New-patient acquisition is a key metric for many practices because it can help you see whether your practice is thriving or just surviving. Because of this, Dentrix Ascend provides multiple reports to let you see your new-patient numbers. But at what point is a patient considered new? In Dentrix Ascend, it is not when you add a new patient record.

In the image below, notice these two important fields: the Status of this new patient and the First Visit date.

Note that the First Visit date field cannot be edited. That is because Dentrix Ascend populates the field automatically when the correct condition is triggered.

You may have wondered why a new patient record you entered is not showing up in the new-patient count on the Day Sheet or elsewhere. This is because a patient must have a first visit before Dentrix Ascend reports them as new.

It is not enough that you schedule the patient’s first appointment. In the example below, note how this patient is labeled as New in the Calendar, but the First Visit date has not yet been recorded.

The patient is counted as new when you post a procedure to the patient’s Ledger. You can do this directly in the Ledger, or you can simply complete the patient’s first appointment.

Once a procedure is posted to the Ledger, Dentrix Ascend automatically populates the patient’s First Visit date and counts the person as a new patient. It also sets the patient Status to Active.

Dentrix Ascend counts people as new patients only after they make their first contribution to your practice production numbers. This prevents an inaccurate new-patient count.  

A patient gets included on a new-patients report based on their First Visit date. This is true for the Day Sheet, New Patients by Month – Chart Report (which is available from the Insights dashboard), the New Patients Seen Report (in Power Reporting), and any report of new patients.

Therefore, when you look at a new-patient report to see production numbers for recent patients, remember that the report will only include patients with the First Visit date set.

There is one set of exceptions to the above information. There are several new-patients scheduled reports, and the data in these reports is based on the patient Status being New. These reports provide simple counts that tell you how many new patients visits you have so that you can welcome these new patients for their first visit to your practice.

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