We are coming up on that time of year when many of you might be working on your office to-do list while the boss takes some time off during the holidays. I know when I was in an office, I would put together my plan for what I was going to work on while the office was closed. The clinical team would work on projects like removing everything from all the drawers in the treatment rooms, reorganizing supplies, and cleaning all the ins and outs of all the cupboards. At the same time, the admin team works on projects left on the back burner until they have “free time.”
Over the next couple of blog posts, I will offer up some projects you can work on if you get some “free time” over the holidays. These are projects you can tackle to clean up your database and get it ready for the beginning of 2023. I don’t know about you, but I am a stickler for having a clean house and things put where they should be. Just ask my husband … it drives him crazy because I can’t relax until the kitchen is clean after dinner. Okay, I might be a little OCD with my color-coded closet, but I like things organized.
So let’s talk about what we can clean up in our database and why it’s important. When things are clean and put away in their place, it is easier to find what you are looking for. You will be able to generate more accurate reports on your patient data and retrieve better search results when you remove duplicates.
- Duplicate insurance plans – You can clean up duplicates a couple different ways, depending on how you want your data to look. The first thing you will want to do is join your duplicate plans together, which will move patients from one plan to another. This will just empty out the plan you want to stop using so there are no more patients attached to it. The second thing you can do is either purge this plan or just flag it as “do not use.” I am not a big fan of purging plans because if you have used it in the past, then you will see a message that says “Payor Not Found” on the claim on the ledger.
- Duplicate employers – Just like duplicate insurance plans, you can join and purge duplicate employers. If you have multiples of the same, it might be a good time to clean this up if it has been driving you crazy over the years.
- Inactivate providers and staff members – Now is a good time to clean up your provider list and inactivate your employees who no longer work at your practice. A few updates ago, Dentrix fixed it so you don’t have to exit all Dentrix modules in order to inactive providers. This made it easier to clean this up. However, they did not do the same process for staff members, so you will need to exit out of all Dentrix modules in order to inactivate any team members who are no longer working at your office.
After you get the above items in your Dentrix database cleaned up, it would be a good time to put some rules in place so you don’t end up with more duplicates in the future.
- Do at least three searches for an insurance plan, group number or employer before adding a new one. Slow down and take the time to search for it before you add anything new.
- Password protect some of these things in your security settings so only certain team members can add new items to these lists. This can add a level of oversight so that another person double checks to make sure you are not duplicating anything.
- Create a SOP sheet for your employee handbook so everyone is on the same page with keeping the data clean. This might also be a good time to add it to your next team meeting.
In my next blog, I am going to talk about the one thing that frustrates everyone and few people understand: Payment allocations and provider credits. Stay tuned.