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kcrab
Canine II

Elements required for SoftDent to allow a practice to be truly digital

Very difficult to conceive of being a truly digital practice using SoftDent.  Many reasons for this, I will address one here today.  In a clinical environment multiple providers care for a patient at one time.  In the course of one visit a dental hygienist, dental assistant and dentist can all provide services on a patient at the same time.  This is a problem in SoftDent. Who entered what into the electronic chart.  Who took the radiograph, who recorded the treatment, who set the follow-up note, who updated the health history,  who recorded the examination, recorded the notes etc.?  The only way to address this currently is for the various providers to log-in and out of SoftDent every time they are going to record data in SoftDent. This is so inefficient as to be impractical.  SoftDent should be able to address for each appointment who the various care providers involved in the delivery of care were and who documented each piece of data.  We remain a paper digital hybrid practice because of SoftDent's inability to manage the issues of digital workflow.

13 Replies
bwhite
Premolar I

Re: Elements required for SoftDent to allow a practice to be truly digital

I totally agree with you.  It would be so nice if there was a way to track who did what.  I get frustrated trying to figure out who did what and if a correction needs to be made, who do I follow up with.  One thing we do in our office is that when you enter a note they have to type their name at the end of the note.  On medical histories, we click Update for the date stamp but then we also put the name of the staff member that reviewed the medical history in the "other" tab.  We have no way to track who enters transactions or treatment plans.  This would be super helpful.

kcrab
Canine II

Re: Elements required for SoftDent to allow a practice to be truly digital

Those are work arounds I agree, but the notes line space is limited and can be overwritten. Things can be changed and edited without an audit trail. The records would never hold up in a court of law. The medical history updates every time you make a change to the record so that at least tracks changes. It is one of the few features of SoftDent that would rate an acceptable in terms of not needing a paper backup record. And you are right about treatment plans too ….all entries and edits should be trackable by date time and person. Not only that but transactions. It is so frustrating as a manager to have to go run an audit trail just to find out who checked out a particular patient. I may want to know why a payment wasn’t collected for example. I may want to know who posted a certain check. These things should be visible in the transaction screen. They also should be something I can sort and search on in a report. Don’t even get me started on the sort and search features of SoftDent reports. The reporting model is a 20th century relic. Reports don’t even employ Boolean method of computation – as they use only “and” but not “or”. The level of effort I have to go through to extract meaningful data out of SoftDent is ridiculous and often impossible!

Sent: Thursday, May 4, 2017 3:24 PM

To: Kristy Crabtree <kcrab@crabtreedental.com>

Subject: Re: - Re: Elements required for SoftDent to allow practice to be truly digital

Carestream Dental - The Exchange <https://community.carestreamdental.com/?et=watches.email.thread>

Re: Elements required for SoftDent to allow a practice to be truly digital

reply from Betsy White<https://community.carestreamdental.com/people/bwhite?et=watches.email.thread> in CS SoftDent - View the full discussion<https://community.carestreamdental.com/message/3852-re-elements-required-for-softdent-to-allow-a-practice-to-be-truly-digital?commentID=3852&et=watches.email.thread#comment-3852>

CS Dental Employee
CS Dental Employee

Re: Elements required for SoftDent to allow a practice to be truly digital

kcrab‌,

This is great feedback. I'm glad you're in the SoftDent Braintrust. We'll be working on the clinical space this and next year. 

I'll be reaching out to you as we get to these items.

Thank you,

Jeremy

pksaari79
Premolar III

Re: Elements required for SoftDent to allow a practice to be truly digital

While we do try to have everyone log in and out whenever they are entering Softdent, sometimes it just doesn't happen.  Which is why anytime a note is added, we have asked for staff to put their initials at the end of the comment.  Just another way of tracking who is doing what.  For the chartless part, we do have templates they fill in and, again, at the end of the note, they add their initials.

kcrab
Canine II

Re: Elements required for SoftDent to allow a practice to be truly digital

Initials or written names at the end of notes are employed in our office too. It is a workaround, but it is not an acceptable method of recording information digitally . The problem with this strategy is that it is not a safe method of recording it. This information can be edited and there would be no audit trail as to what it said because it is a text entry, if in fact there even is an audit trail within softdent for Clinical notes.   The other issue is that it relies on people remembering to do it.  Another issue that I can think of is that it would reduce its ability to be sorted if no provider designation was used.

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CS Dental Employee
CS Dental Employee

Re: Elements required for SoftDent to allow a practice to be truly digital

Good morning all,

I spoke with kcrab‌ earlier this week and received clarification on tagging/logging actions and notes by employee and understand the need. I would love to hear from SoftDent users how they would like this to be addressed. Kristy proposed a possible solution to the issue. I'm curious if anyone else has thought about this and how they would fix it. Thank you for your input on this matter!

bwhite
Premolar I

Re: Elements required for SoftDent to allow a practice to be truly digital

Good Morning Jeremy and the rest of the group -

What if there was a required "box" that the person entering the note, medical history, transaction, treatment plan, etc. would put their password in.  If the password is required, we could track that to the person?  I have no idea what this would actually look like (and might look different depending on the function) but for example on the medical history, next to the "OK" button you would enter your password before the OK button would be available.  

pksaari79
Premolar III

Re: Elements required for SoftDent to allow a practice to be truly digital

All our staff have passwords that they are to use anytime they enter Softdent and they have been asked to log out whenever they leave that station.  If we require a password for each of the things you note, I am sure that is going to be a pain.....if I am understanding your request.  As I understand  you, if you are already in Softdent with a log int, you would log in AGAIN to enter the chart and maybe log in AGAIN to enter the medical history area??  Is that the suggestion?  We are going to start using the time cards within Softdent and that requires 2 log ins each time you check in or out.  I think it could be disruptive for every time to enter an area to have to log in and I think staff would rebel......Once on that computer while working should be enough, but I do understand the concern for tracking.  So maybe there is another way to look into this.

bwhite
Premolar I

Re: Elements required for SoftDent to allow a practice to be truly digital

I am not suggesting a full log in - I am suggesting that the person entering the information enter a "code" (password) when they update or enter information.  This would not be necessary to view information - only when new information is being added or changes are being made.

We currently ask them to type their name in each update or note now so this code would replace that self placed note and would be traceable via the software.  

When your staff logs out when they leave the workstation doesn't that close Softdent on that workstation or do you do that through Practice Central?  Do your assistants and dentist use the same workstation or different workstations?

We are a mobile practice so our set up may be very different than a traditional practice.  

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