I use the KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid) method both in my personal life and in my business life. It just makes life better. I believe when you keep your business systems simple, it helps with training new team members and making sure your reports are not skewed because of human error. What I would like to talk about in this blog post is your practice’s continuing care system and what mistakes to avoid.
I have seen some pretty creative Continuing Care systems out there. I am not saying they don’t work. However, my recommendation is to use the Dentrix Continuing Care system the way it is intended to work and it will reward you with accurate and workable lists from which to follow up with patients.
The Dentrix practice management software has the most powerful Continuing Care system, ensuring that your patients are not getting lost in the black hole of the unknown. Being powerful does not mean it needs to be complicated. Your hygiene department is the lifeblood of the practice and it is important for you to have a reliable system for managing patients who are overdue for recare. We recently had an online webinar about patient retention. One of the main points emphasized during that time was if you let your continuing care system fall short, you will also see a decrease in your patient retention. If you would like to watch this on-demand webinar, CLICK HERE to be directed to our Events.
First, let’s look at the Continuing Care types and see if you have what you need and are using what you have. My main focus for this article is making sure that you have only one Prophy and one Perio type. However, I have seen some offices that have combined the two into one and just called it “Recare.” These continuing care types are then attached to the ADA codes corresponding to their respective names, so the Prophy will get attached to the D1110 and the D1120 codes and the Perio would get attached to the D4910, D4342 and D4341. If you are only going to use one continuing care type, then attach Recare to all the above codes.
What I don’t want to see is this:
- Prophy – 6 months
- Prophy – 3 months
- Perio – 4 months
- Perio – 3 months
- Perio – 6 months
I completely understand why you would think this would make sense and some of you might be wondering why the Dentrix defaults weren’t programmed this way in the beginning. That leads us to the next topic . . . where to edit the patient’s interval when he or she is on a different schedule than a normal 6-month prophy. Since it is customized to the patient, you will want to edit it on the patient’s Family File inside the Continuing Care box. When you change it here, Dentrix will know when the patient is due for his or her next Perio or Prophy appointment. Therefore, when you go to work your Continuing Care list, you will have accurate information using a very “simple” method.
If you would like access to our online Dentrix user meetings where you can ask live questions, join us for our next “Ask the Experts – Open Q & A” session. CLICK HERE to check the schedule.