Feature Highlight

Learning to Love Lab Cases

Did you know you can create Lab Cases and use the Lab Case Manager to create Lab Slips and track case status for upcoming appointments? Keep reading – we’re sure that by the end, you’ll learn to love these tools in Open Dental.

Initial Setup

Before you start using Lab Cases, there’s some initial setup you’ll need to do. First things first, add the Laboratories your office uses. From Setup, Laboratories, click Add.

Enter the lab details, like the name and contact, along with turnaround times. If you don’t have all of this right now, they can always be added later. All you need is a Description to add the lab to the list. You can always add more labs later too, so don’t worry if you don’t add them all right now.

You can also set up custom Lab Slips in Sheets and assign them to the lab in the Edit Laboratory window. If the lab uses a custom slip, a common trick is to scan a copy of the slip as and import it into a static image to your sheet, then you can place sheet fields on top of the scanned image. You can also submit a request to get a quote for our Sheet Design Team to customize the sheet.

Creating Lab Cases

Even if you don’t need to print Lab Slips from Open Dental (e.g., if cases are submitted to the lab online or you have preprinted slips), inputting Lab Cases into Open Dental is still helpful to track the status.

In Open Dental, you’ll want to treatment plan the procedure(s) associated to the Lab Case, once the procedures are treatment planned, create an appointment. If the patient is ready to schedule, go ahead and do so, but if not, this is when you can utilize Planned Appointments.

Planned Appointments allow you to create an appointment and attach procedures, Lab Cases, and set everything up without actually scheduling. This is especially helpful for ensuring Lab Cases aren’t unattached. Once the patient is ready to schedule their appointment, staff can easily find and schedule the appointment by clicking Pat Appts from the Appointments Module.

From the Edit Appointment window, create the Lab Case by clicking the Lab button above the Appointment Note area.

lab cases

If the patient has existing cases, they’ll be listed in the next window. You can choose one to attach to the appointment.

lab cases

To create a new Lab Case, click +New. Select the lab it will be sent to and enter any details. If you need to print a Lab Slip, click New Slip and enter any additional details or signatures in the next window and click Print.

Once you click OK to create it, it is immediately attached to the appointment.

Managing Lab Cases

Once they have been created, you can easily track and manage them from the Lab Cases List. Easily access open cases by clicking the Lab Cases button from the Appointments Module (on the right just below the Appointment View dropdown) or from the Main Menu, Lists, Lab Cases.

From the Lab Cases window, filter by date or clinic, and if you’ve forgotten to attach them to appointments, you can even show unattached Lab Cases. Double-click a Lab Case to open the Edit Lab Case window and quickly update the tracking status or other lab information.

If you’re updating tracking, use the Now buttons to easily insert the current date and time.

The tracking status will be reflected in the Appointment Module for a scheduled appointment with Lab Cases attached so staff can quickly see how many appointments for the day have labs outstanding. Appointment Views can also be customized to add a lab, so that the lab status of specific appointments is visible on the appointment.

Once the appointment the Lab Case is attached to has been set complete, the Lab Case is also marked complete

We hope you love Lab Cases as much as we do! If you have any questions, just contact Open Dental Support. Our team is here to help!

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