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Patient Systems - Your Practice Running Smoothly
When you look up the word "system" in the dictionary, you find several definitions, one of which is a coordinated body of methods or a scheme or plan of procedure; organizational scheme or any formulated, regular, or special method or plan of procedure.

In a smoothly running practice, you will find several systems established; financial systems, marketing systems, practice management systems, and clinical systems. Patient systems are one aspect of the many organizational structures that should exist in your toolbox.

For example:

• What happens when a new patient calls your office?
• What happens when a new patient has scheduled their appointment?
• What happens when your new patient arrives at the office?
• How does the office transition the patient from reception to dental chair, to treatment planner or perhaps to the exit?

In a general dental practice, the scenario for systems may look like the following:

•  New Patient Sally calls the office. The Scheduling Coordinator warmly welcomes Sally on the phone, and asks how she heard about the dental office. She answers Sally's questions and schedules her for next Tuesday. Your office has patient forms available to fill out online, and your Scheduling Coordinator encourages Sally to fill out the patient forms within the next two days, giving your Insurance Coordinator plenty of time to obtain eligibility and benefits (perhaps using OneMind Health's cloud based eligibility services
•  Two days prior to the scheduled appointment, your Scheduling Coordinator places a reminder call to Sally and confirms that she has indeed filled out the New Patient forms and answers any last questions the patient has.
•  When Sally arrives Tuesday morning, the Scheduling Coordinator has any last signature pages ready, and looks up with a warm smile, and greets Sally by name. She confirms Sally's insurance information, and lets Sally know that she is eligible for services and her dental plan purchased by her employer covers 90% of the visit. Her remaining copay is $15.00 for the visit, and your Scheduling Coordinator asks, Would you like to use your credit card or pay with a check?. She collects the payment, and notifies the clinical team Sally is ready.
•  The dental assistant greets Sally and brings her back to the dental operatory. While they are walking, the dental assistant notes that Sally's birthday was the day prior, and asks her if she enjoyed her day. After the doctor has examined Sally, and the dental assistant has finished chart notes on their electronic system, Sally's chart is set complete, notifying the business team at Checkout that Sally is arriving to collect a walk-out statement and schedule the next appointment.

Every office will have a separate routine, but it is helpful to have this written out, so that during training, your new employee can seamlessly flow into the practice's efficiency.

Ready to keep learning? Check our Resources page monthly for new tools and resources for your practice!


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