Alternate treatment plan cases allow you to group treatment plan procedures together to offer patients multiple treatment options.
Your patient, Michael Adder, came in for a routine visit. It looks like he needs a couple of resins, and he wants to know what options are available to replace a missing tooth he has had for more than a year. You recommend an implant. Michael rejects the implant option, however, because of the expense involved. You want to give him the option of replacing the tooth with a bridge instead, so you now need to create a second treatment plan and present the second option to him.
In the Dentrix Treatment Planner, treatment plans are organized into treatment plan cases. Treatment plan cases allow you to group your patients’ treatment plan procedures together into meaningful treatment options.
You can organize treatment-planned procedures into alternate cases to provide patients with different treatment options in situations where the patient can accept one treatment plan or another, as in the case with Mr. Adder where he could have an implant or a bridge. When you separate different treatment options into different cases, you can present each option one at a time, causing less confusion for the patient.
Creating an Alternate Treatment Plan Case
To create an alternate case, post the procedures associated with each of the patient’s treatment options in the Patient Chart. Then, open the Treatment Planner. When you open the Treatment Planner, all treatment-planned procedures for the selected patient are placed in the default case. In the Navigation panel of the Treatment Planner, right-click the default case and select Create Alternate Case.
A dialog appears that allows you to enter a name for the alternate case and select the procedures that correspond to that case.
The procedures that are checked in this dialog are the procedures that will be added to the alternate case. If a procedure does not belong in the alternate case, uncheck it. Note: You can also create more alternate cases if you want to present more than two treatment plan options to your patient.
After clicking OK, the procedures that were added to the alternate case are still a part of the original case as well, so you will need to delete them from the original case. Select the procedures, right-click anywhere in the Navigation panel, and select Delete Procedure(s) to delete them.
Tip: You can select more than one procedure by pressing and holding the Ctrl key on your keyboard and then selecting each procedure.
If certain procedures are relevant in both treatment plan cases, you should leave them in the default case and the alternate case. For example, as in the case of Michael Adder, if the patient needs a couple of resins along with a bridge or an implant, then the resin procedure codes should be in both the bridge treatment option as well as the implant option.
Once you have presented an option to your patient, you can change the case status to show which case is recommended and which case is accepted by the patient. To set a case as the recommended case, right-click the case and select Set as Recommended Case. When you set a case as Recommended, a star image appears next to the case. To set a case as the accepted case, click the Update Case Status button and select Accepted. When you set a case as Accepted, the other cases are automatically rejected. When you set a case as either Recommended or Accepted, only the treatment-planned procedures within that case continue to be visible in the Patient Chart.
For advice and ideas about increasing case acceptance, read Increasing Treatment Acceptance and Getting Paid.
By Jennifer Blaser, Contributing Editor
Originally published in Dentrix Magazine, Summer 2010