#26 – Files charts efficiently and keeps files updated appropriately

Hunting for missing dental files is one of the most frustrating, tension producing tasks in a dental office.  One of your main jobs will be to avoid this problem by keeping the files where they belong.

All charts should be in the main filing system A‑Z in the business office with several exceptions:

  1. Active charts* – Current to 2 years old – these are located: ___________________.
  2. Inactive charts 2‑7 years since last appointment – these are located: _____________. These are broken down.
  3. Charts older than 7 years since last appointment  – these are located: _______________________.
  4. Charts the doctors are reviewing are located on their desks.
  5. Charts pulled for the following day are located: ________________.
  6. Charts being worked on for insurance, patient upsets, billing issues – these are located in staff offices.
  7. Charts for “How feeling” calls – these are located: _____________.
  8. Charts ready to be filed – these are located: _____________________.

*Note re our active charts – We have a section of Mc files in front of the M’s

The colors on the side of the chart help to prevent misfiling.  The first two letters of the client’s last name are each assigned a color.  That means that the top color represents the first letter and the bottom color represents the second letter of the client’s last name.  This system makes it easy to see a misfiled chart.  The color won’t be consistent with the charts around it.

If a label is coming loose from a chart, take the time to type a new label and place it on the folder.  It’s best not to tape the old label on ‑ it usually doesn’t hold.

If it’s hard to pull a chart out because there are too many charts in the section, talk to your team leader and thin them out.  There should be at least four inches of empty space per shelf. Be very careful with the charts.  Lost or misplaced charts are your biggest headache.  By the end of the day, all charts should be where they belong.

Each evening the charts that have been pulled for the next day should be distributed to the providers.  Providers want their charts near them so they can review the treatment planned for that client and make sure the proper instruments will be available.

When you are hunting for a chart here are some tips:

  1. Check the charts in front and in back of where it belongs
  2. Check the next 10 charts around where it belongs also in case of misfiling
  3. Check inside these adjacent charts
  4. Check similar names
  5. Check for alternate spellings
  6. Was the name transposed?
  7. When were they last in? (Check computer)
  8. Do they have a future appointment? (Check computer)
  9. Are they new? (Check computer)
  10. Who did they see last?

Please get with your dentist to find where each provider’s charts are kept.

To Print a Label for a chart:

  1. You must use the computer that has the label printer attached
  2. Double click the Label Printer icon
  3. It should default to Chart Label
  4. Type the name: Last name, First name for example: Smith, Loraine
  5. Click print

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Secretary                                                                                             Date