The product update released September 12th, 2018 includes many exciting new features and feature enhancements. New with this release is a Clinical Decision Support (CDS) tool that speeds up treatment planning for conditions found during an exam. If you do cycle billing, you will be pleased that the billing statements generator now includes an “if not billed since” filter. Electronic signatures have been added to patient forms, and we begin collecting patient communication records in one place (starting with billing statements) with a new Patient Connect page.
Billing statements have received two enhancements: a new filter, and an option to send printed statements to the new Patient Connection page.
A filter named Only generate statement if not billed since has been added to the Payment Options section of the Generate Billing Statements dialog box, with an accompanying date picker. This filter can be especially useful when you want to send statements frequently if not daily and want to make sure you’re not resending a statement inside of the billing cycle time frame. The default “since” date is today, but you can easily change that by selecting a date from the picker.
At the bottom of the Billing Statements page (and the patient or guarantor Print Statements window and the Patient Walkout window) is a new switcher named Add to Patient Connection. By default, this is set to Yes and sends the statement to the patient’s Patient Connection page when you select Print. You may turn this off if you wish.
Transaction Types Labels
Labels have been added to all adjustment types on the Ledger Options page. This will help you recognize whether Production or Collection is impacted by each adjustment type.
Clinical Decision Support
In general terms, Clinical Decision Support (CDS) supplies providers with treatment suggestions, intelligently filtered and presented at the appropriate time, to enhance dental care. In Dentrix Ascend, this now takes place in the Quick Exam module.
The purpose of this feature is to speed up the treatment planning process for conditions discovered during a Quick Exam. It works like this: when you select a condition, a list of treatment suggestions automatically appears in the Treatment Plan column.
When you see a treatment plan suggestion that you like, click to add it to the patient’s list of treatment planned procedures.
The default list of treatment options is one recommended by the ADA. Because sometimes the list of options can get quite lengthy—for example, 88 possible options for treating dental caries—Ascend gives you the ability to customize the list. Never use a porcelain crown? Remove it from the options. You can see and customize the CDS suggestions in the condition code editor under the Settings Procedure Codes & Conditions Conditions tab.
The editor allows you to add procedures and multicodes to the list.
Use of the CDS feature is optional. You can toggle it off and on in the pop-up that appears when you click the new Settings icon at the top of the Treatment Plan column.
Other things to know about Clinical Decision Support:
- CDS suggestions are shared by the entire organization. They cannot be customized by provider.
- Not all conditions come with an ADA recommendation, in which case no suggestions will appear. You can add a list of recommended treatment if you wish.
- Your Favorites list remains as it was before, and the search capability is still in place.
Patient Connection Page
A new page called Patient Connection has been added to the Patient menu. It was given this name because, starting now and expanding in the future, this will be the place where various communications or “connections” with the patient will be stored.
The first use of this page, included with this release, is to lock and store patient billing statements that have been printed and sent to the patient (see Billing Statement Enhancements below). It is not the statement itself, only a summary at this time.
Both patient statements and guarantor statements that include this patient will show here. The hyperlink opens the patient’s Overview page.
Access to this page is controlled as part of Patient Information rights in the User Roles configuration.
The Patient Notes feature has received two enhancements. First, there is now a date picker so you can select the actual date of the notation. Previously, the date was always the day on which the note was created. Second, a sort by Date toggle has been added to the notes list. The default sort is newest to oldest, but you can flip the list to see the oldest note at the top.
Collect Payment Task
A “Collect Payment” task has been added to the list of appointment tasks in the Checkout section of the Routing Panel. It includes a button that opens the Patient Walkout window so you can collect payment as part of the checkout workflow.
The task appears when the patient portion of the balance is greater than zero. Receiving any payment amount completes the task and a green checkmark appears next to it.
Click Patient Walkout to open the Patient Walkout window. If the procedures have already been posted you can create and send a claim and then collect the patient portion as part of your checkout workflow.
Post Procedures Complete Reminder
Another enhancement to the Checkout workflow is a new pop-up reminder to post all the procedures completed in today’s appointment. If any of the listed procedures still have a Post status, when you click to move the appointment status from Checkout to Complete you will get this reminder:
This is simply a reminder in case you forgot to post or complete any of the work provided today. When this reminder appears, you have several options:
- Go back to the appointment (Back to Appt.) and continue working in the Checkout status.
- Click Complete as needed to complete the procedures performed during this visit.
- Click Post to open the Enter Procedure window and provide the procedure detail. When you close the window the procedure will be marked as completed in the reminder pop-up.
- Acknowledge the reminder and continue with moving the appointment status to Complete (Complete Appt.). This changes the status of the appointment only; any unposted procedures remain unposted.
As usual, when you complete an appointment you will be prompted to schedule any unscheduled recare at this time.
Previously, any patient alert designated to appear in the Calendar would only appear when you were creating a new appointment for that patient. With this release, the patient alert also appears when you select an existing appointment for that patient.
A Preferred Location column has been added to the Patient Search field. Not only does this show you the location where this patient usually receives treatment, but it also acts as a filter—the person making the search can only see patients for the locations for which they have been granted access.
For example, if a front office person only has access to location 1, her search would not return patients from any other location. However, using the advanced patient search will find patients in all locations. And when adding new patients, the entire organization is included and you will be warned of a possible duplicate in another location.
The main Patient Search appearance and behavior has been standardized and now appears in the Audit Log and the Sent Claims page.
Unsigned Clinical Notes
When inactivating a provider user account, a new None option is now available for assignment as the Additional Provider for unsigned clinical notes. This should be especially useful for example when you acquire a new clinic and inactivate the previous providers.