Administrative and clinical staff often end up chasing a dentist to make sure that a patient’s visit note has been reviewed, signed and closed. Luckily, medicine has been handling this problem for a very long time. Dentists and doctors have some tendencies in common, and leaving notes incomplete is often a problem. Luckily, software design has advanced to allow for automated, simple remedies that do not require staff to step in.
Electronic health records (EHRs) should have the capability to identify unsigned or incomplete notes and flag them. This often feeds into a dashboard, or an area where the provider can see tasks. When an office depends on electronic records, completion is important not only for workflow, but also for legal reasons. An EHR that directly informs the dentist about incomplete or unsigned dental notes increases accountability without increasing interpersonal friction.
Michael Uretz is a thirty-year healthcare IT veteran and nationally-recognized Electronic Health Records (EHR) and healthcare software expert.