Learn how to manage your lab cases with the Dentrix Lab Case Manager.
Do any of these lab work scenarios ever happen in your office?
- You call to confirm a patient for tomorrow’s appointment, but later learn that the lab case is not in the office and you have to reschedule the patient.
- The lab case wasn’t delivered by the carrier and you don’t have the tracking number.
- You need to fill an opening in your schedule, but you can’t fill it until you search the lab case log book to see which cases are back from the lab.
- A lab case you thought was sent to the lab didn’t get sent.
Do you wish you had a better system for managing the lab cases in your office? The Dentrix Lab Case Manager can help with all the above scenarios. It is easy to set up, easy to use, and will help you and your team communicate information regarding lab cases easily and efficiently. With the Lab Case Manager, you can see right from the patient’s appointment if the case is out or in, see what lab it went to, check the due date, and check the delivery status using the tracking number.
Using the Lab Case Manager
To use Lab Case Manager, you must first set up your labs. From the File menu in the Appointment Book, click Lab Case Manager. Before Dentrix will allow you to enter a lab, you must first create shade guides and shipping methods that will be attached to the labs.
From the Setup menu, click Shade/ Guides Shade Setup and then click Add. You can either type “Office Default” or you can type the name of a shade guide. Click OK, and then click Close. From the Setup menu, click Shipping Method(s) Setup. Click Add, type the shipping carrier you use (such as USPS, FedEx, UPS, or lab delivery), and specify any shipping options. Click OK, and then click Close.
From the Setup menu, click Lab(s) Setup. This is where you will enter the list of labs with which you do business. For each lab, click Add, fill in the important information about the lab, and then click OK. I use the Dentrix Lab Case Manager in a very simple way–I check the case out when we send it and I check it in when the lab returns it. Of course Lab Case Manager has more advanced features, but they are beyond the scope of this article. In the Appointment Book, double-click an appointment to open the Appointment Information dialog box.
Select the Lab Case check box, and then click Patient Lab Cases to display the Patient Lab Cases dialog box.
Click Create Case. In the New Case dialog box, type the important information for this lab case.
Be sure to include the Lab, Shipping Method, and Shipping Tracking Number (if there is one). In the Lab Assigned Case # field, type a brief description of the lab case until you receive the actual case number from the lab. You can see in why having a brief description of the lab case is important. Over time, a patient can have multiple cases. Including brief descriptions will help you select the right case for an appointment. Click OK, and then select the case you want to link with this appointment. Click OK, and then click OK again. The top right corner of the appointment block now displays a small blue L icon with a white background.
When the lab returns the case, double-click the L icon on the appointment block, double-click the correct case in the list, and click Receive Case. If you want to track the Lab Fee for this case, you can enter it in the top right corner of the Receive Case dialog box. Click OK. Now the white background will turn green to let you know that the case is in.
If you need to return the case to the lab for any reason, double-click the L icon again, double-click the case number, click Receive Case, select Return Case to Lab, and then click OK twice. The lab icon in the appointment block reverts to a white background so you know you sent the case back to the lab. Using the Lab Case Manager can save you time, improve your office communication, and help you avoid those embarrassing scheduling goofs.
To learn more about Lab Case Manager, see the Lab Case Manager topics in the Dentrix Help.
Read “DDX and Dentrix: Integrate Lab Case Management into Dentrix” for more ideas about lab case management.
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 18 years 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 firstname.lastname@example.org or visit her website at www.raedentalmanagement.com.
Originally published in Dentrix Magazine, Summer 2013