What Are the New Referral Management Systems in Denticon, and Why Are They Such Powerful Tools for Dentists?
Planet DDS is excited to announce two new and exciting features for Denticon users: the Internal and External Referral Management Systems. The new features are sure to become powerful tools for dental practices of all sizes to manage patient referrals within and outside their organizations. Both features will be free for Denticon subscribers. Beta testing has already begun, and both features are expected to be available for all users by the end of the first quarter of 2021.
To make referrals seamless and more secure, the Internal and External Referral Management Systems allow for secure communications between offices of all sizes, even if you refer to a practice that doesn’t use Denticon.
DSO Challenges with Internal Referrals
Let’s say a new patient walks into your office. After seeing the patient and reviewing their x-rays, you decide to refer him to a periodontist. You belong to a very large DSO with many specialists, including periodontists.
There’s a new treatment coordinator in your practice, and she isn’t familiar with all the specialists in your group yet. Your patient says he’s busy and hopes you can find a periodontist not too far from where he lives. Extra time is wasted trying to find a periodontist near your patient. Or worse, the patient is referred to an outside specialist.
Solo Practice Challenges with External Referrals
Now, imagine the same scenario above except that you own a solo practice. Traditionally, many practices might fax or mail a referral. In some cases, the coordinator might give the patient a referral slip and rely on them to contact the specialist and make an appointment. All of this creates extra work for your office staff and your patient.
Some practices even have patients hand-deliver documents and x-rays to the specialist’s office. All said, the process can take several days and is very impractical for everyone involved.
Lastly, there’s no easy way to track the referral or receive status updates from the specialist’s office.
Better Referral Management with Denticon: Internal Referrals Made Easy
In the above internal referral example, Denticon’s Internal Referral Management System radically improves the efficiency of the referral process.
Your treatment coordinator can easily search for periodontists in your group, based on how close they are to your patient’s home address. They can even view the specialist’s calendar and schedule an appointment on their calendar in real-time. To keep patient information secure, she can also send x-rays and other PHI securely within Denticon to the specialist’s office.
Once the referral is sent to the specialist’s office, their office will be able to view the incoming referral and securely view the patient’s records.
To further improve the patient experience, your treatment coordinator can even view the specialist’s fee schedules within their group so they can create a comprehensive treatment plan for your patient.
“This is such a robust solution to be able to find specialists, view their fee schedules, and set an appointment for your patient before they leave your office,” explained Gregory Duchon, Product Manager at Planet DDS. “It’s a win-win because it saves time for your staff and your patients receive better service.”
Seamless Communication Between Practices
If your solo practice needs to refer a patient to an external specialist like in the second scenario, the External Referral Management System is vital in communicating patient information securely.
“One of the biggest frustrations in the referral process that we heard from clients was, ‘How can I send patient information securely to offices outside my organization without it being such a long process?’” said Chae Kim, Senior Vice President of Product at Planet DDS. “So, we designed the External Referral Management System to enable offices to exchange information securely and seamlessly, even when the receiving office does not use Denticon.”
In this case, when you need to refer a patient to a specialist, your treatment coordinator simply creates the external referral within Denticon to send a verification email to the external specialist. The email itself contains no PHI.
Once the email is received, the specialist’s office can verify their email with an automatically generated unique eReferral ID. After they have verified their email, the specialist can securely access the patient information using the external eReferral Portal, even if they are not Denticon users. This is hugely beneficial for both the referring office and the specialist’s office to be able to send and receive patient information securely and easily.
Instead of having the patient call to schedule their own appointment and hand-deliver their x-rays, everything can be completed within Denticon. What previously could have taken days and involved multiple people can now be completed instantly.
Secure Communications, Even with Non-Denticon Practices
With the External Referral Management System, there’s no need to make extra calls to the specialist’s office. There’s no need to track down patient x-rays and treatment notes that all need to be sent in compliance with HIPAA. Everything can be completed through the External Referral Management System, whether the receiving office uses Denticon or not.
Since the specialist office can communicate using the eReferral Portal, they can let the referring office know that a procedure has been completed and provide status updates. Even the external specialist, who may or may not be on Denticon, can benefit from being able to communicate securely with your office using the external eReferral Portal.
Cutting down on phone calls to track the status of a referral is another way practices can streamline their referral management process using Denticon. Being able to send secure communications between practices isn’t just convenient; it helps practices comply with HIPAA and privacy laws, too.
Minimizing Revenue Leakage in DSOs
Another benefit of using the Internal Referral Management System is being able to minimize revenue leakage. This feature ensures that practices are referring patients to specialists within their organization as much as possible.
Let’s say your organization is a large DSO with 50+ offices. Ideally, all your treatment coordinators know every specialist in the group, but that’s not always the case. With the Internal Referral Management System, your staff can quickly locate a periodontist down the road from a patient, whether they are new to the organization or not.
“We designed this feature specifically to help users refer treatment to specialists inside their organization,” said Duchon. “Especially for multi-location, multi-specialty enterprise clients, this is an invaluable tool to increase revenue by keeping patients within your group.”
Advanced Referral Management with Denticon
Denticon’s new Internal and External Referral Management Systems improve and streamline communications among providers, reduce operational inefficiencies, and enhance the patient experience.
“We heard our clients’ frustrations with the referral process, and we’re really excited to roll out these new features to help make their lives easier. Both the Internal and External Referral Management Systems will help dental offices manage referrals securely and efficiently,” said Kim.
To learn more about how Denticon’s comprehensive platform can help your practice, try our free demo.