Things That Make A Difference Before You Go Chartless
So many offices, both medical and dental, are going chartless. This does not mean the end of paper by any means. It is a process that needs to be taken on over time - the office is not going to wake up one day and be chartless. However, even before you think you are ready to go chartless there are some procedures that are recommended. Having the office accustomed to using routing slips, for example, may make your lives a lot easier in the future - particularly when you begin the process of going chartless.
The routing slip contains information that is imperative at morning meetings - but the information on the routing slip is only as good as the information put into the computer. Many offices are not utilizing their software to its full potential. As they have said in the past, "Garbage in, garbage out." We don't want this to be the case with your office.
Many offices are not treatment planning in the computer, and many that do are not making appointments by accessing information from the treatment plan. As a result, this leads to treatment plans that are complete being left in patient's charts. How then, do you know what has been done and what still needs to be done?
In many programs, if the treatment plan is put into the computer it will show up on the routing slip. This is important information for the entire office to be able to spot at a glance when working with the patient. This allows the hygienist to not only discuss what treatment is pending at the morning business meeting, but also allows her to have the information at her fingertips without digging into papers or having to click her way through the computer trying to know the next priorities for the patient in her chair. This makes it easy for her to help reinforce, educate, and sell your dentistry.Whenever treatment plans are put into the computer, if your software allows it, the appointments should be made through the treatment plan. This keeps the treatment pending correct on the routing slip and in the patient's future charts when the office does go chartless. Not only that, in some software when you post/set/complete the patient, it will automatically update the patient's existing chart.
The same is true when it comes to the patient's recall appointments. Whether they are on 3, 4, or 6 month prophylaxis or periodontal maintenance, as long as the scheduling coordinator has set up the patient's specific recall interval in the computer, it will be accurate. Many software programs will default to a 6-month prophylaxis unless it is manually set up.
If the recall is set up accurately and you have route slips at the morning meeting to fill open time due to last minute cancellations, they will provide valuable information. The route slips for the day will provide all other family member´s recall information. This may allow you to call a parent that already has an appointment with the doctor and ask him/her to bring in one of the children that are due to have their hygiene appointment.
The route slip is present during the morning business meetings and attached to the chart for now, but in the future it will be what replaces the chart during the meeting.
Other information that may be needed at the morning business meetings that may be on the route slip includes:
Once the office is chartless it is much easier to use the route slip for quick information, rather than take your gloves off and look through the computer for the information.
The most important task is to keep the information up-to-date and current in your computer software, whether you are chartless or not, because someday all that information may be the patient´s chart. The more accurate the information is before you go chartless and the more information that is input into the computer, the easier the transition may be for your office. Going chartless does not have to be an agonizing process.
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