As we prepare to work on the next PracticeWorks release, one issue continues to come up; record locking.
I know this is a huge pain point for most PracticeWorks users. What I don't know are the specific workflows you are trying to perform, but can't, due to record locking.
-This afternoon a doctor I spoke to described the record locks his front desk received while he was treatment planning in the clinical module and the patient was checking out.
-During an office visit last week, I saw record locking after suspending the clinical module.
In some cases (such as the record lock after suspending charting) we've identify defects and will correct them. In other cases, we have record locks that are part of the application that we'd need to find a way around.
What workflows are interrupted (or impossible) due to record locking in your practice? Please be as specific as you can. If you'd rather have a discussion please let me know in the comments below and I'll schedule a time to call your office.
I'd like to see if some of these workflows can be enabled in the next release.
For our office it happens when the doctor/assistant is putting in tx in or has not posted yet and the patient arrives at the front and I have to wait while they finish. Also cannot put in x-rays if I need to while any clinical staff is already in the chart. If someone happen to stay in the chart "accidentally" - say a pt is moved from one location to another then we have to run around to see who is still in the chart while the pt is waiting. These are a couple of examples of the inconvenience of record locking.
Thanks for the response Tracy!
I want to be sure I'm clear on the workflow so we can focus on the high value workflows for the practice.
In your first example, the patient gets out of the chair and heads to the front. Meanwhile the doctor or assistant is charting in Completed mode. While the chart is being completed the patient is standing at the front and checkout cannot be completed. Is that correct?
In the second example, which screen are you attempting to save the X-rays while the clinical staff are in the patient's chart?
And in the last scenario, what conditions result in the patient being moved from one chair to another?
If you'd prefer a call please let me know the best time to call and I'll follow up with you.
Yes....say they are putting in a treatment plan - I am waiting until they are finished. I cannot get in the chart to post payment-I'm stuck waiting.
Say it is a new patient or existing and I need to put in x-rays from a perio office that just came via email or a new patient and oh they remember they had current x-rays at another office and I need to import x-rays while pt is in the chair...can't because the hygienist is always already in the chart. Can only export.
Also assistant's cannot take x-rays when pt is moved into their room if they need to -if hygiene is still in the chart.
Say a new patient is in the doctor's chair for an exam then heads to hygiene or an existing pt is in hygiene then needs to see the doctor for a restorative need- it never fails to hear "who's in the chart?" (hygiene is typically guilty ) but they always come ask me as well.
There also have been a couple of times where the record was locked and then we get a glitch and nobody can access the pt's chart until the next day.
Hope this helps in specific scenario's
Similar situations here - if we are still trying to get all of a new patient's info loaded, and the hygienist/assistant needs to take them back to get started, they can't begin charting while we are in the clipboard. Or, if we get out of the clipboard long enough to get them checked in, if the clinical team seats them & pulls up charting right away (which is standard procedure), we can't get back in to input insurance values in blue book to ensure they are given accurate estimates.
This is great. Thank you for the feedback. These are exactly the types of things we want to enable (allow multiple users to access patient records) and eliminate (defects).
One more follow up question. Charting in Completed mode is tied to the ledger. In other words, if the doctor is charting a filling in Completed mode, the charge will not show up on the ledger until he's done (unless it's also included on the appointment). If PracticeWorks allowed you to check the patient out while the provider was still charting procedures that were not part of the appointment, then the checkout ledger would not contain everything performed that day.
Is that a real world scenario? Tagging sonyap for feedback on this also.
In this situation I assume the core patient information is present (name and age) while you're trying to enter insurance or demographic information. Is this correct?
This is exactly the type of workflow we want to enable. If you were able to enter the information while the patient was in the chair, how much time would it save your practice on an average day?
Yes, the basic info is in the clipboard already. We are usually trying to add, remove, or otherwise modify the insurance info (or call the insurance company for information on the plan). How much time it would save is hard to say - we have learned to just close the "record locked" screen and either move on, or chase down whoever is in the patient's record to unlock so we can access it. It is just something we have become accustomed to. Unless it is perpetually locked (as described above) - then we are stuck. We have too many workstations to try and shut them all down in order to unlock it from the server.
Even thought you guys seem to be talking about Practiceworks and we are Softdent. What I notice, when a patient comes to their appointment and checks in at the front desk and we verify their information, if the hygienist or assistant in the back got jump the gun and open the chart while I am entering or updating info, to me it looks like I did it correct, only to find out later it all disappeared.
For us, it happens quite often in many different situations. For the most part it is when someone is checking in, and the assistants or hygienists hop in trying to read the last notes. Meanwhile I am trying to update someone's address, phone number, insurance and can't get in. Or quite often a patient is brought to check out, and we are trying to post and/or take a payment, but the assistant is in the chart, so we have to get up and ask them to close it for the time being so we can finish out the patient's appointment.