which Computer You Use

Chances are your practice has several computers—at the front desk, in the operatories, in the administrator’s office—and they are all probably running Dentrix. Have you ever had to use a different computer than normal and couldn’t easily find the Dentrix icons you were looking for to launch the module you needed?

Here’s a quick tip you can use so that you can always find the Dentrix modules you need, in the same place, on every office computer.

For each computer, log in to Dentrix, open the Office Manager, and click Maintenance > Practice Setup > Preferences. From the General Options tab, under Startup Options, click System Startup Settings. Select the option for Dentrix Quick Launch, and click OK.

This will add the Quick Launch icon to your Windows notification area (bottom right corner of your computer screen, near the date/time).

When you need to access Dentrix, right-click this icon to open a list of the main Dentrix modules, and select the one you need to open.

Set the same Startup Options preferences on each computer in the office, and you’ll be able to access Dentrix from a consistent location no matter which computer you use.

Bonus Tip: If you don’t see the Quick Launch icon, click the ^ button to open a list of icons available within your notification area.

Tuesday, January 12, 2021

Documenting When You Leave a Message

If you called a patient to schedule their appointment, but no one answered and you ended up leaving a voicemail message, where should you document this in Dentrix?

While you may not have spoken to the patient directly, it's important to keep a record that an attempt was made.

You can record this type of communication in the patient's Office Journal, just like you would document the phone conversation, had it happened.

Here's how:

  1. In Dentrix, select a patient and click the Office Journal button.
  2. When the Office Journal opens, click the Add Journal Entry button.

  3. From the Type list, select Phone Call.
  4. The Date and Time fields automatically record the current date/time, but can be changed if you are documenting the phone call after the fact.
  5. Change the Prov/Staff to reflect who in the office made the contact.
  6. Add a Description, such as "Left Message" or "Collection Call"--something that will make sense to the person who reviews the contact in the future.
  7. In the Note field, record the details of what happened during the call.
  8. Click OK to save the journal entry.
Be as specific as possible when you are documenting your contact (or attempt to contact) a patient. Did you leave a voicemail? Did you leave a message with another family member? Did you ask them to call the office back? It may be a good practice to also include the phone number you were calling when you left the message. Any information you can provide can be helpful if you ever have to review the Office Journal in the future and need to know about the contact or attempt.

For additional information about how to review patient contact you recorded in the Office Journal, read THIS TIP.

Tuesday, January 5, 2021

Starting the New Year On the Right Foot

 It's a new year!

Before you get back into the same old groove, there are a few things you need to do now to really put 2020 in the rearview mirror.

If you haven't done so already, you need to close out the year in Dentrix. But how do you do that? We've got a great article in Dentrix Magazine that has all the information you need to get started: Preparing for Year End: What You Need to Do Now.

Then once you're ready to to get started, check out our Closing the Year in Dentrix article, which answers these four important questions:

  1. What does it mean to close the year?
  2. How do I close out the year? Are there special utilities or processes that I should run?
  3. What do I do with outstanding insurance claims from the previous year?
  4. Are there any reports that may be beneficial to run?
And finally, you'll want to make sure that Dentrix has been updated to include the latest CDT codes. As you provide care for your patients, it’s important to make sure you have the updated codes in Dentrix so that you can use the most up-to-date codes to bill for procedures. Read our article titled, Automatically Updating CDT Codes in Dentrix for details on how you can avoid having to update codes manually this year.