Generate lists, cards, letters, and labels in a snap with the List Manager.
Even if you primarily correspond with your patients electronically, there are times when your patients and your practice are best served by sending your correspondence through the mail. This is especially true when you have a large number of personalized letters to send. The List Manager, available in Dentrix G6 and later, makes generating cards, letters, and labels much simpler than in the past.
Dentrix has long come complete with pre-defined letter templates in several categories that you can use in conjunction with your patient database. Using these templates, you could create reminder cards, letters, and labels, and even modify the standard templates or create your own–as long as you had a good understanding of the letter merge function in Microsoft Word.
With Dentrix G6 and higher, which added a new List Manager feature, the process of generating lists and letters from your Dentrix patient data became even easier. From the List Manager, you can easily create custom lists, letters, cards, and labels. Furthermore, from a custom list, you can easily identify patients for whom you don’t have a complete address and “hide” them in the list so that correspondence for those patients isn’t printed. (To hide patients, select them in the list, right-click, and click Hide Patient on the shortcut menu.)
The List Manager Toolbar
The List Manager window includes a toolbar from which you can open other Dentrix modules. You can also print and manage lists, cards, letters, and labels. For example, if you want to group a list alphabetically, click the Group By button in the toolbar (Figure 1). To return the list to its default setting, click the Group By button again. If you want to abbreviate the column heading names, click the Column Names button in the toolbar. To return the column names to their default setting, click the Columns Names button again.
In the Office Manager menu, click Letters & Custom Lists. In the Letters & Lists dialog box, click the button that corresponds to the type of letter that you want to create. A dialog box corresponding to the type of letter appears. If necessary, set a date range. From the list, select the letter that you want to create, and then click Open List Manager. The List Manager window appears listing all of the patients fitting within the range you set.
From a list created using List Manager, you can readily identify any patient you don’t have a complete address for. You can then hide the patient to prevent printing a letter, label, or card for that patient. In the toolbar, click the Create Letters button. A message box appears. Click Yes to add an entry to the Office Journal. Your letters are created in Word and ready for you to print.
Creating Custom Lists
You can use the List Manager to get a list of patients you can use like a report. You can create a list from any letter template as described above. Or, you can use the List Manager to create custom lists.
To create custom lists, from the Letters & Lists dialog box, click Misc > Patient Report (by Filters). This template is not set up like a letter; it is set up to be a list of patients and is intended to be used for custom reports. Click Edit to set your desired filters. When your filters have been set, click Open List Manager. The List Manager window appears.
To exclude a patient, right-click the patient’s name, and then from the shortcut menu, click Hide Patient. The patient’s name is temporarily removed from the list (until you click Refresh on the toolbar). To print the list, click Preview/Print.
The List Manager also helps you create mailing labels quickly and efficiently. To create labels, select a category such as Birthday from the Letters & Lists dialog box. From the Birthday Letters & Custom Lists (or other letters type) dialog box, click New. From the Letter or Custom List Setup dialog box, type a name such as “Custom Label” in the Name text box. Select a template by clicking the Browse button and then selecting dtxlabl.doc (Avery 5160 labels) or dtxlabl2.doc (Avery 5351). Depending on the template you selected, dtxlabl.out or dtxlabl2.out appears in the List File Name text box.
Set any filters that you want to use when creating your labels. For example, to create a date range for birthdays, click the Birthday search button and from the Select Birthdate Range dialog box, type the date range in the Beginning and Ending text boxes. Select the data filters for labels: Last Name, First Name, MI, Street Address, City, State, Zip, and Title. Click Open List Manager to review the list and ensure that each entry is complete. In the List Manager toolbar, click the Create Letters button. In the message box, click either the Yes or No button to create your labels.
To create reminder cards for continuing care patients, click the Continuing Care button in the Letters & Lists dialog box. In the Continuing Care Letters & Custom Lists dialog box, select Cont. Care Cards — Appointment, and then click Edit. To change the default Continuing Care type, click the Continuing Care search button. In the Select Continuing Care Ranges dialog box, leave the dates under Due Date and Prior Treatment blank, select With Attached Appointment, and then select the appropriate Continuing Care Type from the list.
Click the Appointments search button, and in the Select Appointment Range dialog box, select Appointment Date Range and type the beginning and ending dates for the range of appointments. Click OK twice, and then click Open List Manager. Review the list, and in the toolbar, click the Create Letters button.
The List Manager is a powerful tool that simplifies the letter merge process and makes it possible for you to review to whom you are sending correspondence before you print.
5 Custom Lists You Can Generate in Dentrix
The List Manager is a powerful tool that allows you to create custom lists of patients that meet criteria for which Dentrix doesn’t have a predefined report or letter template.
The options you can use with custom lists are nearly endless. As long as there is a filter for the information you need, you can generate a custom list for it. Below are five examples of custom lists that might be helpful to your practice. Try creating these lists and then you can start creating custom lists of your own.
Note: For some custom lists, you may want to include additional data fields to show extra information in the list. To add a data field so it will show up in your custom list, in the Letter or Custom List Setup dialog box, check the desired field in the Data Fields group box.
Use the Patient Report by Filters template (in the Misc.) category to create your custom lists. Dentrix remembers the last settings and options you used, so be sure to clear them before you create a new custom list.
1. Non-Retained New Patients
This list shows patients who came in for a new patient exam (D0150) one year ago but have not been back to your office since then.
Filter A: Procedures
- Under Search For, Select Completed.
- Under Select Procedure Codes, set Beginning to D0150 and Ending to D0150.
- Under Select Procedure Date, set Beginning to the first day of the month one year ago. Set Ending to the last day of the month one year ago.
Filter B: Last Visit Date
- Leave the Beginning Date field blank. Set the Ending Date to the end of the month one year ago.
2. Referred Patients with Production
This list shows patients who were referred to your office this year that had treatment completed, making it a valuable referral. Make sure you include the Referred By First and Last Name and Referred Date data fields (in the Referred By category) on the list so you can see who made the referral and when.
Filter A: Referred By
- Under Search, select either Referred By Patient or Referred by Doctor/Other (depending on the type of referrals you want to analyze).
- Under Referral By Date Range, set Beginning to the first day of the month one year ago or to January 1 of last year. Leave the Ending date open to run the list through today, or enter December 31 of last year.
Filter B: Procedures
- Under Search For, Select Completed.
- Under Select Procedure Codes, set Beginning to D2140 and leave the Ending code set to .
- Under Select Procedure Date, set the dates to match the dates you set in the Referred By filter.
3. Patients Assigned to Specific Medical Alerts
This list report shows all patients assigned to a particular medical alert. Use this list to help you find all patients who may need special attention (like those with a latex allergy) or to find all patients assigned to a medical alert you want to change or clear. Make sure you include the Medical Alerts data field (in the Patient category) so you can see the alert type on the list.
Filter A: Med Alerts
- Select the medical alert(s) you want to include on the report from list.
4. Continuing Care Clean-Up
Dentrix will not let you delete a continuing care type if it is attached to a patient account, even a non-patient or inactive patient. When you are cleaning up your continuing care types and trying to delete unwanted types, you can generate this custom list to find the inactive patients or non-patients that are attached to the continuing care type.
Filter A: Status
- Under Status, select Non-Patient and Inactive.
Filter B: Continuing Care
- Under Continuing Care Type, select the continuing care type you want to delete.
5. Patients Without an Email Address
Many offices like to use email as a method of communication with patients because it often has a better response rate than letters. You can find the patients in your database who do not have email addresses so you can get an email address from them next time they are in the office.
Filter A: Guarantors
- Under Patient Name, select Guarantors Only.
Filter B: Email
- Next to E-Mail, select Only WITHOUT.
To learn more about the List Manager, see the List Manager Overview topic in Dentrix Help.
Read Scheduling for Higher Efficiency, Production, and Profit for more ideas about using the Appointment Book.
Read 5 Dentrix Reports Every Office Should Use for more ideas about reports you should be running regularly.
By Gary Frazier, Contributing Editor
Originally published in Dentrix Magazine, Spring 2016