Kiosks, Scanning, and Electronic Forms: Visualizing the Paperless Office

Visualizing paperless charts is often easier than picturing how other features of practice management, such as check-in and consent forms, “go” paperless.  This is often due to the variety of options and the need for additional equipment and software to implement these features.

One discussion from LinkedIn (citation below) demonstrates the uncertainty a new Dentrix user has about how to implement kiosks, scanners and online forms for things like medical history. Respondents, including healthcare transition analyst Paul Hawkins, recommend private check-in kiosks in the waiting area and online forms incorporating medical history that are set-up via Dentrix eCentral (registration cost of $150 and $24.95 a month at the time this was published). These forms are then used to automatically populate the patient record via questionnaires. As Hawkins points out:

“It takes some planning, setup and customization of the Questionnaires, but I have many offices who have successfully implemented paperless in this fashion and would never go back.”

Forms can be signed electronically by the patient after review at the appointment time, and stored in the Document Center. This process results in greater staff efficiency and reduced data entry at the front desk. Scanners can supplement by entering insurance cards, patient IDs, and referral letters.

Setting up these additional features requires foresight, planning, and time after implementation to fine-tune the process. It offers a paperless way to reduce data redundancy and errors, and potentially to increase patient confidence and disclosure.

Lessons Learned:

  • Practice Management features beyond charting may be difficult to visualize due to the number and variety of options.
  • Many practice management features require additional equipment and vendor associated or third party software. Breaking down individual tasks will help you determine what software capabilities are part of the core practice management system, and what will need to be added.
  • Kiosks and scanners can assist in allowing patients to enter data and capturing data for billing and patient profiles.

Anonymous (2010, January 15) I am a dental implant dentist. I am transitioning to a paperless dental office using the Dentrix software. How do you be paperless “behind the counter?” Kiosks, scanning, online forms? The most difficult aspect is the medical history update. Any ideas? Linked In Health Administration Discussion.