4 Best Practices For Dental Recordkeeping
Dentistry is one of the most intricate and prominent fields today as it requires consistency, skill, and practice. People who work in the profession usually need medical records because it helps ensure you have all patient information and you can refer back to it as a reference during future appointments.
What Is Recordkeeping?
Recordkeeping is when a person maintains an accurate record of accounts or company activity. It's a vital part of being in the dental industry because it’s the basis of a patient’s identity and diagnosis. Also, recordkeeping ensures your financial information and receipts are always at hand. If you have complications when you're attending to a patient and you face litigation, having records may ensure you can prove your service to the patient.
Despite the importance of dental recordkeeping, many people may not know how to approach it or they might be searching for the best practices to carry out. These are some of the best practices for dental recordkeeping:
- Lab Prescriptions And Radiographs
Keeping records of radiographs may be beneficial to both the practitioner and the patient. Excessive radiation may be damaging, and having records of your patient's results may allow for fewer medical tests and procedures. It's also a great way to justify why you have to undergo a certain procedure and is a more permanent reference for future appointments.
For example, if someone has been prescribed a certain medication and they aren't recovering or the symptoms keep coming back, you might want to assess where you’ve gone wrong in your prescription.
Lab prescriptions and radiographs may be recorded manually or electronically. You may also use office document scanners to scan the radiographs and store them digitally for easier tracking. Some radiographs may be immediately recorded electronically after they’ve been captured. Also, it’s good to have backup files in case physical documents get damaged.
- Patient Charts
Patient charts may be essential for dental recordkeeping as procedures are geared to cater to a patient’s specific needs, and having records of their information may be worthwhile for future reference. Patient charts usually include or basic patient information, health insurance information, patient history, and all other necessary medical details.
Patient records may also include any other illnesses a person have or other practitioners visited. Having this at hand may allow you to contact these practitioners and ask them about the progress the patient had.
Patient charts also include progress notes, and it’s important to have because they allow you to assess how a person's recovery is over time and whether they have a recurring issue that needs assistance.
Patient charts may be recorded manually or electronically using an application or software. Just be sure every detail is treated with the utmost confidentiality.
- Financial Records
In any practice involving paid services, it's important to have financial records. Keeping accounts may be rewarding for the patient as well as the practitioner for transparency in transactions. Storing all necessary financial records includes keeping track of external costs, cost of stock, and running costs.
Under the branch of financial records, there are also the records of the patient. To ensure your patient has paid for your services sufficiently, you may want to keep records through receipts or invoices. Dental practitioners should have access to these invoices and should take note of received receipts and payments.
Financial records may be accessible through your accountant, manual record taking, or digital recordkeeping. Having access to these may help you assess whether you've made a profit, broken even, or made a loss.
- Insurance Records
Insurance companies may be continually changing their terms, rates, and other aspects. Keeping records of the medical aids you’re associated with and how they’ve changed over time will help you assess which ones are more worthwhile to the growth of your practice or which ones are more used amongst your patients.
Health insurance records may be presented to you by the various health insurance companies you’re associated with. Conversely, you may record them manually or electronically in your clinic.
The world is continuously developing, and being up to date with various dental recordkeeping methods may be convenient and beneficial for your practice in the long run. For example, if you have patient records, you may realize the occurrence of dental emergencies as a result of previous inefficient treatments.
Keeping records within your practice may not only be significant for you but your patients as well. Perhaps, one of these ways may be an opening for better running within your dental practice.