Going Chartless aka “Paperless”
The majority of dental practices today are utilizing a practice management software. Unfortunately, many offices use this software primarily for billing and insurance. This asset is probably fully paid for and completely underused. You are not only “NOT” using the software to its potential, but loosing valuable time, production and control of your practice. “Going Chartless” is a term that is very frightening to many dentists. But, the process of going chartless brings the practice more organization and control, and ultimately more income.
Offices that are paperless/chartless are more efficient! It takes approximately 6 to 18 months to go paperless. However, going paperless does not have a simple on and off switch. It requires planning and a systematic implementation. A Chartless practice not only affects the way your office functions, it also affects the way your patients receive and complete their documentation. For example, in a chartless office, patients normally complete their medical history information, patient questionnaires, consent forms and other documentation Online (i.e., their home, their work, or at your office using iPad for example).
Practically no dental practice operates exclusively with paper, and likewise without paper. While the process of going chartless seems a daunting task, it is NOT an all-or-nothing leap. There are many phases to complete, with each phase having its benefits and difficulties.
The following illustrates a typical path to the Chartless Office:
Digital Supporting Information Systems
Consent Forms – are legal documents which detail the risk, benefits and alternatives of a specific procedure or treatment plan. Consent forms are also used for a patient’s refusal of treatment. These are required for proposed treatment and invasive procedures (e.g., Informed Consent for Root Canal, Informed Refusal for Periodontal Treatment). Consent form are signed using an electronic signature pad, and stored in the practice management system as part of the patient’s records. Should you need it for patient/legal disputes, it is readily available.
Treatment Plan Case Notes- are special templates that document your financial, insurance an other office policies when you present treatment plans to your patient.
We can evaluate your existing Consent Forms and Treatment Plan Case Notes and will set them up in your office management system. You may also choose from our catalog. We offer customized and pre-made Electronic Supporting Information Solutions.
Digital Health Information Systems
Questionnaires – Having a complete and current patient’s health history is vital to your diagnosis. New patients can complete questionnaires and forms Online, before they come in to your office, or when they arrive at your office (i.e., using an iPad) The responses are downloaded directly into your office management system, ready for your review. (a Website Integration Solution is required). Health Histories – This is a critical document that must be updated annually at a minimum. Once you have the electronic health history, the documentation is clearly reviewed and signed by the patient, not just initialed stating that there are no changes. This acts as a great protection in a case where the patient neglects to give you important medical information that might interfere with dental treatment. This will all be completed online using digital questionnaires and forms. Prescription Templates – Entering each and every medication you prescribe to your patients is part of having good documentation. Once in the system, you can print and/or record all prescription given to your patients. Thus, they become part of the patient’s file.
The Digital Chart makes charting a patient’s existing conditions, entering a treatment plan and completing treatment and easy task. Customizing your clinical chart using multi-codes and procedure buttons makes entering these procedures quick and efficient. It also allows a treatment plan to be reviewed and prepared for presentation by the treatment coordinator much quicker. This ultimately gives you a professional treatment presentation that produces better patient understanding and higher case acceptance.