The Difference Between a “Dental Chart” and a “Periodontal Chart”

 

Not all dental charting is created equal.  Sure, there is the standard set of 32 teeth, and everyone should chart restoratively as well as record pocket depths, but our experience shows that there is a vast difference between how a General Dentist and a Periodontist chart cases.

The key here is not only in which data fields are recorded but also how the recorded data are viewed.

Dentists typically do not collect detailed clinical information beyond the status of their restorative needs and when they do it's often just screening data (CPITN or BPE).  They usually will refer patients when they find periodontal issues such as deep probing depths or mucogingival deformities.  As a result, most dental software products especially those included in practice management software, are only designed to accommodate the general dentist’s needs and leave an open-ended platform if further analysis or documentation/ details are required.

Dental charting often includes a...

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The Major Misconceptions About Staff Performance and Competency

Uncategorized Feb 28, 2020

The job of a leader is to exploit the best talents and encourage the growth of those in need of help to build the best repertoire of skills for which they are capable of. (GS)

Most of the time when an employee is hired, he or she feels as though they've started with a ten-minute tutorial of the job’s requirements.  Ten minutes may be an exaggeration but, no matter what, to the new staff member, it never seems like enough time. 

A 'newly minted' employee in any medical field is far more likely to feel the strain of insecurity accompanied by the sheer terror of making a mistake with a patient’s health.  However, even veteran staff, when walking into a new environment, find it both familiar yet foreign at the same time when compared to their previous employment.  No two doctors are alike in either temperament or expectation, let alone experience.

Having a dental background and or a degree, makes it seem like a new employee should already come into your...

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Two Primary Reasons the Second Consult is Bad for Your Practice

Uncategorized Feb 21, 2020

We recently did a survey asking periodontists about the efficiency of their practices.

Much to our surprise, one of the main points covered revealed a startling yet common problem. 

On the day of the initial new patient examination, patients aren’t being scheduled for their treatment. 

Most of the periodontal practices we surveyed are booking a second consultation and others are having to call and follow up with the patient after the patient has left the office.

If this sounds like your practice, I would like you to think about a few very important questions.

On the cases that didn’t schedule, what was the purpose of the initial examination? Was it exclusively just for data collection?  Was it simply just a meet and greet?

Maybe your goal is to schedule the patient for treatment as soon as possible and it just doesn’t end up happening that way.  Maybe, you felt like you were missing too many puzzle pieces in order to develop a clear diagnosis...

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Survey Results: The 2 key factors that keep Periodontists from completing clinical records contemporaneously

Uncategorized Feb 07, 2020

We have asked hundreds of Periodontists…

 “What are the primary reasons you are unable to complete your clinical records contemporaneously?”

Here are the top answers we received.

  1. “It’s physically impossible to do it manually if entering an adequate level of detail.”
  2. “I must do all of it myself because my staff is unable to complete the notes properly.”

Even Periodontists who have highly proficient staff helping them in the operatory report the following.

“I have to fix too many typo’s and it bogs me down.”

The one thing that seems to be a nearly universal misconception is that the doctor must do all of it manually.

Periodontists who already use PANDA Perio are the exceptions.  (click here to see a list of testimonials)

We concluded there are 2 key factors that keep Periodontists from completing clinical records contemporaneously. These factors are multiplied when they are combined.

  1. The Periodontist...
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The importance of keeping good, and effective records in your Periodontal practice

Uncategorized Jan 24, 2020

 

Believe it or not, some periodontal practices still don’t value and prioritize effective clinical record keeping.  It’s often treated like something that we “have to do” as opposed to giving it the value that it deserves. When the act of making good medical-legal records is seen as a chore, it's easy to miss the significance of the process. 

Keeping ineffective records leads to complacency and worse yet, mistakes.  Leaving out any crucial information essentially equates to negligence in the eyes of the legal system, but that isn’t the main point of this article. 

We all know that having good medical-legal documentation can help protect you in the event of a malpractice claim, but there are some hidden benefits that are often overlooked.  These benefits can greatly improve the overall success level of your practice. 

Here are some of the often-overlooked benefits of well-done effective record-keeping that can greatly...

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The biggest fear Periodontists face when introducing the new AAP classification system on staging and grading

Uncategorized Jan 10, 2020

“Will my referring doctors accept it?”

Communicating with your referring doctors is paramount to maintain loyalty with your referral base.  Communication disruption due to confusion in information delivery can be very unsettling for the referring practice. 

Once your referring practices become accustomed to you and they understand your style of communication, they rely on consistency.  They want to feel confident with you just as though you were an integral part of their own team.

Referring patients to you requires an establishment of trust by both the referring doctor and the patient.  If you are unable to articulate your message clearly the entire system can become disrupted.

Miscommunication is a common problem and often, it's attendant misunderstanding will lead to the wrong conclusion on the part of both patient, and doctor.

It may seem like change would be a difficult thing for them to accept.  By the same token, no one wants to be left...

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Think Like a Doctor, Part 10: Give Praise Where Praise is Due

Uncategorized Dec 27, 2019
 

We’ve reached the finish line of our 10-part series on training your staff to think like a doctor, but the journey for you will continue for as long as you’re in practice.  If you missed one of the last nine blog posts, click here to catch up on what we’ve covered. 

Up to this point, we’ve focused mostly on how to turn negatives into positives: creating problem solvers, giving feedback, and fixing accountability issues, to name a few.  But maintenance is just as important as development, so don’t neglect what’s already working well for you.  

One of the most important responsibilities you have as the practice leader is to continually encourage good behavior as it occurs.  In our last post, we talked about how staff will likely not try to improve if they think they have nothing to improve upon.  At the same time, they also need to know what they’re doing well so they continue down that path. 

Praise is...

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Think Like a Doctor, Part 9: The What, Why, and How of Constructive Feedback

Uncategorized Dec 13, 2019
 

Staff members frequently use the term “I was NEVER told.”   Often, they were told in some form or another, but for some reason, it just wasn’t clear.  

Constructive feedback is focused information based on observations intended to help the person receiving the feedback.  In a Periodontal practice, the staff relies on the doctor's feedback to know how they’re doing and whether they are meeting the needs of the practitioner and patient.  They often take silence as a green light that all is well and there’s nothing left for them to improve upon or fix.   

Periodontists don’t always provide essential feedback for several reasons:

  • They don’t know how to give feedback.
  • They are too busy.
  • They’re not sure whether it will matter anyway. 
  • Doctors think on a different level than the staff.

But here’s the reality: giving feedback isn’t a nicety, it's an essential business...

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Think Like a Doctor, Part 8: Are You Holding Your Staff Accountable?

Uncategorized Nov 29, 2019
 

In a recent blog post, I discussed the value of building loyalty with your team. Setting clear expectations and staying consistent will earn your staff’s respect and keep them committed to you.  

A big part of building loyalty comes from holding your team accountable. When even one staff member lacks accountability, it sets negative expectations for other employees that can upset the entire balance of your practice. 

Trust is a Two-Way Street

In Part 6 of this series, we talked about the importance of trusting your employees. However equally important is that your employees must also be able to trust you as a leader. They need to understand that you will stick to your core values and not be pushed around, or easily manipulated into bending your own rules.   

Employees aren’t oblivious to the effects that slackness or poor attitudes have on the practice. Unfortunately, many of them won’t speak up because they don’t think it will...

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Think Like a Doctor, Part 7: How to Encourage Effective Internal Problem Solving

Uncategorized Nov 15, 2019
 

Most Periodontists agree that problem-solving and decision making are critical attributes for every employee in their practice.  Despite this, very few practice leaders train their staff on how to solve problems and make effective decisions. The problem is that training usually only involves the basic tasks themselves leaving out this crucial element. 

“But I thought you meant”

means only one thing:

“I didn't get it…” 

There are essential components to handling day to day operations, but most practice owners don’t prioritize important decision-making skills enough.  As we discussed in Part 4 of this series, staff will often come to you with problems because they don't have the confidence needed to handle them, aren’t sure about the outcome they need to achieve, and they fear the consequences of making a mistake.

Don’t tell them to simply handle it!...

The best thing you can do is give them a reason to follow...

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