Simplify setting up your practice’s complex schedule in the Dentrix Appointment Book with an easy-to-follow three-tiered approach.
Did you know that Dentrix provides a three-tier hierarchy for setting up your practice hours to help you manage a complex office schedule? For example, let’s say that you have a hygienist who comes in at 10:00 every morning, but the rest of the office starts their workday at 8:00. And one of your operatories is used for training every Friday afternoon and is therefore unavailable for appointment scheduling. How would you set up this schedule in the Dentrix Appointment Book?
This article explains the three tiers you use when setting up your practice’s schedule in Dentrix. Having your office, provider, and operatory hours set up properly will help ensure that many of your Dentrix reports are reporting accurate information. Furthermore, when your provider hours are set up correctly, Dentrix will send appropriate warning messages to your team that can help prevent embarrassing scheduling mistakes.
Follow the three steps in this article to ensure that your complex schedule is captured in Dentrix to improve scheduling and reporting accuracy and increase practice organization.
Setting up Practice Hours
Begin by setting up default business hours for the entire practice. From the Setup menu in the Appointment Book, click Practice Appointment Setup. In the Practice Appointment Setup dialog box select each day that the office is open. Even if your practice is only open a couple of Fridays each month, make sure you include Fridays in this setup. Then, next to each day, click the >> icon, and in the Set Time Limits dialog box, specify the hours that the practice is open that day, leaving time for the lunch break. Click OK twice when finished.
After setting up the default days and hours, from the Setup menu, click Practice Schedule and navigate to any dates that you want to close the office or set as an annual holiday. From the Office Closed menu, click either Close Office on selected date or Set Yearly Holiday on selected day. When finished, click Close.
Setting up Provider Hours
Next, you want to set default hours for each of your active providers. From the Setup menu in the Appointment Book, click Provider Setup. With the first provider selected, click Setup and select each day this provider might work. (Even if the provider only works every other Friday, make sure you select Friday.) Then, next to each day, click the >> icon, and specify the hours that the provider is working that day (again leaving time for a lunch break). Click OK twice when finished.
If you need to change the hours for a particular day in this provider’s schedule, click Schedule, and then navigate to any date when you want to schedule time off for the provider. From the Options menu, click Set Vacation on selected date. When finished scheduling time off for this provider, click Close, and then repeat these steps for all other active providers. If you have other providers in your system, make sure all their days are cleared. This will ensure that your Practice Advisor Report and other reports are as accurate as possible.
Setting up Operatory Hours
The last place where you can edit the office hours is in the operatory setup. This will change the default practice setup for specific treatment rooms. From the Setup menu in the Appointment Book, click Operatory Setup. With the first operatory selected, click Setup and select each day this operatory might be used. (Again, even if the operatory is used only every other Friday, make sure you select Friday). Then, next to each day, click the >> icon, and specify the hours that the operatory is used that day. Click OK twice when finished.
If you want to close the operatory for specific days or schedule hours, you can click Schedule from the Operatory Setup dialog box, or you can right-click in the Appointment Book and choose Schedule Event from the shortcut menu.
Using this simple three-tier approach makes it easy to set up your practice’s complex schedule.
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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, Winter 2014