Making sure that all the providers in your office sign their clinical notes is a critical daily task to protect the integrity of their clinical notes so that they can’t be edited or deleted in the future. Some state boards even require that digital clinical notes be signed.
However, making sure all clinical notes are signed can be a struggle for some practices. Providers are busy. Often times your dental assistants may write the clinical notes for your doctor, and the doctor intends to review, edit, and sign the clinical note later but gets busy with another patient and forgets.
Many offices have come up with some inventive ways to edit the appointment description or status to indicate which clinical notes have been signed and which still need to be signed. However, they rely on people remembering to do them and can complicate the process of setting appointments complete.
Fortunately, the Signature Manager was recently introduced to show you which notes are missing, which ones are not yet signed, and which ones are completed. In the latest version of Dentrix, the Signature Manager has been further improved.
You can easily search for appointments within a desired date range, for example: Today, This Week, or a custom date range. You can also search for a specific provider’s notes or select a particular clinical note status so you can view only appointments that have missing or unsigned notes.
Another great feature is the ability to easily access the patient’s other Dentrix modules directly from the Signature Manager. This is helpful because the provider may need to access the Patient Chart to see the patient’s recommended treatment plan, or they may need to access the Lab Case Manager to see the shade of the crown that’s being fabricated.
Once the provider has had a chance to review and edit their clinical notes in the Signature Manager, they can sign the notes individually, or they can sign multiple notes at once, which can save them lots of time.
I would suggest that each provider access the Signature Manager at the end of each day. They can review their missing and unsigned clinical notes attached to their provider user ID. They can write and sign missing clinical notes, as well as review, edit, and sign any unsigned notes. It’s best if providers to do this at the end of each day when details are still be fresh in their mind.
The Signature Manager can help your office ensure that providers are signing all their clinical notes without having to use workarounds that might complicate other Dentrix functions. It also makes the process of providers reviewing, editing, and signing their clinical notes a much easier and streamlined procedure.
For additional information, read Sign Off on a Smoother End of Day Using the Signature Manager.
By Charlotte Skaggs
Certified Dentrix Trainer and The Dentrix Office Manager columnist
Charlotte Skaggs is the founder of Vector Dental Consulting LLC, a practice management firm focused on taking offices to the next level. Charlotte co-owned and managed a successful dental practice with her husband for 17 years. She has a unique approach to consulting based on the perspective of a practice owner. Charlotte has been using Dentrix for over 20 years and is a certified Dentrix trainer. Contact Charlotte at [email protected].