6.5.15 Issue #691 info@mckenziemgmt.com 1-877-777-6151 Forward This Newsletter

Nancy Caudill
Senior Consultant
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Routing Slips... Why Do I Need Them?
By Nancy Caudill, Senior Consultant

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.
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:

Demographic Information
The top part of the form includes all the necessary information about the patient, such as name, address, telephone numbers, insurance information that includes unused dental benefits, and account balances. Also, you will find medical alerts, account and patient notes, recall notes and other Memo-type information that pertains to the patient.

Family Members
A list of all the additional family members that are attached to this patient is located here, including their recall information and whether they are scheduled or not.  This is very important in order to maintain a healthy patient retention.

Scheduled Treatment
There is an area that lists all the treatment that has been included with this appointment, as well as any notes that may have been added, such as “Check upper left side” or even the patient’s “portion” of payment.

Unscheduled Treatment
This is the most important area of the routing slip, because it indicates additional opportunities for increasing production without having to dig through the patient’s paper record or digital record. It is right here!

How is the Routing Slip Implemented?
Depending on the number of business staff that you have, the hygiene routing slips are printed and reviewed by the Hygiene Coordinator. The doctor’s routing slips are printed and reviewed by the Schedule Coordinator. This task allows them to become familiar with the patients being seen the next day and assists in expediting the morning meeting, as they highlight the areas of importance, such as past due family members, unscheduled treatment, birthdays, medical alerts that could affect treatment, financial concerns and unused insurance benefits, as well as the treatment that is scheduled for the patient.

The routing slips are now made available 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.

Now what?
The routing slips are used in the treatment rooms to confirm treatment that was completed by checking, drawing a line through or adding to the existing list of treatment.  If the next visit is part of a treatment plan on the routing slip, this should be circled and the time indicated for scheduling.

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 their knowledge of each patient.

If you would like more information on how McKenzie's Consulting Coaching Programs can help you implement proven strategies, email info@mckenziemgmt.com

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