General Management Software

 The Dentrix Office Manager Blog

A GREAT resource for Dentrix Users.

Source:  The Dentrix Office Manager Blog

General Paperless

“Good” Charting Software

dentrix screenGood charting software has many features. One of the most important is that it eliminates all paper. That means the software must accommodate all the bits of paper data that accumulate in a chart and it must have a method of importing virtually anything either with a scanner or file import function. If some bit of paper possibly a lab slip or patient letter must be stored in a folder then you have lost one of the primary benefits of an electronic chart.

Another important feature is full integration. That means that each item is entered one time and then transfers to where ever else it is needed electronically. For example a procedure will progress from diagnosis to charting to treatment planning to scheduling to treatment to insurance to payment. This is called single entry. If the user has to re-enter information such as procedure codes, tooth numbers or fees at any stage then the software is not fully integrated.

Good charting software must accommodate all the information we used to record on paper. That includes existing restorations, conditions, diagnostic findings, treatment plans, periodontal probings and tissue conditions, tooth surfaces, materials and procedure notes.

Charting software must be easy to use. Every mouse click or keystroke slows down the process and makes the program harder to use, which means it doesn’t get used. The more the user can customize the chart the easier it is to use. That means the user can create shortcuts, eliminate features they don’t use and designate functions for each button.

Data entry needs to be fast and easy. The standard is still mouse clicks and keystrokes however faster more intuitive entry methods are available. Like voice; we’d all like to talk to our computer just like Star Trek. Some charting programs allow users to speak in clinical findings like pocket depths, tooth conditions and restorations. Another alternative entry is touch, instead of clicking a mouse the user touches the screen. The latest is “Ink” a special function that allows users to write or draw on the chart just as if it was a piece of paper.


Practice Advisor

If you are  Dentrix user you need to check this out. Having digital data lets you manage your practice in a much more efficient manner. The trouble is most dentists do not know what to evaluate and don’t have the time to do it.


Dentrix Tip

With this feature, you can combine two or more lists instead of generating them separately like you did in the past. For example, if experience has told you that the most likely candidates to fill holes in your schedule are the patients on the ASAP or Wait/Will Call lists, you can generate a single call list  that includes both of those groups of patients.How ToIn the Appointment Book toolbar, click Appt List.From the Appointment List toolbar, click Setup > Appointment List View.Select the providers, operatories, and appointment list types to include in your list.

Source: Dentrix Tip Tuesdays

Management Software

Dentrix Tip Tuesdays

 Dentrix Tip Tuesdays: 2017

A free essential resource for all Dentrix users.

Hardware Management Security

No More DIY Tech Support

IT has become as important to a dental office as a compressor and central vac. In other words you can’t do business without it.

At one time dentists had to either understand technology well enough to do it yourself or trust their business to an IT start up that had little or no knowledge of the dental industry.

That is no longer the case. Major dental companies like Henry Schein now offer IT services such as Tech Central. Or you can choose a dedicated dental IT professional from the membership of the DIA Dental Integrators Association.

Management Software

50 Things You Didn’t Know Dentrix Could Do!

Are you using the full power of Dentrix® to simplify your life?Why not? In just a few hours, you can learn 50 tips and tricks that smart practices use to simplify work that is currently wasting your time.

Source: Seminar With Great Insight to Dentrix Software | Dentrix

Training, Training, Training

I consistently run into dentists or dental team members who wish Dentrix could do some task, say “refob the misanger”. I say “Dentrix can refob the misanger”. “Really! Since when?” They ask. “Oh, since the update in 2007” I tell them.

Almost without exception dental offices will benefit from additional technology training. Training can and should be tailored to the office and the individual. For example dental hygienists do not need to master insurance claims however they do need to master perio charting, radiographs and re-call.

PLUS the dentist needs to know how to use Dentrix. The dentist is the office leader. However the dentist cannot lead if he/she does not know where they are going.

Management Software

Dentrix Tip

Your dental office has several team members, and sometimes the same documents are unknowingly scanned more than once and stored in the Document Center. If you have duplicate files or have attached a document to the wrong person in the Document Center, it is okay to delete that document to reduce redundancy and save storage space

Source: Dentrix Tip Tuesdays

Lots of great tips for Dentrix users. I suggest you make the weekly tip part of your Tuesday morning meeting then do a monthly follow up to see if the team is using the tip and if it is working.

We all tend to stay in our comfortable rut and will continue to do things like we always have even if it is not the best way to handle the task. Change happens when we are pushed into trying something new and then are held accountable for the change.

Management Software

Dentrix Fee Schedule Maintenance

This is one of many how to videos for Dentrix users you can find here on YouTube


Eliminate the color coded post it notes, Add 5 % to your net income

From Digital Dentrix Diva Dayna:

When I see post it notes all over the office I know the team does not have a good way of communicating between each other or making effective notes inside of the practice management software.  In today’s article I want to tackle the intra-office communications, here you go .

Source: Eliminate the color coded post it notes, Add 5 % to your net income

Dayna is a great resource for simple efficient ways to use your Dentrix system more effectively.

What she describes is something I see regularly. That is an office that has a good software system, such as Dentrix, but the doctor and staff do not use many of the features that are already there, and already paid for that would save money and make the office run better.

There are two reasons for this. One is that the office staff simply does not know the system exists. Frequently I have had a dentist or dental team member corm to me and say something like, “It would be great if Dentrix would just do XYZ.” I tell them Dentrix does do XYZ. “Really” they say how long has it done that?” The answer is usually it has done XYZ for years but the office has not had recent training or kept up with new versions.

The second reason is related. The office is simply overwhelmed with surviving the day and sticks to current systems like the sticky note wall because they are too busy to learn something new that will reduce how busy they are.

The second biggest mistake most dentists make with technology is lack of ongoing training.

The dental MVP of the future will be the team member who knows how to use all the technology and integrate it together. The practice “technologist”.

Management Software

Training Training Training

Dentrix Webinar:

You will learn how to identify what is going well within your practice and where there are opportunities for improvement. Also, you will learn how a personal practice advisor assessment can help you identify and review key metrics in your practice that will help you maximize your patient care as well as your profits.

Source: Event Registration

In my opinion you can never get too much training.

One of the great features of digital systems is the ability to gather and analyse data. The problem then becomes which data is important and what do I do when I find it? This course will help you identify key data points called KPI (Key Performance Indicators) and then give you a plan to act on the indicators.

Management Paperless

The Cost of Paper Records

A few people still maintain that old fashioned paper records are less expensive than digital paperless records. But that is simply not true.

Paper charts don’t just appear in the office for free. The paper folder and all the other papers cost about $4.40 each. If you have 3000 charts they cost you at least $13,200 to create and every time a new patient walks in it’s another four-forty; cha-ching.

Other chart contents, like x-rays can be even more costly. A set of bitewings with film, processing and mounts costs about $2.00. Three sets of bitewings adds $6.00 to the cost of each chart for these contents adding another $18,000 to the cost.

Storing the records isn’t free either. A typical office with 3000 charts will need three or four full size lateral files to hold them all. Depending on how nice the files are they will cost about $4,000 and could be a lot more. They will take up office space. A 10’x 5′ file room will cost $7,500 to build. That is 50 Sq. Ft at $150 per foot. Not to mention all the “inactive” charts stashed away somewhere else?

So far our inexpensive paper files are costing us $42,700, but that’s not the total cost. There is the human effort to make the chart, type the label, arrange the contents, file new bits when they arrive in the mail, write the notes, pull the charts every day and then re-file them. And of course there is the daily ritual of the lost chart, which no one can find only to have it turn up days later either misfiled or hiding in a stack on the doctor’s desk. The human cost is at least $13,800 per year. You also have the expense of renting the office space the file cabinets sit on, at $25 per Sq, Ft for $1,250 per year. (Double that if you are in New York or San Francisco)

What we have is a paper chart system that is really quite expensive costing $42,700 to create and $15,050 per year to maintain for a total of $57,750.

On the other hand a great digital management system including radiographs, the computers and network will cost about $30,000. Need some help? Look Here.

Management Software

Dentrix KPI Webinar

You can never have too much training.

If you are responsible for improving the profitability of your dental practice, then don’t miss this opportunity to hear from Jeri Sorenson, Henry Schein Practice Solutions Representative and Dentrix Practice Development Specialist. During this free informative webinar you will learn about how to use key performance indicators (KPI) from your Dentrix data to better manage your practice,

Source: Event Registration

Management Software


Another great online resource for Dentrix Users.

Source: DentrixDoesIt – YouTube

Dental Speaker Management Paperless

Digital Workflow – Beyond Paperless Free Webinar

Webinar October 12

The course is this coming Wednesday, you still have plenty of time to sign up.

Sponsored by Sesame Communications

October 12 2016 – 11:00 am PST

Paperless records are just the beginning; digital technology ultimately empowers dental team members with a more efficient – digital workflow – utilizing online communication and electronic services.

Source: Digital Workflow – Beyond Paperless | Dental Marketing & Practice Management| Sesame CommunicationsDental Marketing & Practice Management| Sesame Communications

Even if you cannot attend the live webinar sign up and you will be able to download the recording for later viewing.

Management Software

Dentrix Tip – Preventing Procedures from Being Billed to Insurance

Did you know you can set up procedure codes so that by default they are not billed to insurance? That way, when you post that code it won’t be included on insurance claims.

Source: Dentrix Tip Tuesdays: Preventing Procedures from Being Billed to Insurance

This is one of those little items that is sooo useful yet so many people do not know about it. They just complain.


Your Practice and Patients Will Love Going Paperless

A Guest blog from Dayna Johnson. The opinions expressed are from Dayna not Dr. Larry Emmott. However I believe it is valuable for dentists to get various takes on technology issues in order to make good technology choices.


Exhausted dentistBy: Dayna Johnson

Reasons Why Your Practice and Patients Will Love Going Paperless

You’ve probably heard it: “It’s the 21st century—go digital.” It sounds like an easy feat until you start to apply it to your practice. With tried and true methods of filing and billing, switching over would be a lot of headache, right?

Wrong. For the business side of running your practice, dental practice management software is the solution for going paperless, which will save you and your patients money.

Today’s Patients Expect Digital

Many patients expect their information to be available to you and them in seconds. No one wants to be sitting in a chair while their dentist fumbles with papers or deciphers handwritten notes.

Your younger patients are certainly more likely to respect your practice if it is up-to-date with technology. Studies have shown that 91 percent of millennials find digital documents more current. But if catering to 20-30 year olds isn’t your goal, consider the fact that 64 percent of all American adults own a smartphone, and even users aged 50 and older are regularly texting and emailing.

Patients Will Love It

Being able to correspond via email or text message, including appointment reminders and statements, streamlines the process of communicating with patients. Not only can they access all the information from their handheld device, they also can do it at a time that is convenient for them, rather than during business hours.

Many people claim that a visit to the dentist is inconvenient to fit into their busy schedules. Save your new patients time by making forms available to fill out online beforehand will cut down on their time in your waiting room.

Without physical files to keep organized, your office staff can focus on building personal relationships with your patients. The better experience the patients have during their visit, the more likely they are to keep returning.

Gets Your Office on the Same “Page”

Being connected with interoffice chat systems, digital patient files and easily accessible information ensures that everyone in your practice will see each other’s notes and comments about a patient—from scheduling to billing to their favorite flavor of toothpaste.

Plus, any team memos or reminders can be sent out to the whole staff for easy communication between shifts and departments.

Enhanced Security Features

There is not much security surrounding a printed piece of paper, even with the likes of envelopes and shredders on hand. But going digital provides confidential, password-protected arenas for patients to look at their dental information and billing with confidence that HIPAA laws are being upheld, and that no prying eyes will see their charts.

Additionally, the paperless system comes equipped with automatic backups for patient charts, X-rays, insurance claims, billing statements and calendars, so you never have to worry about accidentally tossing an important document.

Need more reasons to switch to digital? Download this infographic to find out how your practice can become more efficient, consistent, and secure.

Need More Help Going Paperless? Look Here:

Management Software

Dentrix Mastery Tracks

I just read an article from Sally McKenzie about finding great team members. Two things she discussed which dooms dentists to mediocre staff was settling for whoever shows up and failing to test for skills. The Dentrix Mastery program gives dentists a real life tool to evaluate a potential staff member’s Dentrix skill and it gives team members a powerful credential that proves they can do the job and that they are worth more to the practice.

Dentrix Mastery Tracks™ will make sure every member of your team is as prepared and capable as your technology—by giving you a fast and affordable way to test what they know about Dentrix and find out where they need improvement. It also directs them to the targeted training they need to enhance their skills and improve your practice.

via Dentrix Mastery Tracks.

What a great solution to a significant problem.

Lack of basic, ongoing training is one of the primary mistakes most dentists make with technology. Many dentists use a fraction of the technology they have purchased, complain that their system does not do something that it does or use awkward outmoded procedures to accomplish basic tasks.

Mastery training will help dentists improve the effectiveness of current team members, help them select new team members and will provide staff personnel with an authentic credential that increases their value in the marketplace.



Dentrix and Windows 10

As a Dentrix customer, both the Windows 10 upgrade and the .net 4.6 change will affect you and your office. In order to capitalize on these new versions and ensure that Dentrix and your other software solutions still function correctly, you need to take action before installing either Windows 10 or .net 4.6. As always, ensuring that you are running the latest version of Dentrix can help you be prepared for any other changes in the software industry.

Source: Windows 10

Dentrix will work with Windows 10 but you need to set it up properly. Dexis does not work with Windows 10.

Management Paperless

Eliminating Dead Tree Charts

officepaperwork600It has become fashionable on the Internet to refer to traditional newspapers as “dead tree” media. This of course refers to the many thousands of trees that are cut down every day and used to make paper. If you are using traditional paper charts then you are using “dead tree” charts. There is a better way.

It is possible to turn dead tree (paper) information into electronic digital information. There are four ways to create digital information.

Enter it
Capture it
Scan it
Import it

Enter it: What this refers to is the process of directly typing or clicking in information.

Capture it: Digital capture refers to a process that creates or captures information (usually images) into an electronic format. In dentistry the best examples would be digital photographs and digital radiographs.

Scan it: A scanner is a hardware device that converts hard copy papers into soft copy digital information.

Import it:  Data import does not create new digital information. It is a function that allows users to add already existing digital information to a patient record. The difference between scanning and importing is that scanning starts with a piece of paper. Importing never goes through a paper phase.