Use Treatment Plans Effectively - A Practical Guide

Jane Kaminski

Apr 13, 2024

A simple monitoring effort can help you tap into your greatest source of lost production. Treatment plans are more than road maps for solving a patient's oral health problems. They are the very lifeblood of your practice.

Efficiently Utilizing Treatment Plans: A Key to Practice Prosperity Over the years, many dentists become what some practice management consultants refer to as "filing cabinet millionaires." That is, they compile charts containing upwards of $1 million in uncompleted treatment. It is easy to lose sight of this vast source of potential production. One becomes so preoccupied with finding new patients that they fail to maintain proper contact with the scores of patients in our files—patients who already like and trust their dentist and yet, for whatever reason, have not completed treatment.

Make the Change The key is to make one relatively simple change: record and store treatment plan data in your office computer system. This won’t require much work on the dentist’s part. You do, however, need to direct your staff on capturing this data. The first step is to realize that treatment plans are the heart of the practice. To maintain a healthy practice, the practice needs to consistently maintain contact with patients through treatment completion. This can be done with paper records, but it is far more labor-intensive and less precise than maintaining electronic patient records.

Much Gain, Little Pain If you are already using DentChart to enter diagnostic information on the chair side, odds are you are already treatment planning on the computer. But for those who have yet to bring computers into the operatory, electronic treatment planning makes sense as well.

Instead of dictating or transcribing a patient’s needs, you need to direct your staff to enter all of this information into the computer. DentChart can make this process easy and efficient. Among the data you will want to store in the electronic treatment plan are:

  • Prescribed treatment.
  • Estimated fees for the procedures.
  • Records of the calls that have been made to the patient and why the patient declined or delayed treatment.

Whether the treatment is to be completed in a single visit or scheduled in phases (perhaps due to financial or insurance reasons).

The Benefits of Treatment Plan Tracking Once you maintain treatment plans on your computer system, you will be able to generate reports that will help you and your staff:

  • Improve communications with scheduled patients and those who have become inactive in the practice.
  • Dramatically increase efficiency in reactivating patients.
  • Conduct chart audits faster and more efficiently.
  • Prioritize patient reactivation calls.

Conclusion The DenChart treatment plan can transform your practice by providing detailed and accessible patient data. By implementing these strategies, your team’s efforts will help maintain control of your most precious inventory—your patients.

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