Think about what is important when you are training a new puppy or learning a new sport or even raising a child. Besides having a lot of patience, what is one thing that can create a more stable learning environment? Consistency! This year, I have had three new Dentrix offices and consistency helped bring the team together, eliminate confusion, and create accuracy to the patient data.
Today, I wanted to share with you the simple steps you can do in your office to bring more consistency into your Dentrix software, so you have fewer choices, things look the same no matter what workstation you are working at, and keep your team on the same page. This is something you can implement today and make a big difference in your workflow. You might not notice it, but when you have to stop readjust your eyes or think about the selections to make when printing a treatment plan it will slow you down.
Here are my top 5 places where you can make small tweaks with big benefits.
- Appointment Book Views – One thing I always make sure of with my teams is the ability to quickly and easily get back to an appointment book view that looks familiar. If you have created views in your office, you know that they are attached to the “F” keys on the keyboard. My recommendation is to make F1 the office standard view and F2 the HIPAA-compliant view. Then the team can have a little more free reign if they want to create some custom views if they feel the need. If you make F1 and F2 consistent, then everyone on the team knows how to get back to safety.
- Procedure Buttons – The buttons on the Dentrix patient chart is the one thing that makes treatment planning and charting super efficient. If clinical team members move from room to room, they don’t have time to look for the correct procedure code or series of procedure codes to post to the treatment plan. They need it to be right there in their faces quickly! In my opinion, I would like to see one procedure button set for the whole office unless you have multiple specialists in your practice. If you want my tip sheet on creating procedure buttons, CLICK HERE.
- Printing a Treatment Plan – If you are generating treatment plan estimates for patients from multiple workstations, then there is a high probability that they are coming out of the printer with different columns of information, different colors, and different headers … which does not create a sense of confidence. You want the treatment plan estimates to look and feel the same. My recommendation is to create a report style for insurance patients, one for cash patients and one for PPO patients.
- Chart Views and Colors – Another one for the clinical team is to create a consistent view for the patient chart. If you walk into a different operatory and the chart colors are different, the panels are in different places, and you can’t find the clinical note tab, it will slow you down. You can create a view and a color scheme to create consistency across all workstations. I like to name the views the same as the procedure buttons to create a double dose of consistency.
- Perio Chart Graphic Chart – One other part of the patient record that has options for themes and colors is the Dentrix graphical perio chart. This is a great feature for educating your patients on their periodontal health. Most of the time, the hygienist is working out of the same room, but not always. If your hygienist opens up the graphic chart to go over the pocket depths, bleeding, mobility, etc., and it looks different, it will immediately throw him or her off. You can create a theme, save it, and select it on all workstations so they all look the same.
Even if you are not brand new to Dentrix, these five tips for creating consistency among all your workstations will help lower the stress level in the office and have your entire team on the same page. I am confident these small changes will make big improvements to your workflow.