Dental Patient Appointment Notes Differ From Clinical Notes
Dental patient appointment notes are made on an actual patient appointment. These are notes that support the team and communicate necessary information to us. The appointment notes help us with the flow of the day and patient care. And they can show up in a number of places that our patient might also so. We might see these notes on a patient visit form, routing slip, and a morning huddle report. So, be sure to write only information we want to share. But that’s true for anything we write. Write as if the world sees every word!
What kinds of notes might we write on an appointment? I like to write the amount the patient owes for this appointment. Rather than calculating at the time of service, I enter the amount at the time of scheduling. This is when I calculate the amount due for the patient’s information anyway. So, as I communicate this amount due to my patient, I make a note. And I let the patient know I’ve done that. Here’s what I might say:
“Okay, Mrs. Jones, I’ve got you scheduled with Dr. Brown for Monday, September 8th at 2:00 for your crown on the lower right. And I made a note that $457.00 is the amount due on that date. Would you like me to write that on your card as well? And Dr. Brown does ask for 2 business days’ notice should you need to reschedule with him. Are you able to do that for us?”
Appointment Note Example
The appointment note is a simple concise note. Communicate in as few words as possible. So, for this payment note, I would write: Patient portion today $457 – patient is aware. And the great thing is now anyone can collect payment without hesitation. This note also shows everyone on the team that Mrs. Jones is fully aware of her responsibility for the scheduled appointment.
Another great example is with an appointment change request. Let’s say Mrs. Brown would like a morning appointment for her crown. She will keep her 2:00 time on September 8th, but would prefer a 9:00 time. Let’s make an appointment note for her. The appointment note reads “Would prefer a 9:00 time” . Now we have more eyes on the schedule as well. Because this is a great point of discussion in our morning huddle. And many software systems create a note alert for appointment notes as well.
Do You Use Patient Appointment Notes?
Let’s hear how you use dental patient appointment notes! You may be able to help other dental professionals with something they just hadn’t thought of just yet! Please jump in and share your experiences below. Thank you.