Are You Taking Proper Notes in Your Dental Practice?
To make sure your dental practice running smoothly and profitably, your patients must leave the office having scheduled follow-up appointments or treatments already on the calendar. Streamline this process by keeping detailed appointment notes for each patient.
The Importance of Proper Note-Taking
Below are a few reasons why appointment notes are so important and a few tips on how to take better notes:
- Relevant information – When a staff member is scheduling a follow-up appointment, it's smart to stress the importance of taking notes on the appointment screen. These notes include further details about the appointment, such as:
- Whether an evaluation or consultation is necessary
- Information on the history of the patient
- The reason for scheduling the appointment
- The patient's goals for the appointment
- The more specific, the better – If your practice has multiple dentists or hygienists, detailed appointment notes can help prepare for each patient's upcoming appointment. These notes should certainly not replace clinical notes in the patient files, but they should contain a quick summary of the relevant details.
- Help with follow-up scheduling – Lastly, your staff should make a patient's next appointment at the time of their current visit. However, sometimes patients aren't able to do this until he or she can consult calendars or babysitters. In this case, have your staff member confirm a time for the patient to call back to schedule an appointment. Include this information in the notes. This way, if a patient forgets to call, your office can reach out to them instead, making sure that no patients fall through the cracks!
If you need assistance with incorporating any of the above strategies or further training your employees, please contact a dental consultant at CTC Associates.