Learn how to add continuing care patients to a “Last Minute Fills” list without creating fake appointments in your Appointment Book.
I was working with an office a few months ago that offered a discount for patients who do not pre-appoint but were willing to come in on short notice. These patients are mostly retired and have very flexible schedules. They don’t want to tie down their schedules in six months, so they just say, “Call me when you have an opening.”
This office used a manual tracking system for these patients but wanted to find a way to incorporate this into their Dentrix appointment scheduling. Since you can’t put patients on the Dentrix ASAP List unless they have a scheduled appointment, we came up with a creative solution. We defined a unique continuing care status that we could assign to these patients and later search for whenever there were openings in the schedule.
To see your current list of available continuing care statuses, first open the Family File and select a patient. Then from the File menu, click Continuing Care to display the Dentrix Continuing Care window. Click Status, and notice that this menu includes a list of the available continuing care statuses that you can assign to continuing care patients.
You can customize these status types to include new definitions. To do this, in the Office Manager, from the Maintenance menu, point to Practice Setup and then click Definitions. Click Definition Type, and select Continuing Care Status. Under Definition Text, type “OnCall” in the first box and “Last Minute Fills” in the second box. Click Add, and then click Close.
Now if you close and reopen your Continuing Care window in the Family File, you will find this new status in your Status menu. You will need to assign this status to any patient whom you want to be on a “Last Minute Fills” list without pre-scheduling an appointment. To do this, in the Dentrix Continuing Care window, double-click one of the continuing care items to display the Edit Continuing Care dialog box. Set the Status field to OnCall Last Minute Fills. Click OK.
Whenever you need to fill schedule openings, in the Appointment Book, from the File menu, click Continuing Care. From the Views menu, click Temporary View, and set the Status to OnCall Last Minute Fills. Specify the Type, Due Date, and any other search criteria you want to use, and then click OK. The patients with a “Last Minute Fills” status who meet your other criteria appear in your continuing care list.
This is a great way to create a “Last Minute Fills” list without clogging up your Appointment Book with unnecessary “fake” appointments.
To learn more about continuing care, see the “Continuing Care overview” topic in the Dentrix Help.
Read “The New Dentrix Appointment List” for more ideas about filling your schedule with Dentrix.
For more tips designed for Dentrix Office Managers, subscribe to the Dentrix Office Manager blog at thedentrixofficemanager.blogspot.com.
By Dayna Johnson, Certified Dentrix Trainer
Dayna Johnson, founder and principal consultant of Rae Dental Management, helps dental offices improve patient care, increase collections, and reduce staff headaches by implementing efficient management systems. With 20 years of experience in the business and technical side of dental offices, Dayna’s passion for efficient systems is grounded in both personal understanding and professional expertise. Dayna can be reached at Dayna@RaeDentalManagement.com or visit her website at www.RaeDentalManagement.com.
Originally published in Dentrix Magazine, Summer 2014