Tips & Tricks

Staying Productive and Proactive: Part 2

You are likely only seeing patients for emergency treatment right now. In our Part 1 post on Staying Productive & Proactive, we discussed creating electronic patient forms, creating or updating your Open Dental wiki, note templates, and examining claims. This post has even more ideas for things you and your staff can do now so you’ll be poised and ready to welcome your patients back.

Update Your Software to the Latest Stable Version

Version 19.4 was just released as stable. Take this opportunity to update your software to take advantage of all the latest and greatest features!

Update Your Fee Schedules

Accurate fee schedules mean more accurate insurance estimates. Use this time to go through and update insurance fee schedules. Ideally, each insurance plan in Open Dental has an associated fee schedule. By setting up the insurance plan and fees, the patient has a better idea of the true out-of-pocket cost for their procedures.

Need to print a fee schedule?
Go to Reports > Standard. In the Lists area on the right, select Procedure Codes – Fee Schedules.
Select the fee schedule you want to print, and any other options to customize your results, then click OK. You can print the results or export them to excel.

Clean Up Patient Accounts

Now is a great time to clean up patient accounts. Use the following reports to find the accounts that need a little extra TLC.

  1. Run the Unearned Income Reports. Use these reports to find families and accounts with unearned income. Income should always be allocated to charges so that reports are accurate and providers are properly associated with their production.
  2. Use the Aging of AR report to find accounts with a credit.
    In the Only Patients With section, check “Negative Balances”. This will only show you patients who currently have a credit on their account.
  3. Have another cleanup project you’re wanting to accomplish? We probably have a report to help you out. Use our Query Examples List to find reports to pull the data you need.
    Need help finding & running a Query? Watch this video.

Contact Patients

Most of us don’t know when we’ll be back to normal operations. If you’ve left your patients on the schedule in the meantime, here is an easy way to let them know to reschedule.

  1. If you’re using Integrated Texting, right-click anywhere on an open spot in the schedule, then select Text Appointments for Day.
  2. The list of patients who will receive your message will list.
  3. Type in your message and click Send.
    All patients listed will get your message to reschedule.

If you want to email all of the patients with an upcoming appointment instead, do this:

  1. Run Query #1505 on from our Query Examples page.
    This will list all patients in your selected date range and their contact details.
  2. Use this query to send an email one of two ways:
    1. Use the Mail Merge function in Word.
    2. Use a third-party service like MailChimp.

TECH TIP: Most ISPs and email providers place a limit on the number of emails that can be sent in a period of time. Exceeding this limit may prevent future emails from sending successfully. Contact your email provider for details on the impact of sending a large volume of emails at once.

Staff Training

Online Training with Open Dental
We are continuing to offer affordable online training during this time. Please call us at +1 503-363-5432 to schedule training with one of our experienced trainers. We can connect to one or multiple computers to train several of your staff at once.

Online CE Courses
There are many resources available for CE courses, including the ADA and your local Dental Association Chapter.
Search online – there are many companies offering free CE courses during this time.

We are here for you – please reach out if help is needed!

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