12.19.14 Issue #667 info@mckenziemgmt.com 1-877-777-6151 Forward This Newsletter

Nancy Caudill
Senior Consultant
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Scanner, Scanner, Who’s Got the Scanner?
By Nancy Caudill, Senior Consultant

Why do you need a scanner? I am sure that if you are “chartless” now, you already know the answer. If you are considering going chartless, you will need a scanner or multiple scanners, depending on how large your business office is and how many work stations you have. I am not going to recommend any specific scanners, but I will make recommendations on what to look for.

What to Look For: The “Workhorse” Scanner
You will need at least one “workhorse” scanner for scanning multiple pages quickly – and the key here is quickly! Do you recall scanning a document with a flatbed scanner? It would take 30 seconds to go to the right…pause…30 seconds to go to the left…and then 30 seconds to process. Painfully slow!

Keep in mind that while the workstation using the scanner is processing, it is “out of commission.” I would suggest that you connect this scanner to a station that is not your primary workstation.

Examples of what you will use this for:

1. Scanning the EOBs for the day into a folder. As an example, this folder may be called “EOBs - 2014.” The file created would be the date that they were scanned. Think about all those boxes of EOBs you have. Check with your accountant to determine how many years you should hold onto those EOBs. Moving forward, why not simply scan them for the day and then shred them, instead of creating more boxes to store.

This is a task that anyone in the office can do when they have some time. The Financial Coordinator posting the checks for the day can paperclip all the EOBs together and place them in a “Scan Pile” for someone to scan in the near future.

2. Patient files. If you are still using paper forms for your patients, being able to scan all 3-4 sheets into the patient file of your dental management software is so convenient.

3. Daysheet, deposit and production reports. If you request a hard copy of the daysheet, deposit and production reports for the day, instead of keeping them in a binder, hanging folder or box, why not just scan them? You may ask, why keep a “hard copy” (in this case, a scanned copy)? Changes can happen to the data in the software and if you need to recreate the report, it is not always the same as it was on the original day, depending on your software.

What to Look For: The Small, Compact Scanner
This is the small scanner that sits right at the workstation. Some are called “bar scanners” and others are a little larger. Examples of what these are used for:

1. Scanning a copy of the patient’s ID/driver’s license, insurance card or paperwork.
2. In the clinical area for scanning lab slips, invoices, etc.
3. Scanning correspondence from specialists.

Some of these scanners will scan more than one sheet of paper at a time and others won’t. You need to decide how it will be used in your office and where it will be located. If you have a bookkeeper who comes in to pay bills or if you pay the bills, a small scanner to scan your receipts is helpful instead of keeping them in a file.

Don’t Be Fooled
If you find a scanner that is dirt cheap, there is a reason. I bought a well-known brand at a box store recently and thought I had really hit pay dirt until I installed it and made my first scan. It zipped the document through the scanner in no time, but then it was incredibly slow to process the image, and I quickly realized why it was on sale.

I hope this has been helpful. If nothing else, remember to support your business team when they ask for a “real” scanner opposed to the scanner that came with the copier/printer. It will save time and help your practice to be as efficient as possible.

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