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EROrtho
Canine II

OrthoTrac-Processing a patient through the day with more than one scheduled appointment

Our office is relatively new to using the Patient Charting module, and have been having some issues.  One issue is that we have times where a patient is scheduled with more than one appointment code in a single day (ie. Pano/RT4, Records/Appliance Check, ARS/RT3).  When these sequences happen, we are having a hard time figuring out how to show the patient did both appointments in the Charting History.  We check the patient in, but unless the first appointment is checked completely out at the front desk (posting the procedure codes), it won't let us make any notes on the second appointment that was scheduled for the day.  Without making any notes on the second appointment, it doesn't post to the charting history (but will show in patient tracking and completed appointments), even if the front desk checks them out of the second appointment at the procedure posting screen.  We can't be the first office to have this problem.  We have been told there isn't a work around- other than processing them completely through the first appointment.  The problem with that, is we aren't always sure in the middle of the appointment what will ultimately be done.  We don't chart notes until we are done with the whole appointment(s) and have just been putting them in the notes/procedures from the first appointment, but it then hasn't been showing up in the chart history that you can tell that second appointment was done without reading all the notes and procedures from the first appointment- which things can then be missed.  

I hope that makes sense.  If anyone has any advice, we would really appreciate it.  We have tried to condense all our 'typical' templated double appointments into single appointments, but there are times we have to list it as 2.

5 Replies
paularyfa
Premolar II

Re: OrthoTrac-Processing a patient through the day with more than one scheduled appointment

We've been using charting since we got on the cloud which I think was in 2016.  Several things that we do and have tweaked through trial and error.  Front desk checking people in and out is really considered separate tasks from treatment notes, and both clinicians and front desk need to double check their own work and not rely on what populates.  What we've tried to do is give the patient one appointment but add the procedure codes to the appointment.  If patient comes back later in the day, it's a second appointment, but otherwise one.  An emergency appointment can have multiple procedure codes that will vary depending on what clinicians do, i.e., pan, wire change, bracket repair, Herbst arm removal, etc. The clinicians then make sure  those procedure codes are selected as they are putting in their chart entry.  When they are finished, the chart entry includes each procedure code along with the narrative entry.  Because we do it this way, front desk isn't waiting for complete notes to make next appt, and clinic then can enter notes later if too busy.  You can also go back and edit notes same day if you missed something.

Hope this helps.

EROrtho
Canine II

Re: OrthoTrac-Processing a patient through the day with more than one scheduled appointment

If you go back later and need to edit procedure codes, we get a note that says editing them won't all it to be shown in tracking history or the finances- which to me sounds like it would not then be able to be searched for if needed later on or tracked appropriately in the financial use. Is that the case? Or are you still able to search for edited procedure codes later on? And are the finances really okay if say, the Pano was not put in with the original procedure, but added later. Will you still be able to search for it? And will the charge for the Pano still show up with it being edited and added?
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CS Dental Employee
CS Dental Employee

Re: OrthoTrac-Processing a patient through the day with more than one scheduled appointment

@paularyfa It sounds like you guys have worked out a great system for your office. If I may ask, if the front desk isn't waiting for the clinical staff before scheduling the next appointment, how do they know what to schedule for? 

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CS Dental Employee
CS Dental Employee

Re: OrthoTrac-Processing a patient through the day with more than one scheduled appointment

@EROrtho  - When you edit the procedure codes in charting after checking out you can still search for those codes in charting and they will populate.    If you do a tracking report of procedures posted, they will not populate because they were not actually posted - same with adding a charge.    You would need to go to the charges and payments screen and also post it there.

EROrtho
Canine II

Re: OrthoTrac-Processing a patient through the day with more than one scheduled appointment

We are still transitioning from the paper chart to digital, so our patients are used to waiting a little for their chart to take to the front. After the doctor sits with the patient and gives direction to the assistant, he then types up his notes before going to the next patient as well as putting in the next appointment code and when, but doesn't save it yet. Then when the assistant is done, she looks at the chart notes to verify what the doctor wrote/procedures/elastics/wires/etc. and if any additions or corrections are needed, she does it at that time and then saves it. Once it is saved, then the front desk staff will know what to schedule for. If the assistant is still making notes when the patient is ready to walk to the front, they tell the patient to either just wait a minute for the front desk to get the info, or walks up to the front and verbally tells the front desk staff what and when to schedule.