A policy can be adopted of reappointing patients to the same operator for all subsequent treatment if needed. This policy is particularly applicable to operative dentistry patients. On the other hand, a policy of reappointing patients to the next available open time may be preferable. Another alternate is to keep a few appointments open, thus permitting some flexibility in the dentists'schedules, allowing them to take care of unforseen situations that may arise from time to time. Next we will discuss the patient register, dental appointment book, and appointment cards.
The patient register or log is maintained at the appointment desk and shows the date, name, rank/rate, and reason for the visit. It is usually a log-type book, which lists every patient who was seen at the DTF on a particular day.
At most DTFs, dental appointments are scheduled at the Central Appointment Desk. This department usually takes care of the appointment schedule(s) for the entire DTF. The appointment book consists of a series of NAVMED 6600/5 Forms (fig. 2-1) or local forms that resemble the 6000/5.
A NAVMED 6600/6 (fig. 2-2) is given to each patient scheduled for a dental appointment. Other dental appointment card types can also be used depending on your DTF's policy. Figure 2-3 illustrates a Dental Appointment Slip that has carbon copies and comes in 3 parts.
Appointment failures result in the loss of man-hours for providers and should be kept to a minimum. There is no single best way to handle appointment failures. The DTF's commanding officer (CO) or officer in charge (OIC) should consider procedures and methods to keep lost time to a minimum. An active liaison between the DTF and the organizational units will also help minimize the problem.
You can help eliminate appointment failures by impressing upon patients the importance of keeping them. If time permits, you could contact patients by telephone before their appointments to remind them of the date and time. If you have a broken appointment or cancellation, you should notify the appointment desk. It may be possible to fill the appointment time with a sick-call patient or a patient waiting for treatment. Another method of minimizing lost time is the patient call list, which is discussed next.
The Patient Call List is used for patients requiring extensive treatment, or need to be seen sooner than the next available scheduled appointment time. The list of patients usually live or work a short distance from the DTF, or are available on short notice in case of a broken appointment or cancellation.. A call list log should contain the patient's name, rank/rate, home/office telephone number, and dental treatment to be performed.
The computerized dental recall system is used to schedule military patient's return to the DTF on a 3-, 6-, or 12-month basis for routine or specialized treatment (e.g., examinations, perio). The system uses twelve separate lists or file sections (one for each month). It is continuously updated, month by month. Most DTFs have a recall list that operates with custom computer software programs installed on personal computers (PCs) such as the Dental Management Information System (DENMIS).
The Dental Management Information System (DENMIS) was developed for use by DTFs who submit data to the Bureau of Medicine and Surgery (BUMED). Functional support is provided by Naval Medical Information Management Center (NMIMC), Bethesda, MD. Technical support is provided by Space and Naval Warfare System Center (SPAWARSYSCEN), Chesapeake, VA. DENMIS has the capability to process the following types of information:
Dental Workload reports.
Unit and individual Operational Dental Readiness reports.
Provider Treatment Time reports.
Patient and Unit Dental Treatment Needs reports (also referred to as ad hoc reports).Continue Reading