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  "PROFESSIONAL" Data Center Techniques
Posted by: Allen on Friday, July 29, 2005 - 11:35 AM
 
  Care and feeding of the digital office
603 Reads


> For what it is worth, the following just appeared on the IDF forum.    It
> sounds like a post that could have appeared on the Dentrix forum if you
> just substitute Schein for Kodak, Dentrix for Practiceworks, and Image for
> Trophy.
>
> The grass is frequently the same color on both sides of the fence.
>
> Skip
>

Unfortunately with the current condition of the market - that analogy needs
to be changed to "the mud is the same color on both sides of the
fence".....and then you zoom out to find yourself as one of the thousands in
a hog ranch or cattle ranch....


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  Lab Case Management in a Chartless Environment
Posted by: Allen on Sunday, December 21, 2003 - 10:25 AM
 
  Going Chartless
12709 Reads

Several versions ago, PracticeWorks? added a feature for alerting you if an appointment is coming up soon with an outstanding lab case. When properly set-up, this feature works very well. But that's all it does - alerts you to pending problems. The Lighthouse Lab Case Tracking System can be used in conjunction with, or instead of, the built in system. It will create all written correspondence to the Lab (i.e., generate the actual Lab Slip), while permanently noting in the chart all details concerning the case. It can be used for fixed and removable restorations. This article will describe each component and explain how to install and use the system.

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  LH Simple Chart Purge System
Posted by: Brian on Monday, September 05, 2005 - 11:13 AM
 
  Patient Relations
725 Reads

General Description
The conventional wisdom for years among dental consultants has been to do a periodic "chart purge" to deal with patients who have not been seen recently enough to be considered "active" - to reactivate those who can be reactivated, and to retire, or "purge", the charts of those who can't be. In an office with paper charts, this process is often aided by affixing a sticker to the chart that indicates the last year (and sometimes month) that the patient was seen. While this manual system no doubt does SOME good, it has numerous problems: the time of putting the stickers on the charts, the fact that each chart has to be manually reviewed to see what the status is, the fact that it would be pretty difficult to send a letter to the "reactivation candidates", and worst of all, it's very unlikely to be done on a regular basis.

This document describes a simple system for identifying and contacting these patients. It's to be run every Monday (along with the other Lighthouse systems that are designed to be run every Monday) to send a reactivation letter. It can also be run at any time to "clean up" inactive patients, by calling them and either reactivating them or inactivating them. Marking a patient's Clipboard "Inactive" is the only way to drop someone from the system.


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  Lighthouse Simple Treatment Plan Tracking System
Posted by: Allen on Sunday, March 07, 2004 - 02:27 PM
 
  Patient Relations
1738 Reads

Once you have your marketing plan in place and the new patients are busting your door down (and yes, it is okay to celebrate!) then you need to shift your focus to "the morning after". The majority of these new (and recall patients) presenting will have further treatment needs. This information is made known to the clinical staff during that brief time the exam is performed and HOPEFULLY is captured in a treatment plan in the computer (and if not, there are OTHER issues we need to discuss, PRONTO!). The proper care and follow-up with these current patients of record on recently proposed treatment can make a world of difference to your practice sucess. This article and the associated download will describe the Lighthouse Simple Treatment Plan Tracking System that will allow your computer to "remind" patients on a progressive basis about the need to schedule recommended treatment.

***NOTE: Article and Download have been updated due to a "glitch" in the built in PW Treatment Tracking Functions. In the old version a patient may have been given a treatment plan and NOT selected in the follow up correspondence. This update adds a User Defined Form to allow the clinical staff to designate which treatment plans should be followed up and for how long.



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  Lighthouse Year-End Practice Management Recommendations
Posted by: Allen on Tuesday, February 10, 2004 - 01:27 PM
 
  Office Administration
21681 Reads

Lighthouse Year-End Practice Management Recommendations

As the old year is done and behind us, and we prepare to start the new year - now is the time to review and understand what happened in the prior year and make any changes to our office, policies, procedures, and staff necessary in order for the new year to be more prosperous and profitable with less stress and hasel. PracticeWorks is unique in that there are no accounting periods to "close", but that uniqueness also breeds complacency towards necessary "housekeeping" routines. This article will provide you with detailed instructions on what should be done to provide you with the management information necessary to make prudent choices that will positively impact the future for you, your staff, and your patients.



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  Paying on Production vs. Collection
Posted by: Brian on Friday, November 12, 2004 - 10:44 PM
 
  Office Administration
541 Reads

For some reason, the conventional wisdom in dentistry is that people (especially associates, but also hygienists and "owner-doctors") should be paid in part or in full based on collections, rather than on production. This article describes what the differences really are (not much, actually) and why we believe that, in most cases, production is a better way to go.

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  ScanSnap for the Dental Office
Posted by: Allen on Friday, October 05, 2007 - 05:23 PM
 
  Office Administration
1049 Reads

The COMPLETE Guide to the “Dental” ScanSnap (forward the 2000% markup to….)

Okay – this document has been long in coming, and I apologize in advance to everyone who waited for it. I also applaud all of the people who simply said “damn the torpedos – full speed ahead!” – and you have been numerous!

Unlike ordinary articles, I will make this more “check box” oriented – so let’s get started!


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  Using the Version 6 Expert Exchange and Update Program
Posted by: Allen on Thursday, August 11, 2005 - 03:56 PM
 
  Miscellaneous PracticeWorks
983 Reads

THE EXPERT EXCHANGE PART OF THIS ARTICLE HAS BEEN SUPERSEDED: PLEASE CLICK HERE to see the new version.

With the new release of PracticeWorks version 6 - they have FINALLY re-enabled several features that were considered revolutionary when they first appeared, finally copied by almost all of the major competitors, and then disabled during all of the "changing of hands". Now back and actually built into the menu structure of PW are both the PW Expert Exchange (PWEE) and the PracticeWorks Update Program (PUP). For any office using version 6 in production mode, you need to be aware of where they are located, how they should be used and who can use them.



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  X-Ray Request Tracking System
Posted by: Lisa on Wednesday, May 12, 2004 - 01:35 PM
 
  Miscellaneous PracticeWorks
387 Reads

When a new patient schedules an appointment and informs you that they have recent X-Rays from a previous dentist, or it's simply your policy to call the previous dentist for recent X-Rays, manual tracking of this can sometimes be challenging. We've tried to make this effortless for you by creating a system that will allow easier tracking. When the patient gives you the name of the previous dentist, you can make contact, request the X-Rays and keep track of whether or not they have been received.

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  Club Lighthouse Contents List: Club Lighthouse Contents List
Posted by: Brian on Tuesday, September 05, 2006 - 11:15 AM
 
  Club Lighthouse Content List
1314 Reads

Since Lighthouse PMG was formed in early 2003, we have created more than 135 enhancements to PracticeWorks - ONE HUNDRED THIRTY FIVE!!! They range from very small and fairly insignificant (a Contact Expert of all patients, searchable by first name, for example) to very large and very significant (like an entire system for gathering, storing, reviewing and updating every patient's health history information). With a few very minor exceptions, they all work with every version of PW - 4.9, 5.0, 6.0, 7.0. In addition, we've written over 60 Articles, many of which acccompany these enhancements, and many of which are just good, sound advice for any PW user.

While it's certainly true that no office needs all of these enhancements, it's just as true that virtually every office can benefit from a lot of them. The trick is - much like in PW itself - knowing what's available and how to start using it. That's why we created the Article you're reading now: so you can browse through a list, learn what's available, and hopefully start using anything you see that would be valuable for your office.

You should browse through this whole Article, looking for things of interest to you - I'm sure you'll find something that you didn't know you could do! If you have a particular interest, you can search the Article for a particular word, like "recall" or "A/R". Use your browser's Search function to search for the word in the Article.

This list is organized by the following categories. Click on one to see the list for that category.

All Lighthouse systems have been written and documented so that an end user (that's YOU!) should be able to install, configure and learn how to use it. For each item, you can see a time estimate for you to do it.

Systems / Articles That EVERY OFFICE Should Be Using (or have a really good reason for NOT using!)

Total Data Backup Solution Article

  • If you aren't doing nightly, automated backups that you are truly veryifying every day... are you CRAZY??? There is NOTHING in your practice more valuable than your data. In a way, it IS your practice. (Imagine trying to sell your practice without your data...) Getting several good, totally verified backups is not only easy, it's very inexpensive (less than $300 for everything you need, except your time to set it up). (And no, your current tape backup system doesn't qualify - too unreliable, impossible to truly verify, very difficult to restore to any other computer, etc., etc.)
  • Time estimate for you to do it: 10 to 20 minutes per device you backup to (probably 4 or 5 workstations and 2 or 3 portable hard drives)
  • You must have or purchase 2 or 3 portable USB hard drives (about $100 each) and some $30 software.

Article: PW's Various License Issues

  • How to avoid, or at least deal with, all the different components of a PracticeWorks system that have licensing limits.
  • Nothing to install - just read the Article.

Article: You and Your NPI Number

  • Most of what you need to know about this new HIPAA requirement.
  • Nothing to install - just read the Article.

Article and Exchange Pack: Lighthouse A/R Management System

  • The statement processing part of this alone, which integrates delinquent account management into the statement process, will save most offices a LOT of time.
  • Time estimate for you to perform: 30 - 60 minutes

Article and Exchange Pack: Lighthouse HIPAA Management System

  • A totally automated way to ensure you get the HIPAA Acknowledgement Form signed for every patient. Beats the pants off the system that comes with PW.
  • Time estimate for you to perform: 10 - 15 minutes

Article and Exchange Pack: Lighthouse Broken Appointment Management System

  • Picks up where the (very limited) PW broken appointment leaves off. Will prevent scheduling appointments for habitual offenders. Optional: automatically send a letter when an appointment is broken.
  • Estimate for you to install and configure: 10 minutes

Exchange Pack: Appointment-Specific Contact Experts

  • Just onne of the Contact Experts in this Pack, "LH01 Hygiene Appt Info", will save most hygienists from 5 - 15 minutes EVERY DAY (by making the morning "chart audit" to find last x-ray and exam dates unnecessary).
  • Estimate for you to install: 5 minutes

Article and Exchange Pack: Make the Pending Page VALUABLE

  • Of the hundreds of offices we've worked with, we have worked with just ONE SINGLE OFFICE that was using the Pending Page correctly. This feature is worthless in most offices, but it should be one of your most valuable tools for filling holes on short notice.
  • Estimate for you to install: 5 minutes (then you have to read the Article to learn how to use it!)

Article and Exchange Pack: Informed Consent Documents

  • Whether you use them for every invasive treatment (our recommendation!), or only for the most invasive treatment, informed consents should be part of every office's protocol. These will get you started.
  • Estimate for you to install: 10 minutes

Systems / Articles That EVERY OFFICE WITH COMPUTERS IN THE OPS Should Be Using

Article: Charting Configuration

  • Until you've done the two main steps in this Article, you can barely use Charting.
  • Time estimate for you to perform: 30-45 minutes

Article: Chart Buttons and AutoLinks Worksheet

  • The AutoLinks in this Article make it possible for treatment plans to be created as quickly as writing them on paper, and in our opinion, this is the single greatest benefit of having computers in the ops!
  • Time estimate for you to perform: 4 - 6 hours (requires you to fill out the Worksheet first)

Article and Exchange Pack: Completed Treatment Note Templates

  • A large assortment of Note Templates for documenting what dentistry you perform at each visit.
  • Time estimate for you to install and modify to suit you: 1 - 3 hours

Exchange Pack: Lighthouse Rx Farm and Updated PW Plus Pack Rx's

  • Stop hunting for Rx pads! Stop digging through the chart to find out which antibiotic you prescribed last time for a patient! Over 90 Rx's to choose from.
  • Estimate for you to install and configure: 15 - 20 minutes

Article and Exchange Pack: Lighthouse Document Explorer

  • What do you do with an e-mail you get from a patient? How about that rare document that you really need to scan and attach to a patient? Or an old printed photograph that shows the patient "before" your beautiful cosmetic work? All these things and a whole lot more can easily be stored for any individual patient with the LH Document Explorer.
  • Estimate for you to install and configure: 20 - 30 minutes for the first workstation, 5 minutes for each subsequent workstation

Article and Exchange Pack: Medical / Dental History System

  • A very effective and efficient system for reviewing every patient's health history at every visit, and for thoroughly updating it periodically. Absolutely required for becoming chartless (and a pretty good idea even if "chartlessness" isn't on your agenda!) NOTE: This one requires an extra 1 - 3 minutes at the beginning of every existing patient's appointment the first time you see them after implementing this system, to get their health history into PW.
  • Time estimate for you to perform: 10 - 60 minutes (depending on how many changes you feel are necessary)

Article and Exchange Pack: Lab Rx Generation (and Tracking if you want it)

  • Quickly generate any Lab Rx (document the details and print it), and track outstanding lab cases if you want
  • Time estimate for you to perform: 20 - 45 minutes

Article and Exchange Pack: Referred to Specialists System

  • Document the details of, then print, every referral to a specialist, and (if you want) track referrals more than XX days old. Every referral document printed by this system has a map to the specialist's office.
  • Time estimate for you to perform: 1 hour, PLUS 15 - 20 minutes for EACH SPECIALIST you refer to

Exchange Pack: Denture Visit Note Templates (Only if you do dentures)

  • A Note Template for each of the visits related to a new denture, from first impression to final adjustment
  • Time estimate for you to perform: 10 - 30 minutes

Exchange Pack: Ortho Visit Note Templates (Only if you do ortho)

  • A Note Template for each of the most common ortho visits, from consult to de-banding
  • Time estimate for you to perform: 10 - 30 minutes

Systems / Articles That MOST Offices SHOULD Be Using

Article (and possibly Exchange Pack): Filling Holes in the Schedule on Very Short Notice

  • The "Sooner if Possible" feature of the appointment book was NOT created for your patients' benefit - it's for YOUR benefit! Read this Article (and maybe install the Exchange Pack) to make this feature work for you!
  • Time estimate for you to read the Article (and install the Exchange Pack if you want it): 30 minutes

Article and Exchange Pack: Three Hygiene Analysis Experts

  • Two of these provide very valuable information about your recall system's effectiveness and your hygiene deparment's production vs. capacity. (The third is just packaged with these other two.)
  • Time estimate for you to install: 5 minutes

Exchange Pack: Inactivation Tracking

  • Ever wonder why you lose patients? This will let you find out! Data gathering is automatic, whenever you inactivate a patient. Run the Contact Expert whenever you like.
  • Time estimate for you to install: 5 minutes

Article and Exchange Pack: Big Case Treatment Proposal Generation and Tracking

  • Ever wish you could print out a more professional looking, less detailed treatment plan proposal than the one in PW? This system gives you TWO! One for large cases where cost isn't the issue and details are just a distraction, and another for large cases where cost IS an issue.
  • Estimate for you to install and configure: 20 minutes

Exchange Pack: Insurance Claims Management

  • You're using the Oustanding Insurance Claims Contact Expert to manage your delinquent claims, right? (If not, we need to talk!) The Contact Expert in this Exchange Pack is just a better version of that, allowing sorting by claim age and dollar amount. If you don't have your outstanding claims totally under controls, you need this Expert!
  • Estimate for you to install: 10 minutes

Exchange Pack: "Pre-D Received" Letter

  • You make a treatment plan, you send off a pre-D, you get the pre-D back with the good news... and then what? You send this letter, along with a newly printed treatment plan (with the updated insurance estimate) to get the patient to schedule, that's what!
  • Estimate for you to install: 10 minutes

Exchange Pack: "Welcome to the Neighborhood" Letter

  • The only external marketing Allen's practice has done for years is sending this letter (and a refrigerator magnet) to every new homeowner in their area every few weeks. Not even a small ad in the Yellow Pages! And they have a very steady stream of new patients.
  • Estimate for you to install: 10 minutes. Then you have to know how to use MS Word to merge the letter with the mailing list the company will send you. (Homeowners Marketing - see the Club post for details.) .

Systems / Articles That Most Offices Will Benefit From

Article: The ScanSnap in the Dental Office

  • Especially if you're interested in being chartless, but even if you just want to bring order to the chaos that can be 'paper management', you want a ScanSnap scannner in your office. (Just read the Article - no help on our part should be needed.)

Exchange Pack: Production and Collection Analysis Experts

  • Production by day of month for a calendar month; Deposits by day of month for a calendar month (very handy when balancing the checkbook!!); 12 months' production, collection and miscellaneous info; One month's A/R activity by day; Total production by ADA code. (Download it, install it, and run them. No configuration or training required.)

Exchange Pack: E-mail Prompter

  • A message that displays at Check-in and Check-out if you don't have an e-mail address for a patient. Very helpful if you're serious about using e-mail for recall reminders and appointment confirmation! (Might be overkill if you're using the Medical / Dental History System, becaue that system's Patient Info Update Document asks for e-mail address.)
  • Time estimate for you to install: 5 minutes.

Exchange Pack: Scheduling Warnings

  • Three messages that display if you make an appointment for a patient who hasn't been seen in your practice for over XX months (12 is the default, easily changed), or if you make a recall appointment for an existing patient who hasn't had FMX or a comprehensive exam (easily changed to other codes), or if you make a recall appointment that might violate the 'once every 6 months' rule for insurance.
  • Time estimate for you to install: 5 minutes.

Exchange Pack: Sealant Warning

  • A message that displays if you propose sealants on an insured patient who is less than 6 or older than 12 (simply because many plans don't cover sealants outside that age range).
  • Time estimate for you to install: 5 minutes.

Exchange Pack: "Not a Recall Appointment" Warning

  • A message that displays if you make an appointment more than 90 days in the future that is NOT marked as a recall appointment. Since most doctor appointments are scheduled sooner than 90 days, it follows that most appointments more than 90 days out should be marked as recall appointments, and if they're not, it will cause problems with the recall system.
  • Time estimate for you to install: 5 minutes

Exchange Pack: "Multiple Appointments on the Same Day" Warning

  • Have you ever cancelled or rescheduled an appointment, and missed the fact that the patient had TWO appointments scheduled on that day? Install this Exchange Pack and you'll never do that again.
  • Estimate for you to install: 5 minutes

Article and Exchange Pack: Lighthouse Simple Treatment Tracking System

  • Send a series of reminders to patients who were seen recently, still have incomplete treatment, but don't have an appointment with the doctor.
  • Estimate for you to install and configure: 45 - 60 minutes

Article and Exchange Pack: New Patient, Financial Policy and CC on File System

Article and Exchange Pack: Financial Agreement System

  • A Form for documenting the details of the financial agreement you make with a patient; a Document for the patient to review and sign; AutoLinks that make it all work.
  • Estimate for you to install and configure: 15 - 20 minutes

Exchange Pack: Parent Report for Minor Patient

  • A Form and related Document for communicating findings to a parent when a minor patient (usually a teenager) show up for an appointment unaccompanied by a parent.
  • Estimate for you to install and configure: 10 minutes

Article and Exchange Pack: Clean Up Duplicate Companies

  • Click Lists _ Insurance Companies, or Lists _ Employer/Plans: Do you see duplicates? Do you know that means your insurance estimating is probably not very accurate on them? Do you know that this Article and Exchange Pack will help you eliminate the duplicates?
  • Estimate for you to install: 10 minutes

Exchange Pack: New Patient Production

  • Every wonder how valuable your new patients are? This Contact Expert will tell you.
  • Estimate for you to install: 10 minutes

Article and Exchange Pack: New Patient Tracking System

  • You work hard to get new patients and you spend a lot of time doing a thorough exam and treatment plan. Are you doing ANYTHING after they leave to keep in touch with them, in case they didn't schedule anything? This system will help.
  • Estimate for you to install: 5 minutes (then you read the Article to learn how to use it)

Article and Exchange Pack: Lighthouse Schedule Hole Filler

  • If you use the Pending Page and the Sooner if Possible feature like they're supposed to be used, this Contact Expert will find the BEST candidates to fill holes on short notice.
  • Estimate for you to install: 5 minutes (then you read the Article to learn how to use it)

Exchange Pack: Patient Fact Sheets

  • 22 Documents that describe, in layman's terms, the dental procedures that we all know and love. Print them along with the treatment plan to help patients understand better, and be more receptive to treatment.
  • Estimate for you to install: 10 minutes (Then you edit each one to make sure you agree with what they say!)

Exchange Pack: Miscellaneous Document Merge Variables

  • If you create many Documents in PW, you'll love this one! All kinds of merge variables to make Document writing a whole lot easier, like being able to put "him" or "her" / "his" or "hers" / "he" or "she" into a Document automatically (based on the gender on the Clipboard). Full names, address 1 plus address 2 on the same line, salutations for letters, etc., etc., etc.
  • Estimate for you to install: 10 minutes. (No configuration or training)

Systems / Articles You Might Find Useful If You Have COMPUTERS IN THE OPS

Exchange Pack: Proposed Tx Note Templates

  • A set of Notes and AutoLinks that allow you to very quickly (practically automatically) document the reason for most proposed treatment, as you're proposing it
  • Time estimate for you to install: 10 minutes (then you have to customize them)

Exchange Pack: Perio Surgery Note Templates

  • A set of Completed Treatment Note Templates for the most common perio surgery procedures
  • Time estimate for you to install: 10 minutes (then you have to customize them)

Exchange Pack: Display Note Templates

  • A set of Note Templates that take advantage of the "Display character" feature added in version 5.0, so you can have a visual indicator for such conditions as supernumary and unerupted/partially erupted teeth, diastemas, congenitally missing teeth, etc.
  • Time estimate for you to install and configure: 20 - 40 minutes

Exchange Pack: TJM Exam Forms (Only if you treat TMJ)

  • Two Forms for documenting a great deal of information from a thorough TMJ interview and examination
  • Time estimate for you to install and configure: 20 - 40 minutes

Article and Exchange Pack: Next Appointment Info Forms

  • A convenient way to communicate info about what each patient's next appointment needs are, from the operatory to the administrative team. (This is a supplement to the proper creation and sequencing of tx plans - not a replacement for that!)
  • Time estimate for you to install and configure: 20 - 60 minutes

Exchange Pack: Vital Signs Recording

  • A simple Form to record vital signs at the beginning of the appointment
  • Time estimate for you to install: 5 - 10 minutes

Exchange Pack: Outside X-ray Tracking

  • Easily track x-rays received from other offices, and automatically remind clinical staff when they need to be reviewed
  • Time estimate for you to install: 5 - 10 minutes

Systems / Article That Are Specific to Becoming or Being CHARTLESS

Article and Exchange Pack: Chart Retirement Protocol and Checklist

  • Once you've stopped making charts for new patients, it's time to start retiring those for existing patients. This Article, and the related Exchange Pack, is everything you need to get started.
  • Estimate for you to install: 15 - 30 minutes.


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  Lighthouse: $100 Discount on AADOM Annual Conference - Las Vegas
Posted by: admin on Tuesday, May 04, 2010 - 05:02 PM
 
  Lighthouse
14 Reads

As the Ruby Sponsor of the AADOM (American Association of Dental Office managers - www.dentalmanagers.com), Lighthouse will pay $100 of your registration fee for the Sixth Annual Dental Managers Conference, October 22-23, 2010 in Las Vegas!



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  Lighthouse: Club Lighthouse Quick Start Guide
Posted by: admin on Thursday, February 27, 2003 - 04:55 PM
 
  Club Lighthouse
1446 Reads

Welcome to Club Lighthouse, the richest source of online information for dentists on the planet! This short guide is designed to help you get the most out of The Club. With your Club membership, the following features are available to you. Information about using the features follows the "General Layout" section below.

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  Lighthouse: Getting the most out of Club Lighthouse: A Road Map for new members
Posted by: Joel on Monday, September 22, 2003 - 02:57 PM
 
  Club Lighthouse
6110 Reads

The Club Lighthouse mission is to provide you with answers to difficult issues using a combination of proven management methods and effective utilization of PracticeWorks features. The trick is to get you the right information quickly and hassle free. There is a lot of information here on the Club site, and the last thing we want to do is make your life even MORE complicated. This guide is intended to be your "road map" to the Club site, directing you to the most important content first. Following this road map is the best way to insure that you get the most out of your investment in both PracticeWorks and Club Lighthouse.

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  Lighthouse: Lighthouse Becomes First Ruby Sponsor of AADOM
Posted by: admin on Tuesday, May 04, 2010 - 05:00 PM
 
  Lighthouse
15 Reads

If you don't know about the AADOM - the American Association of Dental Office Managers - you should! It's the only organization we know of that's dedicated to furthering the profession of dental office management and administration. If your practice has someone in the role of office manager, or practice administrator, or office coordinator, or any of a dozen other titles that means "the person who is mainly responsible for the administrative aspect of your practice" - you should seriously consider AADOM membership for that person.

Lighthouse is so convinced of the value of AADOM membership, and committed to the organization's goals, that we have become the first ever "Ruby Sponsor" of the AADOM for 2010. (We think we're in good company - Patterson Dental is the "Diamond Sponsor"!) That means that we'll be very actively involved with AADOM throughout the year, culminating in October at the Annual Conference (this year, it's Las Vegas in October!).



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  Lighthouse: The Kudzu Project - My First Year in the Dungeon
Posted by: Joel on Monday, January 02, 2006 - 02:23 PM
 
  The Kudzu Project
216 Reads

It’s no secret that my conspicuous absence from Club Lighthouse for the last year is due to my re-assignment to full time Kudzu development. But what have I been doing all that time? When will the program be finished? Good questions! This article will at least attempt to answer those questions...



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  Lighthouse: The Kudzu Project - One Year Later
Posted by: admin on Monday, January 02, 2006 - 03:57 PM
 
  The Kudzu Project
275 Reads

One year ago (December 23, 2004), we announced the beginning of The Kudzu Project, our "new from scratch" dental practice management program. (Read that announcement by clicking here.) We thought it appropriate to give you a "state of the project" report today, to answer some of your questions, to satisfy your desire to get a glimpse at what's coming, and more than anything, to give you some assurance that Kudzu is going to be everything you've been hoping for, and more.


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  Lighthouse: Working with Use Cases
Posted by: Brian on Monday, January 02, 2006 - 03:54 PM
 
  The Kudzu Project
307 Reads

Use Cases are text documents that describe what a computer system is supposed to do. We are using Use Cases in the development of Kudzu to insure we have identified all of the issues before development on a particular area begins. For those of you who want to participate in the early development of Kudzu, this article describes how to work with the Use Cases we are creating.

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  Lighthouse 360: Automated Phone Calling Is Now Available
Posted by: Brian on Friday, January 15, 2010 - 11:59 AM
 
  Lighthouse PLZ Newsletter Articles
64 Reads

Do you spend more than a few minutes each day making appointment confirmation phone calls? Do you have other things you could (should?) be doing, if you didn't have to spend time making those calls? Do you want your practice to be a little "greener" in 2010? Would you like to reduce the amount you spend on postcards each month?

If you answered "yes" to any of these questions, you might want to consider the newest feature from PLZ - automated appointment reminder phone calls.



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  Lighthouse 360: Back To School Exam Notification
Posted by: Brian on Monday, April 20, 2009 - 12:22 PM
 
  Lighthouse
33 Reads

If your practice is in California, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Georgia or Iowa (I hope we didn't miss any!) - you know that kids in your state have to have a dental examination before starting school. The specifics are different in each state, but the concept is the same: before entering school (either for the first time, or at the start of certain grades), a child must have received a dental examination, and must present a report of that exam prior to admission.

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  Lighthouse 360: Beautiful New Email Templates Available Now!
Posted by: Brian on Friday, August 27, 2010 - 07:53 AM
 
  Lighthouse PLZ Newsletter Articles
103 Reads

We'll be the first to admit, our current email templates are nice looking, but not what you'd call "sexy". Very functional, but not exactly "eye candy". But with the release of two brand new templates, that has changed - we think you'll love the way they look, and we're sure your patients will notice, too.

A picture is worth 1,000 words, so here's about 5,000 words worth. Below are five samples of the two new email templates that are available to you now. Click on the images below to see a full sized image of any template.



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  Lighthouse 360: Breaking News: Appointments Can Now Be Automatically Confirmed!
Posted by: Brian on Tuesday, April 07, 2009 - 02:43 PM
 
  Lighthouse PLZ Newsletter Articles
17 Reads

Effective immediately, we can automatically mark appointments "confirmed" in your PMS (Dentrix, EagleSoft, PracticeWorks, etc.) when a patient clicks on an appropriate response in any appointment reminder email send from Lighthouse PLZ.

So we can now send the email reminder, the patient can confirm it, and we'll mark it confirmed in your appointment book, all without you having to lift a finger, or even thinking about it. If you haven't been very active about gathering email addresses from your patients.... can we give you any better reason than this to start?

For PracticeWorks, EagleSoft, DentalVision and Softdent, you can turn this on yourself, in about 2 minutes. (And please do, if you want it now. If we have to do it for you, it could be awhile - we have hundreds of offices using PLZ now!) . (See instructions below.)



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  Lighthouse 360: Calling All Patients - Literally!
Posted by: Brian on Friday, September 25, 2009 - 10:08 AM
 
  Lighthouse PLZ Newsletter Articles
40 Reads

Last week, we began beta testing (meaning that we're testing in a real office with real patients) an exciting new feature of PLZ - automated outbound phone calling. Yes, it's what you think it is - we will automatically make phone calls to your patients. More precisely, our computer will do it - these are computer calls, not human calls.

These calls are just like any other PLZ message - they can be used in any campaign, for any purpose. However, we think the most likely use will be appointment confirmation calls.



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  Lighthouse 360: Confirm Appointments From Home!
Posted by: Brian on Tuesday, April 07, 2009 - 02:54 PM
 
  Lighthouse PLZ Newsletter Articles
122 Reads

Effective immediately, your Lighthouse PLZ portal has a new feature - you can confirm appointments in your practice management system (PMS) from any computer with an Internet connection!

Scenario #1: Your office policy is to make every reasonable effort to speak with a patient to confirm their appointment, even if that means making a few phone calls from home. No problem: go home, log into your PLZ portal, make a few phone calls, click the [Confirm] button a few times, and the next morning, those appointments will be confirmed in your PMS.

Scenario #2: You're a few days from the end of a great vacation, during which the office is closed. You have just one work task to complete on your vacation - confirming appointments for the first two days that you're back in the office. If you have Internet access and a cell phone, you can use the PLZ portal to make those phone calls - from the pool at the hotel, if you have a good wireless connection and a laptop!

Scenario #3: It's a no-patient day at the office, but you still have to confirm appointments for two days from now. Don't go to the office - just login from home and... well, you get the idea.



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  Lighthouse 360: Congratulations! It's a Website!
Posted by: Brian on Friday, September 25, 2009 - 10:05 AM
 
  Lighthouse PLZ Newsletter Articles
22 Reads

After months and months of work by almost everyone here at Lighthouse, we have finally "birthed" our new website: www.JustSayPLZ.com. Please take a minute and have a look, won't you?

It's still "under construction" - some pages aren't completed yet, some aren't even there yet; the banner across the top is going to change significantly; the Flash slides are going to change (and slow down); and all the pages still need a general "cleaning up" to make them look nicer.

But the "look and feel", and the overall message, is pretty much finished. If you read it, you'll notice a focus on PLZ, and on the type of software that PLZ is - something we call "practice management extension" software. If you've ever wondered, you can find out why we call it "PLZ". You can even read a long (but fascinating!) story about why we felt it was necessary to create PLZ in the first place.

If you see anything obviously wrong, or don't see something you think you should see, or have any comments about the site in general, please email jason@JustSayPLZ.com and let him know!



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  Lighthouse 360: Eliminate 91% Of The Emails We Send You!!
Posted by: Brian on Tuesday, April 07, 2009 - 02:45 PM
 
  Lighthouse PLZ Newsletter Articles
64 Reads

A few weeks ago, we announced a MAJOR enhancement to PLZ - the ability to automatically mark appointments "confirmed" in your practice management software's appointment book when a patient clicks on one of the "YesConfirmed" responses in a PLZ appointment reminder email. In the Newsletter Article that described that feature, we said that very soon, we'd be able to suppress the emails to you that tell you the patient confirmed the appointment, because now, you don't have to do anything with that email.

Now, that enhancement is finished! Not only can you suppress the "YesConfirmed" emails from your patients (well, they really come from us), but you can also suppress the "RemindMeAgain" and "ItsOnMyCalendar" emails. That leaves only the "ContactMe" emails, which of course, you need to continue to receive. (These represent about 9% of responses, so the average office will be able to reduce the number of emails from us by a whopping 91%!!!)

(Yet another new PLZ feature will help you deal with the "ContactMe" emails as efficiently as possible - see the "Refer a Friend, And More" article elsewhere in this newsletter.)

This article tells you how to suppress any or all of these types of emails for your practice.



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  Lighthouse 360: Family "Clustered" Messages Are Now Live
Posted by: Brian on Friday, August 27, 2010 - 07:56 AM
 
  Lighthouse PLZ Newsletter Articles
64 Reads

One of the questions we are most often asked by new clients is "If three family members all have an appointment on the same day, are they all going to get the reminder messages?". The answer has always been "Yes" - and even though it's rarely an issue, we have been asked about it often enough that we finally did something about it.

Effective immediately, we will "cluster" all messages of the same type to members of the same family, if individually, they would be sent within a short amount of time of each other. You might have to take some action in order to have these new family messages work for you, so please read the rest of this article!



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  Lighthouse 360: Five New Patients Per Month With PLZ Reactivation Letters
Posted by: Brian on Tuesday, June 09, 2009 - 03:17 PM
 
  Lighthouse PLZ Newsletter Articles
47 Reads

We're very excited to announce the latest enhancement to Lighthouse PLZ: the Reactivation System, featuring LETTERS to your patients. In a typical one-doctor practice, we believe this system will reactivate 4 to 6 patients every month, which is almost as good as getting that many brand new patients.

Think of it as a daily "chart audit". You remember chart audits, right? You look at your "wall o' charts" for any chart that still has the "06" sticker on it, meaning that was the last year the patient was seen. Then you look at the chart, and decide if you want to try to contact the patient to get them back on the schedule. If so, you either mail them something or call them, or both. You're supposed to do that a couple times each year, right? (And when was the last time you actually did it?)

The PLZ Reactivation System automatically performs this "chart audit" every day! When a patient hasn't been seen in your practice for any reason for XX months (where YOU decide what XX is), we start the Reactivation Campaign. It ends when the patient has scheduled an appointment, or when you have inactivated them. But you'll never again wonder how many patients you're losing each month through the simple act of inattention.

If you want to start Reactivation Letters going for your practice, please read the rest of this article! (And if you don't think you do... are you really that busy, that you don't need to get these people back in your practice? Really?)



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  Lighthouse 360: Five New Patients Per Month With Reactivation Letters!
Posted by: Brian on Thursday, May 28, 2009 - 11:37 PM
 
  Lighthouse PLZ Newsletter Articles
140 Reads

We're very excited to announce the latest enhancement to Lighthouse PLZ: the Reactivation System, featuring LETTERS to your patients. In a typical one-doctor practice, we believe this system will reactivate 4 to 6 patients every month, which is almost as good as getting that many brand new patients.

Think of it as a daily "chart audit". You remember chart audits, right? You look at your "wall o' charts" for any chart that still has the "06" sticker on it, meaning that was the last year the patient was seen. Then you look at the chart, and decide if you want to try to contact the patient to get them back on the schedule. If so, you either mail them something or call them, or both. You're supposed to do that a couple times each year, right? (And when was the last time you actually did it?)

The PLZ Reactivation System automatically performs this "chart audit" every day! When a patient hasn't been seen in your practice for any reason for XX months (where YOU decide what XX is), we start the Reactivation Campaign. It ends when the patient has scheduled an appointment, or when you have inactivated them. But you'll never again wonder how many patients you're losing each month through the simple act of inattention.

If you want to start Reactivation Letters going for your practice, please read the rest of this article! (And if you don't think you do... are you really that busy, that you don't need to get these people back in your practice? Really?)



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  Lighthouse 360: Get Found on the Web with RateADentist.com!
Posted by: Brian on Wednesday, April 28, 2010 - 09:40 PM
 
  Lighthouse PLZ Newsletter Articles
92 Reads

"The Internet? Is that thing still around?"
-- Homer Simpson

Homer probably still uses the Yellow Pages a lot, but more and more people all the time are using the Internet to find goods and services. Every month, the words "dentist" and "dentists" are searched for on Google over 9,000,000 times! When the search is for "dentist YourCity", are they finding you? If not, Lighthouse has a brand new feature that can help!


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  Lighthouse 360: Help Me Find My Patient, PLZ
Posted by: Brian on Tuesday, April 07, 2009 - 02:23 PM
 
  Lighthouse PLZ Newsletter Articles
25 Reads

Lighthouse PLZ is sending hundreds of e-mails for you every month. In a perfect world, all of them would be delivered, but sometimes, they don't make it. Maybe the patient gave you a bad address; maybe you typed it in wrong; they might not use that address anymore - there are lots of reasons for a "bounce".

When a bounce occurs, we send the entire "bounce notice" to you (it comes from your patient's e-mail server). It will always include the e-mail address that we tried to send to. You need to find that patient in your Practice Management System ("PMS" - Dentrix, EagleSoft, PracticeWorks, etc.) so you can either correct the address, or flag the patient to get a corrected address the next time you talk to them.

But you have to find them first, and you may have nothing more than their e-mail address to search on. None of the PMS's we work with have a feature to let you search for a patient by e-mail address... but PLZ does! This article will show you how to get to and use that feature. Not only can you search by e-mail, but also by all or part of any of these fields: name (first or last), address or phone number.



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  Lighthouse 360: Jumpstart Your Hygiene Schedule
Posted by: Brian on Tuesday, April 07, 2009 - 02:33 PM
 
  Lighthouse PLZ Newsletter Articles
46 Reads

If you're noticing a slowdown in your hygiene schedule lately, you're not alone. All across the country, the economy is taking its toll, and our clients are seeing more openings in hygiene than they're used to seeing - more than they're comfortable seeing. We don't have a magic wand we can wave to fill all those openings, but we do have a trick up our sleeve that can help in most practices. We call it the Recall Jumpstart, and we can put it to work for you today!



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  Lighthouse 360: Lighthouse PLZ Recall Notices Become "Interactive"
Posted by: Brian on Tuesday, June 09, 2009 - 03:11 PM
 
  Lighthouse PLZ Newsletter Articles
55 Reads

Until now, all the Lighthouse PLZ "Recall Notices" (messages we send to your patients to remind them that it's time to schedule a prophy) have been "one-way" - we send the message out, but there has been no way for the patient to communicate back to you, other than by picking up the phone and calling you.

Not anymore!

Now, all of your recall notice emails have embedded responses*, just like the PLZ appointment reminder emails always have. Each of the four standard recall emails has 2 or 3 responses for the patient to choose from, and the end result will be a lot of recall appointments scheduled without a single phone call! As an added bonus, the number of recall postcards we send will be reduced, lowering your total cost of PLZ each month.

(*If we have customized your recall email language, we have NOT enabled this for you, as that requires about 15 minutes per office to do. If you want us to make this enhancement to your recall emails, please read the paragraph at the end of this article with the heading "Customized Emails".)



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  Lighthouse 360: Lighthouse PLZ Surveys are Ready!
Posted by: admin on Tuesday, April 07, 2009 - 02:16 PM
 
  Lighthouse PLZ Newsletter Articles
52 Reads

Use Your Existing Patient's Reviews to Get NEW Patients!

Automated Patient Surveys - the latest addition to the ever-expanding list of Lighthouse PLZ capabilities - are now ready for all PLZ users. Before you think "I already know my patients love me - I don't need to send surveys!" - think about this: all those favorable opinions from your existing patients can be turned into one of the most powerful tools available for attracting NEW patients! How? By having those glowing reviews posted on the Internet, where search engines like Google and Yahoo will find them, and elevate your search engine placement because of them. And like almost everything else about PLZ, this feature is 100% automatic - once it's set up, it just happens.

Click to enlarge image



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  Lighthouse 360: Need More New Patients? Invite Your New Neighbors - Automatically!
Posted by: Brian on Tuesday, April 07, 2009 - 02:41 PM
 
  Lighthouse PLZ Newsletter Articles
21 Reads

Are you seeing as many new patients as you want to? In the current economic climate, most practices aren't. Are you going to just "grin and bear it", or are you going to do something about it? Of course you'd like to do something about it, but what? Why not invite all your new neighbors? 

Effective immediately, Lighthouse PLZ New Homeowners Marketing is open for business! We know when someone buys a house in your area. (Not "rents", but "buys" - we want these to be the best prospects we can find for you!) Within a few weeks of them moving in, we'll send them a "Welcome to the neighborhood" mailing from you, introducing them to you and welcoming them to your practice. Then, periodically, we'll send additional invitations on whatever schedule you like. As with most of the benefits of Lighthouse PLZ, this one is 100% automatic - you do absolutely NOTHING to make these invitations go.

You'll have exclusive access* to these new homeowners, too! We won't mail to your prospects from any other dentist. (But you must sign up by March 10 to secure your ZIP code(s) - see details later in this article.)

Coupled with another new Lighthouse feature called RealCall, you'll be able to see, in detail, the results of these mailings, to make sure they're working for you. (See the article about RealCall in this same newsletter.)



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  Lighthouse 360: New 'Refer a Friend" Feature, and More!
Posted by: Brian on Tuesday, April 07, 2009 - 02:51 PM
 
  Lighthouse PLZ Newsletter Articles
74 Reads

When a patient clicks on one of the embedded responses in a Lighthouse PLZ appointment reminder email, they're directed to a webpage. Until now, that page has been a very plain page with a simple "Thank you for your response" message on it. But now, each response will be directed to a new webpage. For two of the responses, the patient will see a "form" they can fill out and send you: one is to refer a friend to your practice, the other is to tell you what their "question, concern or conflict" is regarding the appointment, so you can probably resolve the issue without ever picking up the phone.

This feature will be enabled for all offices, automatically, on March 28. So any time after that, you will start seeing some new emails from PLZ - the emails with the content of whatever the patient typed on the form. If for any reason, you do NOT want the new behavior described in this article, please contact Lighthouse PLZ Support immediately. (888-427-5454 x1, or support@lighthouseplz.com)

By the way, one of our beta test offices scheduled a new patient for an Invisalign consult visit within 24 hours after we turned on this feature for them. It works!



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  Lighthouse 360: New Feature: Re-sending a PLZ Message
Posted by: Brian on Thursday, May 28, 2009 - 11:34 PM
 
  Lighthouse PLZ Newsletter Articles
62 Reads

Effective immediately, you can re-send any PLZ message if you need to. You won't need to very often - in fact, we can think of only one situation in which you'll ever use it: when you have a message returned to you as undeliverable because of a bad address (email or snail mail), and you can immediately correct the address. With this new capability, you'll then be able to force the message to be re-sent.



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  Lighthouse 360: PLZ Recall System Becomes Interactive
Posted by: Brian on Thursday, May 28, 2009 - 11:36 PM
 
  Lighthouse PLZ Newsletter Articles
100 Reads

Until now, all the Lighthouse PLZ "Recall Notices" (messages we send to your patients to remind them that it's time to schedule a prophy) have been "one-way" - we send the message out, but there has been no way for the patient to communicate back to you, other than by picking up the phone and calling you.

Not anymore!

Now, all of your recall notice emails have embedded responses*, just like the PLZ appointment reminder emails always have. Each of the four standard recall emails has 2 or 3 responses for the patient to choose from, and the end result will be a lot of recall appointments scheduled without a single phone call! As an added bonus, the number of recall postcards we send will be reduced, lowering your total cost of PLZ each month.

(*If we have customized your recall email language, we have NOT enabled this for you, as that requires about 15 minutes per office to do. If you want us to make this enhancement to your recall emails, please read the paragraph at the end of this article with the heading "Customized Emails".)



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  Lighthouse 360: RateADentist FAQ
Posted by: admin on Tuesday, May 04, 2010 - 05:03 PM
 
  Lighthouse PLZ Newsletter Articles
43 Reads

We created RateADentist.com for one simple reason: to help dental practices "get found on the Web". One of the things that Internet search engines take into account is patient reviews - and RateADentist is all about patient reviews. By having a lot of your patients post reviews on RateADentist, you improve your chances of getting a good ranking by the search engines.

Another thing the search engines like is "relevant" websites, and one of the ways they determine if a site is relevant is by looking at all the other websites that are linked to it, and the relevance of those sites. We have designed RateADentist so that every RateADentist user's website will point to it, and vice versa. Eventually, there will be thousands of dental websites all pointing to each other through RateADentist, which should make it appear to be very relevant to the search engines.

So when someone searches for "dentist indianapolis", for example, the RateADentist site itself may come up high in the "organic" search results. Hopefully, the prospective patient will look at it, and search for dentists near them, and of course, the RateADentist clients with the highest number of reviews will appear at the top of the search results. 

Below are some Frequently Asked Questions about RateADentist (and the answers, of course).



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  Lighthouse 360: Send Your First PLZ Newsletter (Year End Insurance Benefits)
Posted by: Brian on Tuesday, April 07, 2009 - 02:28 PM
 
  Lighthouse PLZ Newsletter Articles
41 Reads

In last week's Lighthouse newsletter, we told you that the new Patient Newsletter feature was about to be released. Well, now it has been, and you can start using it. We don't have any articles written for you yet (we're working on it!), but if YOU want to write your own, you can. This article will teach you how, and will do so in a very practical way - using the Insurance "Use it or lose it" message that so many offices like to send out at this time of year. If you follow the steps in both articles in this newsletter, you'll learn how to create your own newsletter content, and you'll be able to send the insurance announcement to all your patients who have e-mail!

Before you can send the message, you'll have to complete the steps in this article and the other article in this week's newsletter (Sending a Message to Everyone - with PLZ Patient Groups). It doesn't really matter which one you do first.



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  Lighthouse 360: Sending a Message to Everyone - with PLZ Patient Groups
Posted by: Brian on Tuesday, April 07, 2009 - 02:30 PM
 
  Lighthouse PLZ Newsletter Articles
24 Reads

At least a hundred times a year, a client says to us "I want to send something to everyone in my practice." It could be an announcement about some significant change at the office, or a special promotion like whitening, or the annual "If you don't use your insurance benefits, you'll lose them" reminder. It could also be a regularly scheduled newsletter. All of these things will be accomplished using two features of PLZ - the "Advanced Content" creator/editor, and the "Patient Groups" tool. This week's newsletter has an article about each of them, so if you want to "send something to everyone", now you can!

But first, a minor clarification. You probably don't really want to send anything to everyone - that would mean that a family of five, all of whom are your patients, would all get whatever you're sending, and that's rarely what's wanted. And it would mean sending to every inactive patient... and patients who you haven't seen in many years... and probably a few other categories of patients you don't really want to send to. No worries - Patient Groups will eliminate the duplicates and all those other "undesirables" for you.

This article will show you how to create a patient group. The other article in this newsletter (Send Your First Newsletter! (Year-End Insurance Message)) shows you how to create an announcement - specifically, the "use it or lose it" insurance benefits announcement. By following the steps in both articles, you'll be able to send this annoucement to all your active patients who have e-mail. And you'll know how to use these two tools, so the next time you want to "send something to everyone", you'll be able to!



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  Lighthouse 360: The Ideal Recall System, and the First PLZ Webinar
Posted by: Brian on Friday, January 15, 2010 - 12:01 PM
 
  Lighthouse PLZ Newsletter Articles
62 Reads

Last month, we gave the first webinar about PLZ. We will be doing these on a regular basis throughout 2010, approximately every other month - and more often if they prove to be popular. If you missed the first one, or if you just want to see it again, it's on our website. Go to www.JustSayPLZ.com and click on the "Podcasts and Webinars" menu item.

The Ideal Recall System
The webinar topic was "The Ideal Recall System." We chose it because there were so many enhancements to the PLZ recall system in 2009, and we wanted to make sure all of our clients knew about them all. Even new PLZ users might not be fully aware of all them. The rest of this article briefly describes all of the recall tools available to PLZ users, which were explained in detail in the webinar.



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  Lighthouse 360: Time to Send "Unused Insurance Benefits" Letter
Posted by: Brian on Friday, September 25, 2009 - 09:55 AM
 
  Lighthouse PLZ Newsletter Articles
96 Reads

Your patients have tens of thousands of dollars of dental insurance benefits that will go to waste this year - that's a fact. If you don't do anything about it, your just contributing the insurance companies' profits, to the detriment of your own bottom line.

PLZ has a simple way for you to remind your patients of the "use it or lose it" aspect of dental benefits - our "Insurance Benefits Remaining" Campaign. Send any combination of emails, postcards or letters to your insured patients, encouraging them to use their benefits before year end. It won't take more than an appointment or two, scheduled as a result of you sending these messages, to pay for the sending. Anything more than that is money in the bank for you.

We already have a Letter, an Email and a Postcard created that you can use as-is, or that we can totally customize before sending. (See the very end of this Article.)



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  Lighthouse 360: Validate Your Marketing Investment with Lighthouse RealCall
Posted by: Brian on Tuesday, April 07, 2009 - 02:42 PM
 
  Lighthouse PLZ Newsletter Articles
19 Reads

You spend good money on advertising and marketing. A Yellow Pages ad could be hundreds, maybe even thousands of dollars each month. Coupon pack and direct mail marketing programs are very expensive. If you're using the Lighthouse New Homeowners Marketing system (see article elsewhere in this newsletter), you'll probably be spending several hundred dollars per month on that. Wouldn't it be nice to know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that these things are paying for themselves?

Ditto for all the Recall Notices that we're sending out to your patients each month (and soon, the Reactivation Letters). While they're inexpensive, it would still be nice to know exactly how they're working - so you could decide to send more, or fewer, or alter your schedule, etc. to obtain the best results.

And on a seemingly unrelated topic, wouldn't you like to know that phone calls to your office, from patients and prospective patients, are being answered and handled in a professional manner? In a few rings, with the correct greeting, spoken cheerfully; with the right answers given to all the caller's questions; with an attempt made at scheduling an appointment any time that's appropriate; etc., etc.

Finally, how about a slick way to connect a patient or prospect to your office, by phone, directly from your website or from a PLZ email?

With the new Lighthouse RealCall feature, you can do ALL of these things for as little as $30 per month!



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  Lighthouse 360: Your Appointment Book on Your iPhone
Posted by: Brian on Tuesday, April 07, 2009 - 02:31 PM
 
  Lighthouse PLZ Newsletter Articles
56 Reads

Several times each hour, Lighthouse PLZ synchronizes your practice management system (PMS) appointment book to our server, so we always have an almost real-time copy of your schedule. We can serve that up to you through your Lighthouse PLZ Portal, so you can access it from any computer with Internet access. But one of the coolest features of PLZ is the ability to serve up your appointment book on your iPhone! (Or iPod Touch - they both run the mobile version of the Safari browser. This article will refer only to the iPhone for simplicity, but both work the same way.)

If you're using PLZ, and you have an iPhone, you already have this capability! This article tells you how to use it.



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  PracticeWorks: A better way to manage the Pending Page
Posted by: Brian on Thursday, February 27, 2003 - 12:12 AM
 
  Scheduling issues
1644 Reads

The Pending Page was originally designed to be a holding area for appointments that have failed or been canceled, that were not rescheduled at the time of the cancel/fail for some reason, and that have a good chance of being rescheduled on relatively short notice. Unfortunately, it is frequently used as a "dumping ground" for any and all canceled/failed appointments. When this happens, the list of pending appointments becomes so long that it’s very inefficient to find someone who can actually be rescheduled, which defeats the whole purpose of the Pending Page. This article and its associated custom Contact Experts will help prevent that from happening in your office.

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  PracticeWorks: Analyzing Your Recall System
Posted by: Brian on Monday, June 23, 2003 - 12:07 AM
 
  Recall management
1544 Reads

The Lighthouse Recall Analysis Expert (LH03 Recall Analysis -
accessed from Experts _ Analysis Experts) was created to help you
identify potential problems in your recall system. This article
explains each of the numbers so you'll know how to interpret the
figures.


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  PracticeWorks: Appointment shortcuts
Posted by: Joel on Monday, May 05, 2003 - 11:53 AM
 
  Tips and Tricks
1054 Reads

This is number two in a series of articles designed to bring to light many of the things the software is capable of, but most users simply don't know exist. This article covers "appointment shortcuts" - keyboard shortcuts that can speed up the appointment creation and scheduling process. As with my first article, these tricks represent some of the cooler things we put in version 1.0 of the software - and promptly forgot about! The appointment definition tricks are actually some of our favorites.

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  PracticeWorks: Benefit Info Needs Reset....Why?
Posted by: Allen on Tuesday, July 01, 2003 - 03:43 PM
 
  Insurance
713 Reads

Of the great mysteries in life, the random "Surprise!" of Benefit Info needs to be Reset on the Office Expert has to rank up there! This article will attempt to de-mystify what is actually happening AND provide a tool to allow you to clean up your data and keep it clean in the future.



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  PracticeWorks: Bug In PW Causes Expen$ive Data Loss!
Posted by: Brian on Wednesday, April 05, 2006 - 10:27 PM
 
  Care and feeding of the digital office
978 Reads

Warning! Bug In PracticeWorks Causes Lost Data - Big $$$ To Recover!!!

April 3, 2006: Twice in the past 10 days, we've been contacted by PW users who've lost data - their user-defined merge variables - because of a known bug in the program. It exists in every version of PW in use today, from 4.9.042 up to and including the latest release of 6.0. In one case, the office called us, we told them what file they needed to restore from backup, and they fixed their own problem in about 3 minutes, at no cost. In the other case, it took over an hour of their hardware techician's time and over 2 hours of Lighthouse time (all billable) to fix the problem - well over $400. The difference between these offices? One of them had an adquate backup system in place, one of them didn't.

Just last Friday, what started out as a remote to work on some recall issues for an office turned into a near-panic situation for them when they realized they had NO backup of their data (PW, Dexis or ViperSoft) since January 4. They thought they had a good backup, but because no one was verifying it every day, they were wrong.

  • If your backup system consists solely of a tape drive that someone swaps a tape into every day...
  • If someone isn't looking at your backed up data from within PW every day...
  • If you don't have at least 3 "generations" of backup (last night, two nights ago and three nights ago)...
  • If you don't have all of your practice data on some kind of hard drive in a physical location other than your office at all times...

...then you don't have an adequate data backup system, and your practice is at risk of suffering catastrophic loss!!!

Think that's an exaggeration? Your practice IS your data, in a very real sense. Imagine what would happen if you couldn't get to the data in PW - no appointments, no patient names, no ledger history, perhaps no clinical history... How would you recover from that? And at what cost?

This Article describes a backup system that will protect you from every known type of danger to your data and to the smooth operation of your practice. And if you want to be protected by this sytem, but don't want to take the time to set it up yourself, just call us, and we'll do it for you! 888-427-5454, extension 1.


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  PracticeWorks: Clean Up Duplicate Companies
Posted by: Brian on Tuesday, July 13, 2004 - 10:26 PM
 
  Miscellaneous PracticeWorks
1651 Reads

Almost every practice has duplicate insurance companies and employer/plans that shouldn't be there, and they not only cause confusion, they almost certainly result in problems with insurance estimating, because you just can't keep them all current. This article describes the process of cleaning up the duplicates, using a pair of Lighthouse Contact Expert specifically created for the job.

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  PracticeWorks: Configuring Automation Expert Document Printing
Posted by: Brian on Thursday, December 09, 2004 - 09:52 AM
 
  Automation and PracticeScript
628 Reads

One of the most commonly used Responses of the Automation Expert is to print a Document. There are several types: letterhead, plain paper, postcard, mailing label, e-mail and field export. Before you do the actual printing of any of these (except field export, which isn't really a document), you need to make sure you have the printing properly configured on the computer from which you're printing. Here's how:



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  PracticeWorks: Confirmation Details System
Posted by: Lisa on Friday, January 02, 2004 - 01:53 PM
 
  Office Administration
840 Reads

No matter how you confirm appointments, there are inevitably going to be some patients who you cannot speak to directly. With today’s technology, we're able to leave appointment confirmation messages using a variety of different means: answering machines at home, voice mail at work, messages with a secretary, spouse or family member, and even via e-mail. And in spite of all this, patients still occasionally fail to show up for an appointment.

In the event that a patient doesn't show up for their appointment, do you have enough information to understand why they failed, by knowing how they were confirmed? For example, knowing that a message was left for a characteristically good patient on their voice mail at work, you might be conclude that the patient either didn’t go to work that day or simply didn’t get that message. Effortlessly gathering details of how a patient was confirmed will be helpful in determining whether or not to enforce whatever your cancellation or failure policy might be. That's the whole point of the Lighthouse Confirmation Details System.

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  PracticeWorks: Dealing with the "Record in use" window
Posted by: Brian on Wednesday, January 22, 2003 - 07:56 AM
 
  Care and feeding of the digital office
1720 Reads

Have you ever seen a "Record in use" window pop up in PracticeWorks that prevents you from accessing a patient record? The intention of that window was to inform you that someone else in the office is currently using the record. However - what if NO ONE is using the patient record (and you are sure because you checked)? This annoying situation is called a "phantom record lock". This article describes how to deal with it.

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  PracticeWorks: Effective use of the PracticeWorks Security System
Posted by: Joel on Sunday, November 09, 2003 - 11:21 PM
 
  Office Administration
1031 Reads

There is more to the PracticeWorks security system than simply preventing certain staff from poking around in areas where they shouldn't. While preventing unauthorized access to a certain feature is certainly one of the abilities of the security system, it goes well beyond that. Effective configuration of the security system allows for not only access prevention to certain features (like modifying financial data), but also for things like the enforcement of office policies (like obeying block booking rules) and the detection of malicious behaviors (such as embezzlement). The security system also is capable of collecting valuable information that supports your daily use of PracticeWorks. For example, few users know that the security system enables you to see a complete history of any appointment, including when it was made, by whom, when it was confirmed (and by whom), etc. Finally, the information the security system collects allows PracticeScript to do some high level analysis of your practice. This article describes all of these uses of the security system.

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  PracticeWorks: Filling holes in the schedule on very short notice
Posted by: Brian on Wednesday, February 26, 2003 - 07:17 PM
 
  Scheduling issues
915 Reads

Patients cancel appointments, and all too frequently they do it on short notice. That's a given. But you don't have to suffer financially when it happens. PracticeWorks has a great tool for helping you fill those holes in the book, and this article will tell you everything you need to know to start using it NOW!

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  PracticeWorks: HIPAA Privacy Policy Management
Posted by: Allen on Monday, March 31, 2003 - 09:43 AM
 
  Office Administration
1649 Reads

In April 2003, HIPAA mandated that you inform every patient of your privacy policy. Version 5.0 (and higher) of PracticeWorks has a very clumsy way of tracking this, but the Lighthouse HIPAA System is much more efficient (it's automatic!).

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  PracticeWorks: How to Effectively Multi-task in PW
Posted by: Brian on Saturday, April 05, 2003 - 08:03 PM
 
  Miscellaneous PracticeWorks
533 Reads

You've got a new patient's Clipboard up in PracticeWorks?, and you're all the way down into the insurance estimating screen for their Employer/Plan. In short, you have a "stack" of about a dozen windows on top of each other - and the phone rings. Of course, it's a patient you've been trying to reach for a week, and you have to talk to them. What do you do?

  1. Close all of the new patient's windows, take the call, then open them all back up again.
  2. Ask the patient on the phone to please hold while you finish entering all the new patient's insurance information.
  3. Run to the nearest available computer and handle the phone call.
  4. Something else, that's SO easy most people don't even think about it.
If you picked #4, congratulations! You don't need to read this article. If you picked 1, 2 or 3, read on.

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  PracticeWorks: Informed Consent
Posted by: Allen on Friday, July 11, 2003 - 03:06 PM
 
  Patient Relations
1219 Reads

Informed Consents - A "Sampling"

Whether you are entirely chartless, headed towards going chartless, or happy with paper charts - the idea of having a WRITTEN informed consent for your patients benefit and your office protection is applicable in today's litigous world. Prior to performing any procedure, the informed consent will help to insure that your patient is aware (and hopefully understands) what is about to happen, and provide an opportunity to review and discuss anything of a clinical or financial nature. The pack associated with this article contains 12 sample informed consents for procedures routinely performed in most offices and the autolink to prompt the clinical staff to print the correct IC prior to seating the patient.



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  PracticeWorks: Installing From an Exchange Pack
Posted by: Brian on Monday, June 13, 2005 - 03:29 PM
 
  Miscellaneous PracticeWorks
1559 Reads

THIS ARTICLE HAS BEEN SUPERSEDED: PLEASE CLICK HERE to see the new version.

A unique feature of PracticeWorks is the support of custom defined Experts: Contact Experts, Analysis Experts, and all the components of the Automation Expert (Notes, Forms, Documents, Messages and the AutoLinks that make them work). A mechanism exists for these user-defined Experts to be packaged into files and sent to other users, where they can easily be installed and put to use immediately. Club Lighthouse has created many of these Exchange Packs, and will continue to create more all the time. This article provides step-by-step instructions for installing these Exchange Packs after you download them from The Club.

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  PracticeWorks: Installing From an Exchange Pack
Posted by: Brian on Tuesday, August 28, 2007 - 10:21 PM
 
  Miscellaneous PracticeWorks
918 Reads

Here's the scoop on downloading and installing a Lighthouse Exchange Pack for PracticeWorks

First, you need to know that an "Exchange Pack" is a file that contains some kind of enhancement for PW. To use the contents of the file, you first download and SAVE it to your computer. Then, you use the Expert Exchange - a program that comes with PW - to install the contents of the file into your PW data. How you do the second step is different for different versions of PW, which is the point of this Article - pointing you to the correct Article depending on your version of PW.


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  PracticeWorks: Integrating additional programs and file types with PracticeWorks
Posted by: Joel on Friday, September 24, 2004 - 06:13 PM
 
  Tips and Tricks
2824 Reads

Even though PracticeWorks has built in support for its own documents and it has limited integration with images via scanners, it falls short in many areas. Most significant, a lot of new technologies (and a lot of neat programs) have been developed for Windows since most of the PW integration was written back in 1998. Many new "file types" exist that could be tied to a patient: Adobe's Portable Document Format (PDF) and scanned images or images from digital cameras that have newer interfaces not supported by PracticeWorks' "old" integration interfaces are two examples. There are also many times when using a "high end" word processor (such as Microsoft Word) is more desirable than the "built in" document system of PracticeWorks. For example, Microsoft Word has extensive imaging capabilities built in. Using it to compose a letter to a specialist would allow for x-rays, intra-oral camera images, and other things to be inserted directly into the document. Finally, a lot of these file types are sent TO you (vs. being generated by you). Many files are sent via electronic means (like email). Emails themselves are a file type in Windows that may be worth saving on a patient by patient basis. This article describes a simple technique (combined with a Lighthouse utility program) that opens up the entire world of Windows documents to be managed by PracticeWorks.

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  PracticeWorks: LH Recall PowerCalls Add-on
Posted by: Brian on Friday, September 05, 2003 - 03:31 PM
 
  Recall management
452 Reads

The Lighthouse Simple Recall Reminder System allows you to easily, quickly and consistently send a series of reminders to patients who need to make their next recall appointment. This article describes an "add-on" to that system for offices who use the PowerCalls system for automated phone calling.

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  PracticeWorks: LH Simple Appointment Confirmation System
Posted by: Allen on Wednesday, July 16, 2003 - 10:40 PM
 
  Scheduling issues
2021 Reads

Before You Install This System: Lighthouse has created a 100% automated system for sending out appointment reminders. It is a replacement for the system described in this Article.

Once we install it, you will never have to send another appointment reminder (e-mail or postcard) again. It even adds cell phone text messages to the mix of reminders. And the cost of the service is included in your Club Lighthouse monthly subscription. Please call 888-427-5454 extension 1 and ask about it.

(The original article is still intact, below, but there really isn't much point in reading it.)

The worst thing an office can experience is to start a week with an empty appointment book. The next to worst thing is a week jammed back with little to no confidence in which appointments will show up and which will not. The office with the empty schedule at least knows that patients can be accommodated on short notice. The practice with the "full" book of unconfirmed appointments cannot accept high productivity or emergency needs because they are hoping that time reserved in the past will be actually used. While there are many different philosophies as to the methods used for appointment confirmation (and if you should confirm at all!), this article and the associated download will describe the Lighthouse Simple Appointment Confirmation System that leverages the power of the software and minimizes the manual effort required.



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  PracticeWorks: LH Supplemental Recall System
Posted by: Brian on Thursday, August 28, 2003 - 01:22 AM
 
  Recall management
841 Reads

This Article describes the Lighthouse Supplemental Recall System, designed specifically to try to reactivate patients who are seriously past due for recall (more than 18 months past their due date). It was created at the request of an office whose recall system had been less than satisfactory for quite some time, and the doctor felt it was worth going back as far as three years to try to reactivate patients. If you're in a similar situation, you might want to try this system.

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  PracticeWorks: Lighthouse Broken Appointment Management System
Posted by: Joel on Tuesday, May 20, 2003 - 01:58 AM
 
  Scheduling issues
1873 Reads

One of the best ways to minimize last minute appointment cancellations or no-shows is to not make appointments for patients who have a history of not keeping their scheduled appointment. In a busy practice, weeding out these known abusers is easier said than done. PracticeWorks "out of the box" does very little to help you. It can track the total number of cancellations and/or reschedules, but the number is of limited use. Does a "5" mean 5 cancellations in the last 8 years, or 5 cancellations in the last 8 days? Of course, even this limited information is of no use if you never take the time to review the appointment history before making the next appointment (and who has time for that?)

This article covers the use of the "Lighthouse Broken Appointment Management" system, a series of custom experts designed to tackle this problem head on!



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  PracticeWorks: Lighthouse Next Appointment Info System
Posted by: Brian on Friday, March 04, 2005 - 04:17 PM
 
  Automation and PracticeScript
992 Reads

This document describes a system that can help you streamline the scheduling process by improving the communication between the clinical team members (who know what each patient's next appointment should be for) and the administrative team members (who usually make the appointments).



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  PracticeWorks: Lighthouse Referred Out Tracking System
Posted by: Brian on Wednesday, April 23, 2003 - 10:03 AM
 
  Going Chartless
1761 Reads

PracticeWorks has a system for keeping track of who referred your patients to you, but no system at all for keeping track of the referrals you make to other dentists. The Lighthouse Referred Out Tracking System is such a system, one that you can install and start using almost immediately. There's the "main" system that you'll definitely use, and two "sub-systems" that you may or may not use. Each of these systems is described here, and detailed later in this document.

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  PracticeWorks: Lighthouse Schedule Hole Filler
Posted by: Joel on Monday, May 12, 2003 - 11:32 PM
 
  Scheduling issues
1334 Reads

There is a somewhat obvious but frequently disregarded property of your appointment book: it is a finite but perishable opportunity for revenue generation. If you seat a patient and produce work, you generate revenue for your practice. However, this opportunity for revenue generation does not last forever. Each slot in your book has an expiration date on it, and once that time has past, that opportunity for revenue generation can never be recovered. Furthermore, it actually costs you money to allow an appointment slot to expire unused. There is overhead involved in running your practice: you pay rent, utilities, and staff salary whether or not that appointment slot is filled. If you divide these fixed monthly expenses by the number of hours you are open each month, you may be surprised to discover just how much an unused hour costs you.

Given this importance, we have devised a tool to aid you minimizing this waste: The Lighthouse Schedule Hole Filler. This article covers the use of that tool.


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  PracticeWorks: PracticeWorks Customization - Why every Puppy needs to be Trained
Posted by: Allen on Tuesday, August 12, 2003 - 10:29 AM
 
  Automation and PracticeScript
747 Reads

PracticeWorks broke the mold when it was first introduced as an Appointment Book driven practice management package. This insight into the intuitiveness necessary for a successful relationship between human and computer created a whole new approach to running a dental practice. The next and even more significant milestone was the introduction of the user ability to custom automate the package to fit an individual's needs. This shifted things from being easy to use for the human to actual intelligence in the software for how your practice operates. While a dog may be man's best friend, PracticeWorks (the program) is an office's best friend, and like the loyal dog can and SHOULD be trained to help the office for years to come. This article will describe a situation that resulted in a training of our "puppy" and hopefully will give ideas about what can be done in your office.



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  PracticeWorks: PW's Various License Issues
Posted by: Brian on Saturday, March 08, 2008 - 03:08 PM
 
  Miscellaneous PracticeWorks
384 Reads

This article was written in response to the many, many issues PW users have with various license counts that in place in a PW office. It's pretty "down and dirty" - no fluff. If you're getting error messages that refer to "PWSvr", skip straight to the third heading below, "PW License Server."

There are 4 kinds of licenses that every PW user has to deal with if they're on PW version 5.0 or higher (only 2 with version 4.9): The Windows server license count, the Pervasive license count, the PracticeWorks license count, and the PWServer license count.


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  PracticeWorks: Rx's in Multi-doctor Offices
Posted by: Brian on Wednesday, April 18, 2007 - 11:51 AM
 
  Automation and PracticeScript
143 Reads

If you're printing Rx's from PW, the doctor's name, license number and possibly the DEA number are filled in automatically when the Rx prints, from the employee setup page for the doctor. (Lists _ Employees). But if you have more than one doctor in the practice, you probably want ALL the doctors' names and info to print on the Rx's, just like they probably do on your hand-written Rx pads. Here's how to do that.<

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  PracticeWorks: Sending Birthday Cards
Posted by: Brian on Wednesday, June 18, 2003 - 10:04 PM
 
  Patient Relations
381 Reads

Lighthouse PMG doesn't feel strongly one way or the other about sending birthday cards to patients. But if you want to do it, we want you to do it right! That is, don't use the "generic" birthday Contact Expert that ships with PracticeWorks?, because that one restricts you to printing the postcards from within the month of the birthdays, meaning the patients whose birthday is in the first week of the month will get their card late!



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  PracticeWorks: Sending email using PracticeWorks
Posted by: Joel on Thursday, June 19, 2003 - 05:26 PM
 
  Miscellaneous PracticeWorks
2312 Reads

PracticeWorks has the capability of sending emails directly from the software. This built-in email capability has several advantages: emails can be "written" automatically using Document Merge Variables. More importantly, emails can be generated automatically in response to Automation Expert events. This brings emails into the realm of documents that can be generated from Contact Experts, Charting buttons, and even automatic events (like accepting a treatment plan). Suddenly, it becomes very easy to generate recall and appointment reminders via email, saving you lots of time and money in paper post cards and postage.

The big problem with PracticeWorks' email capability however is that for a large number of users, it simply doesn't work. Even if you manage to locate the rather obscure instructions for setting it up, the Internet has changed a lot since the capability was added in 1998, and these changes have kept email generation out of reach for many PracticeWorks users. Complicating things is that in doing research for this article, we discovered that PracticeWorks doesn't even follow the "standard" email protocol exactly as it should, making it inexplicably incompatible with a large number of mail servers.

Fortunately, we have found a way to make PracticeWorks email work in most offices! This article discusses our solution.



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  PracticeWorks: The LH Simple Recall System
Posted by: Brian on Saturday, March 15, 2003 - 10:26 PM
 
  Recall management
3147 Reads

Before You Install This System: Lighthouse has created a 100% automated system for sending out recall reminders. It is a replacement for the system described in this Article.

Once we install it, you will never have to send another recall reminder (e-mail or postcard) again. And the cost of the service is included in your Club Lighthouse monthly subscription. Please call 888-427-5454 extension 1 and ask about it.

(The original article is still intact, below, but there really isn't much point in reading it.)

Almost every practice believes that recall (or recare, or continuing care, or whatever you call it in your practice) is one of the most important parts of their practice. And yet, most practices do no more than send a batch of postcards once a month to try to schedule patients who didn't pre-appoint. We believe there's a better way, the Lighthouse Simple Recall System. This article describes it, and you can download it and start using it almost immediately!


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  PracticeWorks: The Lighthouse Rx Farm
Posted by: Brian on Monday, June 30, 2003 - 01:29 PM
 
  Miscellaneous PracticeWorks
1597 Reads

It's not really easy to add a new Rx to PracticeWorks yourself, but it is really easy to get a new Rx - just ask Club Lighthouse, and we'll do it for you. The "Rx Farm" is an Exchange Pack of Rx's that you can simply download and install, and they'll work with your existing Rx system (assuming your existing Rx system was installed from the PW Plus Pack - which was originally created by Lightkeeper Joel, by the way!). All the Rx's in the Rx Farm Exchange Pack have been requested by Club members, and a new Rx will be added to it whenever someone requests one.

There's even an "automated pre-med Rx" component that will help ensure your pre-med patients always have a current pre-med Rx in their possession.


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  PracticeWorks: The TRUTH about version 5 account splitting
Posted by: Joel on Thursday, September 23, 2004 - 06:10 PM
 
  Accounts receivable
523 Reads

There has been a lot of discussion around here about the "problem" with splitting accounts in version 5. Wanting to understand more, I decided to dig a little further and find out what the fuss is all about, what the TRUE problems are, etc. After about an hour of poking around, here is what I found.

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  PracticeWorks: Using Multiple Databases
Posted by: Joel on Monday, March 17, 2003 - 12:20 AM
 
  Miscellaneous PracticeWorks
2223 Reads

There is an undocumented feature of PracticeWorks that allows a workstation to be configured to work with more than one set of data. The "Multiple database" feature was originally designed for practices that wanted to maintain two completely separate databases for use by two doctors. While this somewhat obscure need is still a valid use, it turns out this feature has many more general applications that can be used by all practices. Clever use of the multi-database function enables abilities such as taking home a copy of the database on a laptop computer, and using a copy of your data for "playing around." The latter example is perfect for experimentation with the Automation Expert or for previewing Exchange Packs without the need to actually install them on your live data. This article explains in details the steps necessary to setup multiple databases.

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  PracticeWorks: Using the Expert Exchange with PW 5.0.3 (and higher)
Posted by: Brian on Friday, August 27, 2004 - 03:27 PM
 
  Miscellaneous PracticeWorks
1702 Reads

Version 5.0.3 (and higher) of PW replaces the old, reliable, useful Expert Exchange program with one that, as far as we can tell, does absolutely nothing other than cause trouble. What kind of trouble? Well, it's not "backward compatible" with previously created Exchange Packs, so it won't work with anything created by Lighthouse.

Fortunately, there's a pretty simple solution; just reinstall the old one. This article tells you how.



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  PracticeWorks: Workflow of a Patient Visit
Posted by: Brian on Thursday, June 09, 2005 - 10:27 AM
 
  Miscellaneous PracticeWorks
1508 Reads

When we designed PracticeWorks, we wanted to make the program follow closely the natural flow of work in a dental office. We spent a lot of time on the administrative part of it - the whole flow of the patient relative to the front desk: check-in, go to the operatory, come back from the operatory, enter charges and payments, process insurance, make the next appointment, then do the whole thing over again the next visit. I think we got that part right, and the normal use of the program enables - even enforces, to a certain degree - that natural flow. Almost all of that was in version 1.0 of the program.

When Charting was added, in version 2.03, it was kind of a rush job. (Ask Joel - he'll tell you it was the most stressful couple of months of his professional life!) We didn't have the time to spend on the design of Charting that we did with Office, couldn't really study and understand how work flowed in the operatory. Consequently, there isn't really a natural flow to using Charting. Instead, there are a bunch of tools - the hard tissue chart, the treatment plan, buttons, notes, etc. - and it's really up to each user to figure out how to use them all together. Coupled with the fact that PW, Inc. never developed a training agenda for Charting that went beyond how to use each of the tools, it's not surprising that so many people use Charting in less than an ideal fashion, with no clear idea of how it really should be used.

Out there in the real world, Allen and Bridgett (and a whole bunch of other people) had no choice but to figure out a way to use it that worked, that made sense, that could be easily taught (and therefore performed consistently), and that didn't have too many holes, too many opportunities for things to be overlooked or messed up. The PW trainers also learned things from their working with users - things that helped overcome some of the design deficiencies and even a few bugs in the program. Over the past few years, Lighthouse has taken everything that Allen and Bridgett and the trainers and a whole bunch of other people have learned, and assembled it into a set of instructions for using Charting that works. This article details those instructions - follow them, and you'll use Charting a whole lot better than you're probably using it now, with far fewer "speedbumps" in the flow of work through your office.


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  PracticeWorks: Working with dates and calendars
Posted by: Joel on Sunday, April 27, 2003 - 09:54 PM
 
  Tips and Tricks
833 Reads

There are all types of goodies embedded in PracticeWorks that were designed to make your daily use of the software quicker and easier. While most of them are technically documented somewhere, most people (including myself) couldn't tell you where! With nearly 20 megabytes worth of documentation shipped with the system, there is just too much material for one person with even a hint of a life to digest. Buried deep within those millions of bytes of manuals, however, are some real gems - simple things that can make your work day easier. The "tips and tricks" article series is intended to bring to light many of the things the software is capable of, but most users simply don't know exists.

This article covers working with date fields and "the calendar". The tricks here represent some of the things that have been in the software since version 1.0 and we simply assumed everyone knew. In our seminars, we are surprised to find out how many users are unaware of these handy shortcuts.


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  The Business side of things: A Different Referral Report
Posted by: Brian on Friday, June 27, 2003 - 10:33 PM
 
  Patient Relations
353 Reads

In response to a request on Club Lighthouse for a referral report with slightly different information than the PracticeWorks? system-defined report, we created the "LH08 Referral Report" Analysis Expert. Unlike the system-defined report which includes every referral source, this is a very "targeted" report, in that you, the user, decide which referral sources you're going to see in the report. It's intended for tracking referral sources that you're particularly interested in: the sources you're paying (your advertising and marketing sources, such as the phone book, Welcome Wagon or equivalent, etc.), or if you're a specialist, the referring doctors who you want to "cultivate."



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  The Business side of things: Chart Retirement Protocol and Checklist
Posted by: Brian on Wednesday, October 05, 2005 - 09:04 AM
 
  Going Chartless
1084 Reads

So, you think you're ready to start sending all those old charts to their final resting place? You've either stopped making charts for new patients, or you're ready to stop. Now you just need a little guidance for the next and final phase - dismantling your "wall o' charts" one at a time. This article gives you the procedures and even a detailed checklist to fill out for each chart, to make sure you don't ever need to see it again. (Well, probably not. You might still pull a retired chart once in awhile, but it should be rare.)

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  The Business side of things: How to Create and Use an "off the shelf" PracticeWorks server
Posted by: Allen on Monday, August 11, 2003 - 11:17 AM
 
  Care and feeding of the digital office
1401 Reads

In today's modern dental office, the high speed handpiece has been eclipsed in importance by the computer. While there are still offices that "survive" with little to no automation, they are becoming fewer and fewer. In order to "thrive", a practice NEEDS to embrace modern information technology. Embracing technology, however, does NOT need to mean breaking your bank account.  Though it is common practice for most hardware "experts" to recommend/quote a high end computer "server" for use in a dental office, the reality is that these high end machines are mostly overkill: you end up with unused capacity, even over a time frame of several years.  Though you never use the capacity, you DO pay the higher price for it.  The result: dollars that could be spent on other technologies for the practice end up being wasted on speed or storage technology you will never see the benfit of.

All is not lost! It turns out that "mass produced, off the shelf" computers (with their corresponding "mass market" prices) are more than adequate for the typical dental practice. With a little research, planning, and understanding, any office can acquire the BEST technology for the task, at the BEST price for an overall solution that is economically priced and will support the office for years to come. This article details how I recently upgraded the server in our office and proved that it is possible to comfortably and safely run a dental practice using a computer that cost under $500.



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  The Business side of things: LH Financial Agreement System
Posted by: Brian on Wednesday, September 13, 2006 - 05:15 PM
 
  Accounts receivable
761 Reads

PracticeWorks doesn't have a great place to record any financial agreement you reach with a patient (sorry, Yellow Stickies weren't designed for this!), and no way to print out any such financial agreement. We've solved that problem with the Lighthouse Financial Agreement System. It consists of a Financial Agreement Form, where you document the pertinent amounts, the payment option chosen by the patient, and the dates/amounts of all payments due; a Financial Agreement Document that prints out all the information on the Form, reiterates your financial policy, and has a place for the patient to sign; AutoLinks for accessing the Form and printing the Document as automatically as possible.

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  The Business side of things: LH Late for Appointment System
Posted by: Brian on Sunday, June 05, 2005 - 10:40 PM
 
  Scheduling issues
393 Reads

Patients will be late for appointments - nothing you can do about it, right? Wrong! You can at the very least keep track of those patients who do it repeatedly, and at least try some corrective action. This Lighthouse system will automate the recording of patients who are late, and simultaneously remind you that they're SO late you better get the approval of the appropriate clinical team member before you tell them they can be seen today. It will also remind you, the next time you make an appointment for a "late" patient, to say something to help them remember to be on time next time.

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  The Business side of things: LH Messaging Service
Posted by: Brian on Thursday, April 26, 2007 - 10:46 PM
 
  Office Administration
1012 Reads

General Description

The Lighthouse Messaging System (LMS) is a completely automatic, practically invisible system for sending routine messages to your patients. The most common messages are for appointment reminders, treatment needed reminders (hygiene and operative) and birthday greetings, but almost any regularly recurring event can have one or more messages associated with it. Message types currently include e-mail, SMS (text messages to cell phones and pagers) and postcards, and will eventually include letters (on your letterhead) and pre-recorded voice calls to any phone number.



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  The Business side of things: LH Patient Turnover Analysis Expert
Posted by: Brian on Thursday, September 04, 2003 - 08:45 AM
 
  Office Administration
303 Reads

The Lighthouse Patient Turnover Analysis Expert (LH99 Patient Turnover- accessed from Experts _ Analysis Experts) was created to help you see how many of your "current" patients were new patients within the past few years. The primary reason for creating it was to help illustrate how quickly your patient base "turns over," so you can hopefully feel better about implementing a new policy, even a broad reaching one, or one that's a drastic change from the past (such as becoming a "cash only" practice). It will show you how many opportunities you get every quarter to present a "new" policy as your "normal" policy, so that, in a relatively short period of time, a significant percentage of your active patients will think of the policy as "the way you've always done it." It also illustrates how quickly any patients you might lose because of a new policy will be replaced with new patients.

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  The Business side of things: Lighthouse Accounts Receivable Management Pack
Posted by: Allen on Friday, May 30, 2003 - 01:40 PM
 
  Accounts receivable
2766 Reads

Once a dental office is started and has established regular pateint visits - both new and existing - the biggest challenge that faces a practice is Accounts Receivable Management. It can be as simple as being a pure cash practice with all payments paid prior to any service being rendered and can be as complicated as significant insurance assignment / capitation along with internal finance plans and no firm financial policy resulting in patients determining how they will provide payment to your office. This article will describe a way of handling A/R that is the result of 9 years of evolution in both overall practice philosophy, practice business policies, and PracticeWorks automation extensions to help imlement and support the fulfillment of the philosophy and policies.

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  The Business side of things: Lighthouse New Patient Tracking System
Posted by: Lisa on Tuesday, December 09, 2003 - 02:40 PM
 
  Patient Relations
885 Reads

Are you getting the most out of your marketing by getting the most out of your new patients? Valuable time and money could be wasted if your office isn’t retaining new patients.

Every new patient should have:

  • A treatment plan.
  • A "next appointment" for either recall or for treatment with the doctor. (Ideally, a new patient, or any patient for that matter, should never leave your office without another appointment.)
  • A "referral source" indicated on Page 2 of the Clipboard. (This is critical for your internal marketing system as well as tracking any external marketing.)

The Lighthouse New Patient Tracking System will not only show you how your office is currently handling these matters, but it will also be used to make sure that all the appropriate steps are being taken to retain new patients.


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  The Business side of things: Making Better Recall Appointments
Posted by: Brian on Wednesday, May 26, 2004 - 06:50 PM
 
  Recall management
961 Reads

Roughly half of all appointments in most dental practices are for recall, so way back in version 1.0 of PracticeWorks?, we created some buttons to make it really quick and easy to make them. The one you see most often is the [Recall appt] button on the "Make New Appointment" window, but you'll also see it as [Make recall appt] when you're pulling procedures from a treatment plan into an appointment, and it may have other similar names in other parts of the program. But no matter what it's called, it does the same thing when you click it:

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  The Business side of things: Mass Mailing to "Everyone" in Your Practice
Posted by: Brian on Wednesday, December 08, 2004 - 10:03 PM
 
  Patient Relations
1158 Reads

Over the years, one of the most frequent requests is for a way to "mail something to everyone in the practice". "Something" could be a Thanksgiving or other holiday greeting, a notice of change in address, a notice of a new doctor joining the practice (or an old one leaving), etc. But with just a little questioning, it always becomes apparent that the person doesn't really want to mail to everyone in the practice - it's usually just one person per family, and only if they're active. While there is no fool-proof way to do this, this article describes a way that will be almost 100% accurate, and provides a Contact Expert and some PW documents to make the job easy.

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  The Business side of things: New Patient, Financial Policy and CC on File System
Posted by: Brian on Thursday, April 21, 2005 - 10:47 AM
 
  Accounts receivable
932 Reads

"You only get one chance to make a first impression." How often have we heard that? But cliches endure for a reason - they're often true! Here's something else that's true: you only get one ideal chance to introduce your policies and procedures to patients, and that's when they are a brand new patient. As soon as a new patient becomes an existing patient, it's more difficult to get them to adapt to a policy "change" than if you had conveyed it to them from the first visit.

While we're on the subject of truisms, we believe that the most effective and efficient way of ensuring you get paid for any dentistry not covered by an insured patient's insurance is to have credit card information on file, with authorization to use it if necessary. This is effective because, unless the charge to the card is declined, you will get paid. It's efficient because it allows you to be a lot more relaxed about the estimate at the time of service (saving you a huge amount of time), knowing that you'll be able to easily deal with the differences after the claim has been paid (or denied).

Combine everything so far, and the new patient visit is the ideal time to introduce your financial policy (which incorporates "CC on file") to your new patients, which is the main point of this article, and the associated Exchange Pack.

Notice I didn't say "errors" two paragraphs up, but rather "differences." This is consistent with something else we firmly believe: the harder you try to tell patients exactly how much their insurance will pay, the more they'll expect it, and the more disappointed they'll be when insurance doesn't pay that much. Besides, it takes a LOT of work to do that, and no matter how hard you try, you're still going to be wrong sometimes. So why put forth all that effort?

Something else about this "CC on file" policy: don't worry about your existing patients. They have already established themselves as someone who pays their bills or not, and if not, it's probably too late to start getting credit card information from them. And if they're a good payer, you don't need the "CC on file." So our advice is to implement this policy only for new patients. That's all built into this Exchange Pack and article.

The system described below takes into account all three of the above truths, fully automating a new patient letter and financial policy, then the gathering and periodic updating of "CC on file" information. You can use all of it or only part of it (but please consider using it all - the results can be dramatic!). Also, it will easily accommodate your exceptions - existing patients for whom you decide to get "CC on file" info, and new patients who you decide to exempt from the policy.


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  The Business side of things: Preventing New Emergency Patients From Becoming Painful For YOU
Posted by: Brian on Monday, July 19, 2004 - 07:36 AM
 
  Accounts receivable
750 Reads

One of the most frequent sources of problem accounts is the new patient emergency - they call, you squeeze them into your schedule, get them out of pain, somehow they leave without paying their entire balance, and then the fun begins. Statements, calls, letters, and eventually sending them to collections. The other side of the coin is that a new patient who comes to you in pain can become a good patient, with a lot of dental needs and the ability and willingness to pay for it. Your challenge is figuring out what kind of NPE (New Patient - Emergency) you're dealing with, in about a minute, on the phone.

Allen and Bridgett were faced with this dilemma years ago, when the practice was young and they were very eager to get lots of new patients. But Allen, being the astute business manager that he is, actually wanted to make sure they got paid for all the work Bridgett did. (What a concept!) Here's what they started doing, and it has worked wonderfully for them, and we're sure it will work for you, too.


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  The Business side of things: Referral Thank You Tracking
Posted by: Lisa on Wednesday, March 24, 2004 - 02:30 PM
 
  Patient Relations
796 Reads

Internal marketing is one of the most powerful forms of marketing in a dental office today. It practically gives you the rare opportunity to choose the quality of your new patients. When your favorite patients visit, you should remind them how great they are and that you wish ALL your patients were just like them. You should also remind them that your office welcomes new patients. Once they refer their friends, you should show them your appreciation which will obviously make them feel great and want to refer another friend and then another and then another.....



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  The Business side of things: Single Insurance Company PPO Analysis
Posted by: Brian on Tuesday, July 11, 2006 - 07:02 PM
 
  Insurance
402 Reads

This Analysis Expert - LH99 Single InsCo PPO Analysis - was created to help you determine the financial value to your practice of a single insurance company's contract. The term "PPO" is used generically to refer to any plan for which you have signed a contract obligating you to treat patients of a particular insurance company for a pre-determined reduced fee schedule.

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  The Business side of things: The Lighthouse Phone Call Tracking System
Posted by: Brian on Friday, November 07, 2003 - 01:44 PM
 
  Office Administration
621 Reads

The phone rings, you answer it, it's a patient or another dentist calling for the doctor. If you're really lucky, the note you write on the pink slip actually makes it to the doctor's desk (or briefcase, or pocket), and the doctor doesn't lose it before finding the time to return the call. What's very unlikely to happen in any case is that the important details of the call (the original or the return call) are recorded anywhere for future reference. The Lighthouse Phone Call Tracking System eliminates the paper, gives the doctor a really easy way to keep track of the calls that haven't been returned yet, and gives everyone an easy way to permanently record the details.

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  The Business side of things: Treatment Proposal Tracking System
Posted by: Brian on Wednesday, April 21, 2004 - 08:14 PM
 
  Patient Relations
1609 Reads

One of the weaker parts of PracticeWorks is its treatment proposal. You have almost no control over how it looks, or what data it contains, there's no way to supress individual details (each procedure's fee and insurance estimate), there's no way to add custom comments to it for each patient, etc., etc. The Lighthouse Treatment Proposal Tracking System addresses those shortcomings, giving you a simple way to prepare a very nice looking treatment proposal that will help improve your case acceptance of large cases.

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  The Business side of things: Turning on Recall for Existing Beta Testers
Posted by: Brian on Thursday, April 26, 2007 - 11:30 PM
 
  Office Administration
186 Reads

As of April 25, 2007, the Lighthouse Messaging Service's Recall System is available for beta testing. Please follow the instructions below to start sending recall messages in your practice.

  1. Read the description of how the Recall System works in this article. At the top of the article, click on Campaigns, and then on Recall Campaigns. Please make sure you understand how it's going to work before you go to step 2.
  2. Configure all four Recall Campaigns according to the instructions in the Configuring Campaigns section of the above article. (As soon as you do, a very few recall messages could start going, so be prepared for that!)
  3. Call us at 888-427-5454 extension 1 to let us know you're ready to turn on Recall.
  4. We'll run a one-time "catch up" job that will immediately schedule the appropriate Recall Campaign for every patient who needs one, so that postcards and e-mails will start to be sent.
  5. We'll "turn you on" for Recall on our server, so that every night, Recall Campaigns will be scheduled for patients who need to have them scheduled that day.
  6. Your phone will start ringing - people who get one of the messages and want to schedule a recall appointment.


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  The Business side of things: What IS a PracticeWorks SERVER
Posted by: Allen on Sunday, June 15, 2003 - 09:04 PM
 
  Care and feeding of the digital office
817 Reads

What IS a PracticeWorks SERVER

In an ideal world, with an ideal system, no one would know or care what hardware or software existed beyond the screen they were looking at. As long as the correct data could be collected and presented at time of use, nothing else "should" matter. Unfortunately our world is not ideal, and while it is possible to establish a system that runs unnoticed behind the scenes, it does require a little bit of knowledge and work. This article will cover the necessary basics to understand what can be used "out of the box" along with some optional though recommended add-ons to optimize for PracticeWorks without unneccessary expense.



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  The Business side of things: YE Insurance Benefits Remaining letter
Posted by: Brian on Monday, October 13, 2003 - 10:28 PM
 
  Insurance
735 Reads

For as long as anyone remembers, consultants have been telling dentists to do a year-end "chart audit" to find insured patients who have benefits remaining, and send them a letter encouraging them to schedule any needed treatment before the benefits expire at year-end. This article describes the Lighthouse Year-end Insurance Exchange Pack that makes sending these letters (and/or e-mails) easy.



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  The Business side of things: You and Your NPI Number
Posted by: Brian on Wednesday, December 13, 2006 - 01:07 PM
 
  Insurance
587 Reads

(Here's the most important thing for you to know in this whole Article - you DO NOT need to change your version of PracticeWorks to handle your NPI number, no matter what version of PW you're on! To skip right to that part of the Article, click here.)

Your NPI number... what is it? Your New Patient Intake? Your "Nice Pants!" Index? No, it's your National Provider Indentifier, and it came about as a result of HIPAA. Here's what Aetna's website says about it: "An NPI is a unique 10-digit numeric identifier assigned to health care providers and organizations defined as covered entities under HIPAA. The NPI will be a permanent identifier assigned for life."


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  The Clinical side of things: Better integration between VixWin and PracticeWorks
Posted by: Brian on Friday, September 05, 2003 - 01:44 PM
 
  Going Chartless
575 Reads

by Tom "VixWinMeister" Murphy

So you've got your DenOptic scanner, your VixWin 2000 program, and of course Practice Works, but how do they all fit together? PracticeWorks relates to VixWin with a one way integration. This means that PracticeWorks launches VixWin and supplies the patient name and ID number, but the image storage and manipulation remain in VixWin. This is great because image storage, retrieval and manipulation are what VixWin does best. Unfortunately, you can only launch VixWin from within the patient chart, at the capture tab. This means that when you want to scan some x-rays for a patient in the chair, you will have to exit the chart in the operatory, open the chart at the scanning station, scan the x-rays, close the chart at the scanning station, and then reopen it in the operatory. A bottleneck to say the least. Well, with a little bit of help from Lighthouse Practice Management Group, you'll be able to open VixWin from several areas and eliminate this and other problems before they occur. Just follow the easy step-by-step instructions in this article and the relationship between PracticeWorks and VixWin will be all moonlight and roses!


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  The Clinical side of things: Charting Buttons and AutoLinks
Posted by: Brian on Tuesday, January 31, 2006 - 08:37 PM
 
  Going Chartless
1253 Reads

Getting your buttons arranged in an efficient layout (see the Charting Configuration article) is only half the battle. Now you have to make each button do everything it needs to do to enable fast entry of all proposed treatment (and for completed treatment, in certain situations). The following table should be a big help - print it out, put a checkmark in the "Use?" column of every AutoLink that's appropriate for you, then start creating them. (Or fax it to us and we'll do a remote to create them for you.)

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  The Clinical side of things: Going Chartless Part 1: Fact or Fantasy
Posted by: Allen on Sunday, February 16, 2003 - 05:01 PM
 
  Going Chartless
816 Reads

Is it really possible to run a dental practice without a wall full of charts? Is the idea of ridding your office of paper charts using current technology truely possible or just a pipe dream? In this article we start at the beginning of the journey of going "Chartless" with a high level discussion of what is and is not possible with almost any of today's readily available technology.

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  The Clinical side of things: Going Chartless Part 2: Things To Do And Consider
Posted by: Brian on Thursday, February 27, 2003 - 12:48 AM
 
  Going Chartless
951 Reads

Now that you know why you might want to "go chartless" (because you read the first article in this series), it’s time to take a big picture view of the process, so you can start to formulate the plan for your office. This article will touch on all the things you need to do, or at least consider, along the way.

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  The Clinical side of things: Going Chartless Part 3: The Chart Audit
Posted by: Brian on Sunday, March 30, 2003 - 08:15 PM
 
  Going Chartless
997 Reads

OK, now it's time to actually start DOING something. You need to take an inventory of everything in your paper charts, so you'll know what you have to digitize before you can stop using the charts. This article gives you a detailed approach for "auditing" your charts and compiling this inventory.

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  The Clinical side of things: Going Chartless Part 4: Completed Treatment Note Templates
Posted by: Brian on Tuesday, July 22, 2003 - 09:05 PM
 
  Going Chartless
2314 Reads

Perhaps the most daunting challenge on the journey to chartlessness is replacing your handwritten clinical treatment notes with notes in PracticeWorks?. Of course, you can just replace pen and paper with keystroke and screen, but for anyone who didn't ace Typing 101, that's a big step backwards. The solution is the PW Note Templates feature - notes that are pre-made, and need only a few questions answered each time they're used. The result is complete, accurate and consistent notes, patient after patient. And the only "cost" is the time it takes to create the Note Templates. This article, along with a Lighthouse Exchange Pack of "starter notes," will get you well along the way to entering your treatment notes in PW quickly and easily.



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  The Clinical side of things: Going Chartless Part 5: Medical / Dental History
Posted by: Brian on Monday, September 22, 2003 - 02:44 PM
 
  Going Chartless
3234 Reads

You have to know certain medical information about your patients before you treat them, obviously. A paper chart gives you a lot of ways to store, and alert you to, that information: the patient's original health history form, whatever paper form you use to periodically update that information, colored stickers on the outside of the chart for critical medical alerts, etc. In a world without charts, you still need the same information, but you're going to get it in different ways - ways that hopefully you'll find to be more consistent, more reliable and consequently, less prone to oversight. (How often do you really update your patient's medical history in your current system?)

This article describes a system that deals not only with medical information, but also the patient's dental history, and information that's more dental than medical, but that certainly needs to be reviewed and updated, just like purely medical information does. Along with the article, there is an Exchange Pack that you can install, make a few minor "manual" configurations to, and start using in very short order. The first part of the article describes the system and explains how to use it. At the end of the article are the instructions for installing and configuring it.



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  The Clinical side of things: Going Chartless: Charting Configuration
Posted by: Brian on Sunday, March 13, 2005 - 01:03 AM
 
  Going Chartless
1469 Reads

We here at Lighthouse believe that using Charting to enter treatment plans using "voice activation" (i.e., the doctor says a treatment that needs to be performed, and her or his voice activates an assistant or hygienist to click the buttons in Charting to get them entered) is the single biggest benefit of using Charting. Until you're creating a treatment plan for every diagnosed procedure, and then using the resulting treatment plan properly to track that treatment through to completion, you're not using the whole PracticeWorks program the way we intended for it to be used when we designed it. This article will describe some of the setup and configuration steps that are critical to effective use of Charting.

NOTE: This Article adresses button layout and teaches you how to make your own buttons. A related, and very important Article - Charting Buttons and AutoLinks - gives you a worksheet to help you set up the vast majority of the buttons you'll need, and just as important, the AutoLinks that give them so much functionality. These two Articles together comprise most of what you need to know to get Charting properly configured.


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  The Clinical side of things: Pre-appoint More Hygiene Appointments
Posted by: Brian on Friday, May 09, 2003 - 08:02 AM
 
  Recall management
713 Reads

While there are no doubt exceptions, the most effective and efficient recall systems we've ever encountered are those in which a high percentage of patients pre-appoint their hygiene appointments; that is, they make their next appointment while they're in the office for their current appointment. This Article tells you how to increase your pre-appointing percentage, and with it, the effectiveness and efficiency of your recall system.



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