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.*
Go to the Procedure Codes & Conditions page (Settings > Procedure Codes & Conditions), and click Add Procedure Code.
- 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.
- 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.
- Make yourself a custom report from the Analysis Ledger Report Builder (Power Reporting > Financial) to keep track of patients referred out of your practice.
- 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.