3 Biggest Questions with the Dentrix Ascend Schedule

Dentrix Ascend

3 Biggest Questions with the Dentrix Ascend Schedule

As much fun as it is to grab the calendar in Ascend and “throw” it across the screen as if I were scrolling quickly through pages with an iPad, this week I am looking for ideas on how other offices are handling a few challenges I have with the schedule.

#1: PrintingAscend Group

My clinical lead in one office wants to print the schedule to hang in the sterilization area (no computer there) and when printed the schedule with no modifications it ended up on four pages! That doesn’t work. So, I changed the view from large to tiny appointment sizes, still it printed on multiple pages.

Next, I tried a total workaround, using the snipping tool (or you could use print screen) I copied the view on my computer and then pasted it into Word. This takes extra time for adjusting margins, changing the layout to landscape and adjusting the size of the image. This not only takes too long, but no way do I want to train my clinical team to have to use the snipping tool just to get a printed copy of the schedule.

The best I could get was to end up with the tiny appointment size so the schedule ended up on two pages, and we refreshed our kindergarten skills to cut off the edges of the one page and taping the pages together so we could see the five columns in order. I called into support and they said the printing options were dependent upon my printer so there wasn’t anything they could do.

Has anyone figured out a better solution for printing a schedule?

#2: Two columns inside one

Most of the time when I schedule appointments sequentially, they flow nicely one after the next and they line up inside one column. Sometimes, even though the times do not overlap, an appointment will create a second column inside the outline for that operatory. This tricks the eye to look like my schedule suddenly has lots of open time, when in reality, the column is completely full.

This challenge was solved once by a Dentrix Ascend trainer – the key is the size of the appointments. The calendar view allows you to choose small, medium or large – if you choose large, then the overlap disappeared! However, when I tried this on a different computer, it didn’t work. Still, give this a shot & maybe you’ll get lucky.

#3: Logging in and out

In a busy pediatric practice I work with, we run three columns of hygiene patients supported by assistants, and then we have hygienists that rotate through to provide cleanings. With three dental chairs in the hygiene bay, each with its own computer, clinically, this flows very well. However, with each clinical team member having their own ID and password, entering clinical notes is a challenge.

Here’s the problem: when a hygienist logs into a computer to enter her clinical notes, it automatically logs her out of Ascend on any other computer she was using. So, if she was at chair one for the previous patient, and now moves to chair two to login and enter her notes, the computer at chair one logs out back to the screen requesting an ID and password. The assistant working at that chair no longer can see the schedule.

I thought about just having each assistant log into Ascend and then having the hygienists just use that login to enter their notes, but this goes against best practice for security and I’m not crazy about the idea of sharing logins? The other problem with this approach is that sometimes I only have two assistants to support the three chairs, so should my RDH leave her login for the third chair instead of an assistant when this happens?

My lead hygienist said her biggest issue isn’t even the logging in and out, but not seeing the schedule to know if they have a next patient due to come back or not. Her suggestion was that when Ascend logs out a user, instead of defaulting to a password login screen, wouldn’t it be cool if it took a screenshot of the calendar and froze that on screen instead?

How do other offices handle the logins when it isn’t a perfect one staff person to one computer match?

Thanks in advance to anyone willing to share their ideas or experience in handling some of these scheduling challenges!

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AUTHOR: Jill Nesbitt
jill@dentalpracticecoaching.com
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