Routing Slips… Why Do I Need Them?
Do you know what all the reports are used for in your practice management software? Probably not…and that is okay! However, communication among the team members is vital to the success of a dental practice, as you well know. When we ask employees to list their Top 10 Pet Peeves, they almost always say a “lack of communication” in the office.
There is no doubt in my mind, as a successful consultant, that one vital tool is not in your computer - and that is wireless headsets. Yes, the same kind that you see in Old Navy, restaurants and many other businesses. All these companies can’t be wrong, and if you have not implemented them in your office, you are missing out.
Missing out on what?
In no uncertain terms, in my opinion, the routing slip is the #1 most important communication tool in your office. Not sure what it is? Ask your business manager to print one from your software (she may need to contact support in order to learn how) and review it with me:
I know, I know. You are “paperless.” Really? I have yet to visit an office that is “paperless” that doesn’t have paper. “Chartless” I will agree to. If you doubt it, look in your shredder.
How is the Routing Slip Implemented?
The routing slips are now made available (along with the paper record if applicable) for the clinical team to review prior to the morning meeting. They are looking for discrepancies in the treatment, lab cases not delivered, etc.
During the morning meeting, the routing slips’ pertinent information is shared with the team, as well as a review of the schedule for “hiccups.” Most importantly, the production totals are presented from the previous day for celebration and production totals for today to help meet production goals.
As the assistant dismisses the patient to the Schedule Coordinator, the routing slip is presented to her, along with the patient. At this point, the Schedule Coordinator knows exactly what was performed today, as well as what to schedule next.
In order to balance the production at the end of the day for each provider, the routing slips can be used to confirm that the production was posted to the correct provider. Once this task is completed, the routing slips can be permanently retired.
In the world of “chartless,” routing slips are especially important, as they become a disposable paper record that is used for only this appointment to improve the communication of the entire team and increase the knowledge of each patient.
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