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Guide to taking useful Patient Appointment Notes

effective patient appointment notes

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To keep your dental practice running at peak efficiency, you want to make sure that each patient leaves every scheduled appointment with a follow-up appointment already on the books. You can streamline this process by keeping good appointment notes. Read on to see why appointment notes are so important, as well as some tips on how to take them.

Too much information is never a bad thing 

Whenever a member of your team is scheduling an appointment for a patient, you want to stress the importance of adding notes on the appointment screen. These notes should provide further details on the appointment: what’s the nature of the service needed or problem that is leading to the booking, as well as whether an evaluation or consultation needs to happen. Other helpful notes can include specifics about the patient, such as their preferred time of day to schedule an appointment, the goals of the appointment, details about the history of the patient, and any other helpful information.

The more specific, the better 

If your practice has multiple doctors who share the care of your patient population, making these appointment notes as detailed as possible will help prepare for an upcoming office visit. These notes never should be considered a substitute for the clinical notes that are contained in patient files; instead, they serve as a quick synopsis of relevant details, which can be elaborated upon in that patient’s chart noes. Even if you’re the only dentist in your office, you probably have multiple dental hygienists. They also can benefit from detailed notes, which allow them to tailor a scheduled cleaning to the wants and needs of that individual patient.

Appointment notes can help if a follow-up hasn’t been scheduled

Your staff always should strive to book a patient’s next appointment at the time their current visit to your office is concluding, but sometimes, a patient is not in a position to be able to do this. In that case, the staff member handling the conclusion of their current appointment should agree on a day when the patient will call in to get back on the schedule. In these situations, make a reminder in the schedule, so that a member of your team can reach out to the patient if the patient neglects to call and make an appointment themselves. This helps prevent patients from slipping through the cracks and becoming lost in the shuffle.

Just because you’re a highly-skilled dentist doesn’t mean you’re an expert in every aspect of staff training. If you need help incorporating some of these strategies about appointment notes or any other facet of maintaining a practice that functions at optimum levels, the dental industry professionals at Bryant Consultants are here to help. Our services can help you refine your vision, establish goals, and set processes in place to evolve your business. Contact us by calling (877) 768-4799. We provide consultation, training, and coaching to help improve the operations of your practice so that you can provide exceptional results to your patients. No office is out of reach for us. We will even come to you!

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