Missed Appointments

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    Our office has been using the “Break Appointment’ feature for both treatment and recare appointments. When we break an appointment my understanding it that two things happen:
    1. That appt goes on the Unscheduled list, so we do not lose track of the appointment.
    2. A missed appt date will show in the patient’s family file, so we can track how many times a patient has ‘missed’ their appt.
    But missed and broken are not the same thing and I’m wondering if we should be tracking them differently.
    If a patient cancels their appt or No Shows for their appt. That is truly a missed appointment and I would like that appointment to show in their family file as missed so we can accurately track how many times a patient has actually missed based on our office’s (and I would assume most offices’) policy. We have been posting a Missed Appointment code to their ledger so we can see if the patient has repeatedly missed and what they have been charged for missing. I know there is also a ‘MISSED’ status you can apply to the appt, but I’m not sure what that actually does behind the scenes.

    If a patient calls a week or two ahead of their appt to cancel, I do not want to lose track of that appt so I need to break it, but I also do not want it to show up on their family file as a missed appointment.

    The other issue I have noticed when breaking recare appointments specifically, is that the broken appointment will show up on the Unscheduled list AND it will show back on the CC list as overdue. These two lists are printed at the beginning of each month and our staff will call these patients throughout the month.

    Right now we are changing everything manually and I am hoping there is a way to streamline this whole process, so my real questions are:
    1. Can I change a setting somewhere for the missed appointment tracking in the family file to populate only if the appt is broken within a specific time-frame?
    2. Is there another option other than to ‘Break’ or ‘Delete’ an appointment to allow me to track appts based on our office policies? I know there is a wait/will call button, but it seems to function the same as the ‘Break Appointment’ feature (could be wrong on this).
    3. Is there a setting that will place recare hyg appointments only, back on the CC list, but not the unscheduled treatment list?
    4. Can I somehow link the action of breaking an appointment with a ledger code posting automatically to that patient?


    Great questions.

    1. If you break the appointment it will place the appointment on the Unscheduled List so you can track it. This will also put a note on the Office Journal and the Family File so you can track how many times they have broken an appointment. It does not put anything on the ledger.


    2. The Wait Will Call button also puts the appointment on the Unscheduled List but it does not put a note on the Office Journal or the Family File. If an appointment is on the Unscheduled List the patient is technically not scheduled so they will still show on the CC list but it will have a 2am date in the appt column.
    3. The CC list is only recare. If you are talking about the Unscheduled List you can filter the Unscheduled List by provider so you can then only look at hygiene missed appointments.


    4. There currently is not a way to link the breaking of an appointment to a ledger posting. Depending on what version of Dentrix you are using I do not recommend posting a charge to the ledger because it will update the Last Visit Date. In the newest version of Dentrix G6.6 you can now select certain procedure codes to not update the Last Visit Date which was a good change.

    Just to recap . . . . if a patient needs to remove their appointment off the appointment book AND you want to track that appointment and get the patient rescheduled, the Unscheduled List is the best option for this. If you want to see mark it as missed because of a no-show then “Break” the appointment, if the patient gave you enough time to fill the appointment then I would “Wait/Will Call” it. Then I would follow up with the patient up to 3 times (over a 3 month) period to get them rescheduled, making your call notes in the Office Journal Then if the patient is not rescheduling I would delete the appointment off the Unscheduled List. If it was a recare visit it will show back up on the CC list as unscheduled and if it was for treatment it will show up on the Treatment Manager as unscheduled.


    Thank you for clarifying the ‘break’ and ‘wait/will call’ options. We are using G6.6, so I’ll make sure those codes we have been using on the ledger are not changing the last visit date. Thank you!!

    Penny Reed

    Along this topic, is there a way to run a list of patients who have missed appointments, during the last 18 months, and it also show how many appointments they have missed, or where they have any future appointments scheduled? Thanks!

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