#10 – Requesting records for a new client transferring into/out of our practice

Requesting records for a new client transferring into our practice:

The better the history we can get on our new clients, the easier it is for us to treat them effectively.  Your task is to get as much information as quickly as possible from the previous dentist.

When a new client calls to make the first appointment, ask for permission to transfer the client’s records to our office.  If the client is hesitant, don’t push.  Many people are uncomfortable about switching dentists.   They are concerned that their “old” dentist will be hurt, angry, or otherwise upset with them for switching.  If you do get the name and address, ask for the telephone number also.

No matter where your client has moved from, try to call the previous dentist.  This provides advantages:

1.  Speeding the records to us.

2.  Getting more complete records.


Often the previous dentist’s secretary will offer to send you the most recent pair of decay X-rays.  Try for more.  Ask for:

a.         All X-rays they have.  These old X-rays could show disease progression, various angles to examine a root for a potential abscess, or many other characteristics of diagnostic value.

b.         A copy of their treatment.  This will answer the following questions.  How old are the fillings or crowns?  What bases were placed under fillings?  What cement was used under crowns?  What problems did the dentist encounter?  Missed appointments?  Exposed nerves?  All this and more may be written on the treatment sheet.

        The better you can communicate the better records you will receive.  Work at getting complete records for us.  If you aren’t able to reach the previous dentist’s office by phone, use this letter.  Remember, this is a last resort!

Make a note of your contact on the yellow treatment sheet.  Note the date, who you talked with, the name of the dentist, the address, the phone number, and a description of the records being sent.  Be sure to find out how old the X-rays are and when the last CMX was taken.  If we are going to receive current X-rays, we won’t take new ones at their first appointment.

****Sample records request transferring to our practice

Date _______________________

Dear Dr. __________________________,

Mr./Mrs. _______________________________ has recently become a patient in our practice.  Would you please forward any X-rays you may have as well as a copy of all prior treatment?

With the help of your records, we hope to continue the quality of care that you have provided in the past.

These records will be under the following name(s).






Thank you for your help.

Sincerely yours,


I hereby authorize the release of records for the above named persons.

_______________________________________ _____________________

Signature                                     Date


Requesting records for a new client transferring out of our practice:

Part II

When a client is leaving our practice and they are requesting their records, there is a form for this procedure: It is called Request of Records Sheet.

If you follow the steps on this sheet, this process will go very smooth. These sheets are found: ____________

When you complete this form, pull the charts that correspond with client as well. Put both of these on the dentist’s desk. They will follow –up with you on the next steps or procedures you will need to do.

In order to pass this section, you will need to bring 3 examples of each to your team leader to review.

We send patient records to the patient (not to the next dentist) because we want our patients to see the excellent documentation and effort that we have put into keeping them healthy. We are unique in using the pink control program form and we have an extensive health history form as well.

_____________________________  _____________________

Teamleader                                                                        Date