Importance of Dental Lab Case Management System
Dental lab case management can make or break our restorative schedule each day. Is the case here? Nobody knows! Where did the case go? Which lab did we send that one to? When did it go out? And just how long will it take you to answer these questions?
Is there one person ultimately responsible for lab case monitoring? If not, that might just be the place to start! Although, there are a few additional steps to consider as well!
Choose Team Members to Take the Lead
Choose one dental assistant and one administrative person. And these two people can work as a team. The dental assistant manages the case send off. And may need to check on a case that isn’t in house when it’s needed.
However, the administrative person often receives the case first. And may also receive phone calls from the lab. Especially of the lab is asking about a shade, contact, new impression or other case details.
Everyone Should Know
We want everyone to know the system. Because all team members deserve time off. And may need sick days. Life happens. So, we want the entire team in the know.
But we also want two team members to take the lead. These two team members may request help from others at any time. But are the key contacts and responsible for knowing what is happening with each case. And should work together and share information with each other.
Create a Manual for Your Dental Lab Case Management System
Create a manual and a guide that outlines the system. In the event that a new team member joins the practice, we want this to be part of their training. Create your very own training checklists, guides and manuals for the team!
Use your existing team members to help put this together. And please, use the materials here to help you as well. Remember, every dental practice is wonderfully unique. So, take what you like, and leave the rest. But make your training manuals and guides the best they can be. And update them often!
Create a Directory
Dental lab case management begins with a directory. Document the names and phone numbers of the labs your practice uses. And be sure to include specific contacts if you have them.
It might also be helpful to include their hours of operation. And perhaps a website or email address as well. Whatever communication system works best for the practice and the lab is what we need to consider here.
Create a hard copy as well as a digital copy. But begin with the digital version. Once the digital version is available for the team to access, a hard copy can be printed and stored.
Lab slips accompany most cases we send off for completion. These lab slips contain valuable information. So, we want to scan these lab slips into our patient charts.
This will also help us identify information should a question or problem arise. And may even contain the lab’s time requirements by case. For example, how much time the lab needs for a nightguard fabrication or to make a crown.
Dental Lab Case Management & Scheduling
When we don’t manage lab cases well, it shows up in our schedules. A patient arrives for their appointment and their case is not in the office. And maybe nobody noticed until an hour before their appointment. Or maybe no one noticed at all! Our patient is in the chair and there is suddenly a panic.
Utilize Practice Software
Lab tracking is available within dental practice software. We need to take full advantage of this. Enter the information this system asks for. The name of the lab, information from the lab slip, etc.
And be sure to use the lab case check in features as well. Although a dental assistant prepares a case for sendoff, the administrative team receives the case. The administrative team member can check that the case as arrived.
Set a designated pick-up spot for case arrivals at the front desk. Once the front desk team member checks the case as here, it is then set in our designated spot. The dental assistant checks throughout the day to pick up new arrivals. And can then review that the case is ready for the dentist to approve. Be sure to give the practice enough time to manage the delivery flawlessly.
We want to have the case in-house long enough for our dentists to confirm this is what they want and can move forward as scheduled.