In my last article, I focused on the Dentrix reports every dental office should be running on a daily basis. These reports are critical to your daily workflow and create that system for auditing and forecasting your practice numbers. We are heading into the final quarter of the year and watching your practice numbers is more important than ever. Today, we will focus on your Dentrix weekly reports and workflow that are critical to a healthy practice.
I have been noticing that many offices have new team members and many of these new team members have come from industries outside of dentistry. Another thing I have been noticing (since I have started to travel again to offices and work with dental teams one-on-one) is that you have become out of sync with your systems. I agree your routine has been slightly disrupted (to say the least). However, I want to pull you back into the importance of getting back to your daily, weekly, and monthly systems. Today, we are going to focus on your weekly workflow.
There are many systems during the week that need attention. If you have an office with multiple team members being accountable to these systems, you can decide whichs tasks to delegate to which team member. If you are a one-person show, then you need to find time throughout the week to work all these weekly systems.
I will break them down for you by primary role in the practice so you can easily see which reports should be worked by each team member.
Scheduling Coordinator is the person who makes sure the appointment book is full and productive. This position has a big job and needs a handful of tools at his or her fingertips in order to fulfill this important position.
There are four reports that the Scheduling Coordinator needs to manage on a weekly basis in order to make sure the appointment book is full, productive, and patients don’t fall through the cracks.
- Grow your ASAP list as big as you can so you have a plethora of patients to select from when you need to fill a short notice opening.
- The Unscheduled List can be a great resource to help you fill your schedule and make sure patients don’t fall through the cracks … if you use it effectively and keep it current.
- The Continuing Care list is the best way to find patients who are overdue for their hygiene visit so you can not only keep your schedule full, but also make sure patients are staying on time for their recare schedule.
- Use the Treatment Manager report to help you find patients who have unscheduled treatment and to help you manage treatment cases. This is a very interactive report and is a gold mine if you use it properly.
If you are the Financial Coordinator in the practice, then you also have a list of tasks that need to be managed on a weekly basis.
When you are managing the accounts receivable in the practice, there are a few reports that will help you make sure nothing falls through the cracks.
- The Insurance Aging Report needs weekly attention so you can keep tabs on your overdue insurance claims. Insurance companies should make payment within 30 days and this should be your default filter for this report.
- The Collection Manager report is your best tool for following up with patients who owe you money. This is also a very interactive report and can easily be worked from the computer so there is no need to print this report. Also, as you know accounts receivable changes daily, if you print a report, it will be outdated by the next day. Therefore, avoid printing reports as much as possible.
- My recommendation is to send billing statements twice a week. With the Dentrix smart filtering system, you can be assured that patients will not fall through the cracks and patients will not receive duplicate statements.
If you are the New Patient Coordinator or you work in a specialty practice, there might also be some additional reports you will need to work on a weekly basis. These reports help build your relationship with your general doctors and let your patients know you appreciate them.
- The Referred By reports will help you get a list of your referral sources and is a good resource to help you send out thank you cards.
- The New Patient List will help you send out thank you notes to your new patients and make sure they are scheduled for their next visit. This report can also help make sure the patients first visit date is accurate.
No matter which report might be on your list of tasks, it is important that the entire team is making follow-up calls in the same places. This is important so everyone on the team can see who has called a patient and why. My recommendation is the Office Journal because you can find it on every report and on every Dentrix module. Creating a consistent, efficient, and productive workflow for your weekly routine is critical to the health and success of your practice.