Clinical team . . . no excuses for running late

My passion is helping dental teams transition from paper charts to digital charts. Usually, the one push back that I hear is that team members feel like the computer is going to slow them down. I understand that the clinical team only has a short window of time to treat the patient and the last thing I want is to create a system that will make the team run late. In fact, I want to help create systems that will allow the clinical team to be more efficient than they ever have been.

My goal would be that the clinical team is able to complete the appointment, document their findings and write up their clinical notes before they dismiss the patient. By using templates and more of a mouse-driven system, we can usually accomplish this.

There are several places inside your Dentrix software where you can build these efficient templates and help your clinical team not only finish on time but also provide a detailed and comprehensive clinical note.

  • Procedure Note Templates – This is my favorite place for the clinical team to document the procedure’s clinical justification (diagnosis, clinical narrative and remarks for insurance claim). I like it to be documented here because the diagnosis will follow the procedure from treatment planning all the way into history. Also, this note box will download directly into the insurance claim for “Remarks for Unusual Services,” which is required for many procedures. When you are treatment planning a procedure, you can double click on the procedure code and find the Procedure Note button right in the middle of the window. You can add new clinical narratives here and then select them when appropriate to the procedure code.

I want the clinical team to be able to enter information as quickly as possible. Using these Procedure Note templates will help by creating a mouse-driven system instead of typing on the keyboard.

  • Clinical Note Templates – Like I said above, my goal with the clinical team is to be able to enter critical information with the click of a mouse instead of spending too much time typing. This is why my next favorite template is the customizable Clinical Notes Templates. What if you could build a template that would include all the variables you need and all you had to do was click with your mouse from a list and then it would build a custom clinical note for the patient with very little typing? By using the Clinical Note templates in the patient chart, this can be a reality. We have a step-by-step instruction sheet on building this type of clinical note template in our Novonee Forum for our members and also have live webinars where you can learn to build templates for your office.
  • Procedure Buttons – With G4, you can have as many procedure buttons on the patient chart as you wish so this list should include the most common procedures you chart as existing, treatment plan or conditions. Do you want to know how the buttons can be super-efficient? Use a multi-code on a button, then you can treatment plan two to eight procedures with the click of one button. How efficient is that? Also with G4, you do not have to create the buttons on each workstation individually. You create button sets and then can select the button set you want for each workstation.

To edit the procedure buttons in your office, go to the patient chart > Setup > Procedure Buttons setup > then there is a drop-down menu at the top of the box where you can select the button set you want to use on this workstation. Now you can add, edit or delete buttons as you wish. Remember, always making sure you click save before you close!

  • Health History Update using the Questionnaire Module – In my opinion, the health history update is something that needs to be updated or reviewed at every patient visit. With many offices eliminating the paper chart, there needs to be an efficient way to document the health history, keep a chronological history and have it be part of the legal record with a patient signature. The reason I like the Questionnaire Module is because it is a set, templated form and it will auto-fill the patient’s answers from the last visit. This will save the clinical team member an enormous amount of time retyping information like medication lists and allergies. Join our community and watch live demonstrations on how to build a health history update or ask questions on customizing one for your practice.

I hope these template tips will help your office become more efficient and consistent with your daily charting tasks. If your office has temporary employees fill in for someone out sick or on leave, using templates will also guarantee that the documentation stays within your office protocol.