Why Should I Use a Routing Slip?
One of the most common “critical issues” that are mentioned by the doctors and team members in offices that we consult with is Organization. The other critical issue that is common is Communication. This article, instead of spotlighting one particular practice, encompasses many of the offices that we work with every week.
Symptoms of Lack of Communication and Organization:
As you can quickly surmise, the list can go on. The purpose of this article is to encourage you to implement the magical “Routing Slip” to your daily protocols. All practice management software programs are capable of creating one for each patient that is on your schedule for the day. If you are unfamiliar with this valuable tool, ask your Business Coordinator to call your software support team and obtain the simple steps to generate one.
What A Routing Slip Will Do For You
1. Services Not Posted
When a routing slip is printed, IF the procedures are entered into the appointment as they should be, these procedures are printed on the routing slip. This is reviewed at the morning meeting for accuracy and when the treatment is completed chairside, the clinical team member simply ‘checks’ these procedures on the routing slip to indicate that the treatment was completed. If there are any changes, it is indicated on the routing slip by drawing a line through a procedure that was not completed or adding treatment. The routing slip is brought to the check-out desk, along with the patient, and is given to the Business Coordinator to expedite the check-out. In most occasions, there are no changes and she simply “posts” or “walks out” the charges.
2. Procedures Posted to the Incorrect Provider
By reconciling the routing slips at the end of the day, there is confirmation that the charges were posted correctly. Each routing slip has a dollar value for a provider. Hygiene patients have two values - one for the doctor that performed the exam and one for the hygienist that provided the hygiene services. The routing slips are totaled “by provider” and the provider totals are compared to the daysheet’s provider totals for accuracy. Changes are made if errors are found.
3. Appointment Lengths are Incorrect
Time is Money in Dentistry! It is vital to your production that appointment times are accurate. The most sure-fire way of this happening is that the Next Visit (NV) is written on the routing slip along with the amount of time that is needed in the form of Assistant/Doctor/Assistant if you are scheduling out of two columns. You may say that you always take 20 minutes per surface for a filling. Would you say that it takes longer to perform interproximal restorations opposed to those that aren’t but they are still 2 surfaces?
If you and your hygienists want the proper amount of time for your appointments, inform the Business Coordinator what you want on the routing slip. There is never a question. If you have not indicated how much time you need, your assistant or hygienist should inquire.
4. Ineffective Morning Meetings
If your practice is chartless, routing slips are even more vital to daily communication and organization. It is your “temporary” paper record for the day. Now – go and be organized!
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