An effective huddle includes discussing pertinent patient information that the entire dental team needs in order to provide the best patient experience. That’s why having accurate, up-to-date information on route slips and Patient Visit Forms is so important.
An average day in the dental office begins whether you are prepared or not — delivering patient care, presenting treatment plans, scheduling to goal, responding to the doctor’s needs, and don’t forget constant interruptions when patients walk in the door. So it goes without saying that daily preparation for each busy day can drastically improve operational efficiency, and the ability of the dental team to perform their daily duties, all while providing excellent patient care.
Setting aside dedicated time before the first appointments of the day may sound easy, but effectively and efficiently utilizing that “morning huddle” time can prove to be tricky. An effective huddle includes discussing pertinent patient information that the entire dental team needs in order to provide the best patient experience, while securing the success of the dental practice.
Dentrix offers two great paper options to make the morning huddle work for the team: route slips and Patient Visit Forms. However, these tools are only as valuable as they are accurate. As they say, “information is power.” So it’s vital to get the right information, and utilize it to improve the efficiency and patient care in your practice. Below you’ll find 4 ways to harness that power when you use your accurate Dentrix route slips or Patient Visit Forms in your daily morning huddles.
Remember that eAssist Dental Solutions works with Dentrix to handle many of the administrative tasks that bog down your in-house team. The outsourced services provided by eAssist Dental Solutions can be paired with your Dentrix solutions to eliminate inaccuracies and inefficiencies—making your Dentrix tools, like route slips or Patient Visit Forms, even more powerful in driving success for your practice.
1: Patient Insurance Information and Treatment Plans
Route slips and Patient Visit Forms both list the patient’s insurance information, including the benefit maximum used, remaining benefits, deductible, and more. This information, however, is often input into Dentrix incorrectly or incompletely, which can have compounding ramifications – everything from team compensation to the overall office stress level.
Insurance denials due to incorrect or incomplete insurance information are the mother of all lost profits for a dental practice. With Dentrix, staff can record more information about the insurance plan — such as, coordination of benefits, Preferred Provider Organization (PPO), waiting periods, exceptions, and so much more. eAssist’s Insurance Verification service can provide the peace of mind that comes with knowing each patient’s insurance information is meticulously detailed in these sections. Ultimately this leads to higher revenue, more accurate patient treatment plans, fewer angry patients, less time chasing insurance information on the phone, and more time for patient care.
2: Patient Treatment and Outstanding Claims
Another key piece of information to discuss in a morning huddle is the patient’s treatment, both what is scheduled that day and what is still outstanding. The route slip will also list if the patient has claims outstanding with their insurance company. The Insurance Aging Report in Dentrix captures these outstanding claims, but even for the most operationally-savvy offices, carving out time to reconcile claims and follow up on denials and appeals can be a challenge.
eAssist’s Dental Insurance Billing service unburdens the in-house staff from the tedious task of claim reconciliation, freeing up your time and attention for your patients and other important tasks. By taking the claim from start to finish, utilizing the attachment features within Dentrix, and posting detailed notes in the Claim Status section of the patient’s dental claim, eAssist delivers peace of mind, and ensures consistent cash flow to the business.
3: Patient Account Balances and Payments
Administrative staff everywhere agree that communicating which scheduled patients have outstanding account balances in the morning huddle is both proactive and helpful — but only if the account balance is accurate. Having a financial discussion with a patient regarding an incorrect balance not only makes the discussion all the more difficult, it can also cause that patient to distrust the competence and integrity of the practice. Avoid ruining your (and your patient’s) day with difficult conversations by having eAssist post the line-itemized insurance payment. This also helps ensure the doctor is paid 100% of what they are rightfully owed.
Based on the Aging Report, most offices suffer from an operational backlog each month due to the sheer volume of patient billing statements that need to be sent out, along with those difficult and time-consuming account balance conversations with patients. eAssist’s Patient Billing service helps alleviate this angst by sending statements regularly, gently reminding patients of balances due, even setting up payment arrangements, and more. eAssist utilizes the communication tools within Dentrix — e.g., guarantor notes and office journal — to notate account audits, conversations with patients, and dates when eStatements were sent.
4: Patient Continuing Care and Scheduling
Both Dentrix route slips and Patient Visit Forms include the patient’s continuing care information and if the patient is scheduled for that visit. Maintaining the existing patient base is crucial to the continued success and profitability of a practice, but what happens when the patient cancels that continuing care appointment? Without an internal standard operating procedure (SOP), a large percentage of patients may be slipping through the cracks – bad for the patient’s health, and the bottom line of the business.
Get patients re-engaged and back on the schedule where they belong by utilizing eAssist’s Full Schedule service. Whether it has been weeks or months since the patient was last seen, eAssist can help you welcome them back with personalized communication that represents your unique dental practice. eAssist pulls comprehensive information from Dentrix continuing care reports to get those patients back in the office and back on track with overdue treatment.
Patients are the #1 priority in any dental practice, and the morning huddle sets the team up to provide each one with the excellent, comprehensive care you’re committed to deliver. Experts in how to best leverage the robust tools and features of your Dentrix system, eAssist Dental Solutions works behind-the-scenes for the benefit of the dental practice and team, helping you focus more effectively on what drives the growth of the practice – your patients.
Visit www.dentrix.com/eassist to learn more about how eAssist can add value to your practice.
For additional information, read our previous articles titled Customizable Patient Visit Forms and Route Slips or Patient Visit Forms? Which Is Right for your Office?
By Amanda Cross, eAssist Dental Solutions and Dentrix user of 15 years