It happens to every dentist: a patient comes in with an issue you’d recommend be seen by someone else—a specialist, an oral surgeon, or an orthodontist. So the question becomes, “What do I need to do in Dentrix Ascend if I’m referring out the procedures?” Here is one possible solution: make custom procedure codes.*

How to:

Go to the Procedure Codes & Conditions page (Settings > Procedure Codes & Conditions), and click Add Procedure Code.

  1. Create a custom procedure code for each type of referral (endo, ortho, perio, etc.) you send out of your office. (These codes will be shared by the entire organization.)
    • Select an appropriate treatment area (for example, “Tooth”) so that you include the tooth number in your referral record.
    • Because these are internal codes only, be sure to set Bill to insurance to Off.
  1. Train your staff to capture outgoing referrals by entering the referral procedure codes in the patient’s ledger. Encourage them to include the “where” and “why” information in the procedure note.
  1. Make yourself a custom report from the Analysis Ledger Report Builder (Power Reporting > Financial) to keep track of patients referred out of your practice.

Additional Information

  • Plan your set of referral codes carefully, because you cannot change the code once you save it in the Procedure Code editor (although you can later modify the description).
  • Always check for duplicates when creating new records.
  • You may wish to make this code a Favorite, so it is easy for staff to treatment plan.
  • Another possibility is to make the referral part of a multi-code, for example, an “RCT Referral” multi-code that includes the root canal, post and core, and crown, so the referral is included automatically.

*Our thanks to Rachael Rudanovich of LifeSmile Dental Care in Kirkwood, Missouri for this great suggestion.