It’s fair to say that most practice management software incorporate the features you would expect to find; patient records, appointment diary, patient accounts, charting and clinical records, links to radiography software, medical history and allows NHS practices to transmit claims.
What makes some software outstanding is the facilities it offers to spot problems before they become an issue. I’ve highlighted these areas in the groups shown below with an explanation for clarification.
Transmission of claims and processing of responses
Does your software notify you immediately if your transmission does not go through?
Your software should notify you at the time of transmission if the batch cannot be delivered, there should be no need to wait for a missing acknowledgement or worse still a shortfall in the schedule!
Do you know immediately if you are missing a transmission from the DPB?
All response transmissions from the board are numbered; your software should bring it to your attention if anything goes missing or if an error occurs when picking up a response. Baker Heath has been able to notify the DPB of problems occurring quicker than any other supplier.
Reconciliation of claims
All software should be able to reconcile claims against the electronic schedule received from the board. The software should inform you if there is any difference in the patients’ charges claimed and scheduled as well as the UDA/UOA claimed and scheduled. The software should be aware of the rules that occur when claims cross the 1 April boundary.
Making sure all Claims are made
Failed to attend notification or practitioner forgets to close the course and make the claim
In Pearl we give a list of open courses of treatment where there are no further appointments for treatment. The practice can then decide if it was caused by an FTA or if the practitioner simply forgot to close the course.
Have all claims for finished courses been sent?
All software will have different ways of doing this but in Pearl we can list all courses of treatment with an NHS component that do not have corresponding completed claims.
See the information that the PCT will view
The PCT will view statistical analyses of the treatment you provide and compare this with other practices on a statistical basis. Pearl will show you information in the same way and allow you to compare results from performers within you practice; see the counts below.
Other PCT type analyses requirements
• Waiting room waiting times per practitioner
• In surgery times per practitioner
Flexible filtering tools should bring information to your fingertips!
Here are a few of Pearl’s filters that are commonly used:
- All patients with no future appointments
- All patients we haven’t seen for say nine months with no future appointments
- New patients over the last three months
- Advertising schemes outcomes in terms of new patients
- Patients due a recall but with no future appointment made
- Patients who have ignored the last recall
- Fail to attend patients during the last fortnight
- Treatment plan items used per practitioner
- Cancelled and moved appointments by patient or practitioner
Theft prevention and detection
We are a trusting lot, especially when it comes to people we know and work with each day. For your own peace of mind you should look at the theft prevention and detection measures offered by your practice management system.
Make sure staff cannot remove bills and payments previously entered into the system. This is achieved in Pearl by having to enter a password to alter or delete a financial transaction. An audit trail can be kept on financial transactions.
If financial transactions don’t get entered into the system in the first place then the above measure doesn’t help! Still, various reports and comparisons can be provided. At one practice we wrote them a report to compare the patient charges on NHS claims with bills raised within the patient account. If this is looked at over a period of time against each user we should not find much variance. The same can be done by looking at Private treatment plans and comparing the estimate with the final bills.
If you require further information, visit www.pearldentalsoftware.com or call on 0800 027 2406