Store patient referral slips and track gratuities in your dental software.
I was recently working with an oral surgery practice and a periodontal office. At both offices, I observed that the referral coordinators had an accordion file filled with referral slips of patients who had been referred to their office but were not yet scheduled. Both offices were in the process of going paperless, so we explored a system for managing these patient referrals inside of Dentrix. In this article, I’ll share my suggestions on how Dentrix can help you manage your patient referrals.
When you go paperless, you will use the Document Center to store a lot of documents that you used to store on paper. If you’ve used the Dentrix Document Center, you already know that you can use it to store and view documents for individual patients. But did you know that you can also use it to store and view documents for selected providers, including referral providers? I’ll show you how to do this.
In the Office Manager, from the Maintenance menu, point to Reference, and then click Referral Maintenance. In the Referral Maintenance dialog box, make sure you have all the referral providers you want to use in both the Referred BY and Referred TO lists. Click Close when finished.
In the Dentrix Document Center, from the Setup menu, click Document Types. In the Description field of the Document Types Setup dialog box, type Referral, and then click Add and Close (Figure 1). This adds a new Referral document type that you can use for tracking referrals in the Document Center. From the View menu, click By Provider/Staff, and then double-click the provider you want to associate with the first referral document. Using the Acquire menu, scan or import the referral slip. In the Document Information dialog box, set the Document Type to Referral. In the Description field, I recommend typing the patient name. Click Modify Attachments to display the Modify Document Attachments dialog box. Click Referred BY, and double-click the name of the referring provider. If you have already added the patient in the Family File, click Patient, select the patient in the list, and click OK (Figure 2). If you haven’t, you can add the patient to Document Attachments later when you create the patient record in the Family File. Click Close. After using these steps to add all your patient referrals, you can shred these referral slips and clean up your desk.
How are you tracking your gratuities to your referring doctors? Do you have a manual spreadsheet that you use to track the amazing gift baskets and coffee mugs you give away? Did you know you can track gratuities in your Dentrix software using the Referred by Doctor/Other Report?
When you enter the referral source in the patient’s Family File, you also have the opportunity to add the gratuity. In the Family File, double-click the Referred By block, and then next to Referred By click Analysis. In the Referral Analysis dialog box (Figure 3) you will see a list of all the gratuities this referring source has received over his or her history of working with you. To add a new gratuity, click New Gratuity, specify a Value and Type, and then click OK.
To run a Referred by Doctor/Other Report, in the Office Manager, from the Reports menu, point to Management, and then click Referred By Doctor/Other Report. Any gratuities paid appear on this report.
Having all the information about your referring doctors, gratuities, and knowing where to find the referral slip is so important to your practice.
As originally published in Dentrix Magazine.
About the Author: Dayna Johnson, founder and principal consultant of Rae Dental Management, helps dental offices improve patient care, increase collections, and reduce staff headaches by implementing efficient management systems. With 23 years of experience in the business and technical side of dental offices, Dayna’s passion for efficient systems is grounded in both personal understanding and professional expertise.