Saturday, April 30, 2011

Going Paperless...Volume 3

There are several areas where information can be captured digitally rather then with paper throughout the patient encounter with your office.  One area is the reception area in the practice.  We added the Dentrix Kiosk six months age and love it.  It has a very small footprint and can fit in almost every reception room.

The Dentrix Kiosk allows patients to complete office forms electronically while they are waiting to be seen.  They can do their new patient registration forms, HIPPA, medical and dental history, and even update old forms! When the form is complete it is automatically downloaded to the Dentrix Questionaire Module.  The patient then comes up to the front desk and signs the electronic e-pad from Dentrix ($130) USB device.  It that simple!

Also if you have people lined up at the Kiosk to use it.  You can buy a few i-Pads from Apple or the new XOOM tablet from Motorola, and let them fill it out on the pad.  We have two i-Pads we keep charged for that very reason.  Dentrix support will help you set that up.  You just have to purchase the pads or XOOM.

Good luck and get moving!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Upgrading Your changing the batteries in your smoke detectors.

Every year I'm reminded to change the batteries in the smoke detectors, because of day light savings time and the fire department does a great job to hang signs up outside the firehouse to remind us to change the batteries, otherwise I would wait until that annoying chirping starts in the middle of the night and ruin a great nights sleep. Don't wait for the inevitable.  Apply this same concept to your computer hardware.

With computer hardware though there are usually no reminders until something just stops working and disrupts your whole workflow and makes your day a mess or even a week.  My advise would be to slowly change out each workstation every 6- 12 months until they are all changed out. Depending on what size office you have that could be a while The average lifespan of a computer is 3-4 years.  So instead of waiting to do replace them all at once, and take a big financial hit, do one at a time.

I use Henry Schein TechCentral to do the hardware because they make it so easy.  They were just at my office last week to replace a server that was acting up. And guess what?  It was 4 years old.  I was lucky it just didn't dead stop.  The whole network was slowing down. So, Jay Tindel came in and put in a new server that made it work like clock work.  Thanks Jay!

I use to buy all my hareware from Best Buy or MicroCenter and do it myself.  But TechCentral made it so easy and the price was very comparible.  So, give them a try next time it is ready to upgrade.  Don't wait for the chirp. Get moving!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Technology Alert!

Don't download Internet Explorer 9.  If you download it, it will not allow you to Print to The Dentrix Document Center.  For example, if you wanted to take the patient's insurance benefits from the insurance website and instead of printing on paper and then scanning it, you can just print it directly to the Dentrix Document Center. In IE 8 it will show up in the list of documents. But I experienced it does not work with IE 9.  You click on print to Document Center and the document never appears in the Unfiled Documents Module within the Dentrix Document Center.

Also uploading movies to youtube and other video upload sites, IE 9 causing issues.  My advise is to tell your staff not to download it.

Print to Document Center functionality works great with Google Chrome Brower.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Going Paperless...Volume 2

Use the Unfiled Documents Button...Inside the Dentrix Document Center to create an Electronic Pending Box.  It allows you to scan documents in bulk and electroincally file them later.  Most Multi-Page scanners will allow up to 50 pages at one time at 1-2 pages per second!

One great way to manage paper in the dental office is to scan it directly into the patient's chart.  Although we would like to not accept paper from the post office, it still comes everyday.  I have been able to reduce some paper by having referral letters from specialists with images come via e-mail and also having some insurance companies do electronic EOB's and payments directly to the office e-mail and directly into our bank. In addition you can use Dentrix PowerPay to allow for recurring credit card payments to the office and also through e-Central to accept credit card payments from your website.  Refer to my earlier Post,"You've got to start fast" for more information on internet payments.

One way to stream line the event when you have a bunch of paper that needs scanning, but you don't have the time to scan each one individually into the patient's Document Center, is to use the Unfiled Documents module.  This allows you to scan as many as 50 pages at a time or more depending on the scanner right into the unfiled documents module within the Documment Center and then drag and drop them into the patient's chart when you have the time.  Just select,"always on top function" within the Unfiled Documents module within the Document Center and you can select the patient's individually underneath it and never close the unfiled documents module.  It is so easy and fun! Go to Training On Demand  for more information. Get moving! Training On-Demand
Epson WorkForce Pro GT-S50 Document Imaging Scanner

PS The scanner I recommend now is the High Speed Epson WorkForce Pro GT-S50
Scan at alomost 1 page per second! Only $345.44
Epson WorkForce Pro GT-S50 Document Imaging Scanner

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Going Paperless...Volume 1

I went totally paperless or better yet chartless on Jan 1st2001.    Going paperless and building the electronic dental record (EDR) is inevitable.  In 2014 medical offices that are not compliant with having an EMR will not receive reimbursement for services under Medicaid and Medicare.  This does not affect dentistry yet, but it is coming.  If that does not motivate you, how about saving an extra 41 weeks of time per year, 2300 hours in staff time alone. At $12 an hour that’s $27,000 in paper chart administration cost, according to Dr. Larry Emmott, DDS.  I would estimate in my office we make another $13,000 in sales of dental products for example bleaching gel, because that has taken the place on the shelves where the charts use to be!
The most important step is to pick the date.  We picked the date and just started converting our patients over to e-records as they came in to the office one at a time.  It took two years to
convert.  But, guess what the paper records that were still on the shelf were the patients that were inactive.  We marched all those charts out to the storage container.  Every state is different on how long you should keep those records so check with your dental board.
One way to start decreasing paper is to have your entire referring Doctor’s send you their findings and images via e-mail i.e. PDF format.  This way they are already electronic and all you have to do is to read it and then drag and drop it directly into the Dentrix Document Center.  The old way would be to get it in the regular US mail, read it, scan it, and shred it.  If a PDF is sent, you have to copy it to the clipboard and then paste.  If it is a Word Document you just have to drag it right from the e-mail and drop it into the Patient’s Document Center File.  It is so easy!  Spend the time to learn the Document Center Module in Dentrix or your PMS.  Check on the Dentrix website, for Training on Demand. Dentrix On-Demand Training

Thursday, April 7, 2011

The Business of Dentistry 2011 in Las Vegas

If you can only come to one CE weekend event this year, then the Business of Dentistry Conference is the place to be!  Located in beautiful Red Rock, a 15 minute cab ride from the Las Vegas Strip.  This a Dentrix and Dentrix Enterprise users extravaganza weekend.  So pack up the staff and come to see me lecture about how to convert your office to a paperless practice, and other great classes for the whole staff given by some of dentistry's most prestigous key opinion leaders.  June 9-11th.  Be prepared to learn and have fun.