Simplify your Dental Reminders

After implementing new practice management software, dental offices often customize their reminder systems to try and meet the needs of each individual patient and dentist, not realizing that by doing so, patients may be slipping out the door without an accurate recall in place. Overly customizing a system may prevent software links from properly scheduling reminders. Consultant Dayna Johnson recommends adopting the KISS (Keep It Simple, Stupid) method when establishing a Continuing Care system using Dentrix software.

Reminders for prophylaxis and periodontal maintenance in Dentrix software are found by going to Office Manager>Maintenance>Practice Setup>Continuing Care Setup. Some practices have either combined prophy and peri into one recall category, or defined separate categories based on interval (Prophy – 3 months, Prophy – 6 months, etc.). Both are incorrect and don’t allow the software to link to standard ADA codes, or to recognize an accurate due date.

Instead, maintain only one prophy type and adjust the due date for services in the interval box linked to the continued care date for that individual patient. Screen shots provided by the author illustrate exactly where to make the adjustment. This guarantees that continued care lists generated will be accurate and complete, assuring that no one slips through the cracks or receives unnecessary reminders.

Lessons Learned:

  • Over-customizing reminder categories in practice management software can lead to patients slipping through the cracks or receiving inaccurate reminders.
  • Using software Continuing Care systems as the manufacturer intended assures consistency for patients and compliance with standard ADA coding.

Johnson, Dayna (2012, May 23) KISS your Continuing Care Types. The Dentrix Office Manager.