Having been in Dentistry for over 35 yrs. there is NO DOUBT that how we practice dentistry has evolved greatly. Like many of you, I have experienced and done it all. Everything from working on patients before wearing gloves was considered, to being in a dark room DIPPING an FMX film series into the developer and fixer tanks for 10 mins, to flipping through a LARGE appointment book to schedule patient appointments in pencil (just in case they cancel or change)!
Many of the dental practices that I go into for private coaching have seen the need to invest thousands and thousands of dollars by staying current with technology. Purchasing things like dental software, digital imaging and even same day crown milling units but can’t seem to let go of the 2 inch thick paper chart! This costs the doctor, team and even the patient time and money. The thought of going “Chartless” (not necessarily paperless) doesn’t have to make you break out in a rash. Read below to see my 5 quick tips to help the clinical team go chartless!
Better Time Management by Going Chartless
- Starts with the front office: everything from the scheduling, electronic claims, patient communications, health histories and the accounting have to be utilized within the software first before the clinical team can effectively go chartless!
- STOP USING PEN AND PAPER! This doesn’t mean that during an exam you aren’t jotting down the treatment plan or taking notes, it means that after you do that you take the few extra minutes to put the treatment plan, clinical notes and charting into the computer. This includes the probing (pocket depths, bleeding and recession every time).
- Create Note templates: All software programs have the ability to create note templates. Creating the templates may take time in the beginning, but will save many minutes on each patient by cutting down on keyboarding as well as keep your notes accurate and legally sound.
- Start scanning and importing: You don’t have to scan all of your patients’ past records to go chartless. Keep those in their chart for the legal amount of time necessary. Pick a date that you are going to stop adding letters, documents and paper to a chart. Instead scan and import those right into the patients’ electronic chart and shred the paper.
- PICK A DATE TO GO CHARTLESS: You and your team need to pick a date that everyone will abide by! That way, when looking for important information, everyone will know whether to look in the paper chart or go to the software.
Remember true growth only begins when we push ourselves out of our comfort zones!