Dental Encounter Sheet for Open Dental

Open Dental Patient Encounter Form

Click on the form to download a larger copy

I have formatted a new version of the Open Dental “routing slip.” I have called it an “encounter form” rather than routing slip because the name is more appropriate.

The purpose of the encounter form is to increase the treatment completed for each patient, specifically the treatment completed today whenever possible.

We have been “paperless” for over 20 years but paper is still a great “display device” in some situations – the encounter form can be one of them.

This version has a lot of information – most of which you may not need for most patient visits. However, my thinking was to arrange the columns at the top (“incomplete treatment, critical dates and today”) to make it easier to find additional treatment that needs to be done, preferably today.

Most people start reading from the left so if you scan down the first column, perhaps you can find incomplete treatment that you could add to today’s visit.

Similarly, in the second column you can find other things that might be added to today’s production such as an overdue pano, exam, bw’s etc.

Finally you get to the treatment actually scheduled for today in the far right column.  If this was the first left-hand column, you might not get to the other two!  At least that was my logic in positioning the columns this way.

A common but insidious problem we see in many offices is the incorrect use of “fee schedules.”  These are critically important in any office contracting with one or more dental insurance carriers. Many times, offices are shooting themselves in the foot and incorrectly writing off or adjusting income that is actually due the practice.

Open Dental allows enough room in the field for “fee schedule” for you to name it appropriately, indicate when it was last updated and person’s initials who has taken the responsibility to see that the update fees are correct.  Using the encounter form, you can quickly check to see that the insurance company name and the fee schedule seem to match.  In the example encounter form, the primary insurance company is Sun Life but the fee schedule is PPO Delta!  This is probably not correct and should be changed.

The section on the lower right (patient portion, etc) is meant to be completed by the admin staff before the appointment so that anyone who discharges the patent from the office can have an easy time collecting the appropriate payment.

The “needed tx / notes” section on the lower right is meant to be used as an in-office communication aid.  Ideally any new treatment and any future appointments are scheduled from chairside.  However, for lots of reasons, this sometimes does not happen in real life. This section allows quick, handwritten notes can be made.

Lastly, this routing slip obviously contains an abundant source of HIPAA information and should be treated accordingly.  It should be shredded when it is no longer needed and certainly by the end of each day.

You can download this routing slip below and import it into your sheets.  Just in case you hate it, you might want to export your existing routing slip so you can get back home again.

Information on importing and exporting sheets can be found here:

Here is the link to download the file of this encounter form.  When it opens, right mouse click and save it as a txt file. Open Dental will import this as the “routing slip.” It needs to replace your current routing slip in order to print as a “batch” of routing slips.

Please send me your comments and suggestions!  Thanks!