The Appointments Module is the heart of the dental practice.
Open Dental has support for unlimited Operatories and unlimited providers. You can set up different Appointment Views. Each view can have any combination of operatories and providers, and will not display the others. So you can have one view for your hygiene rooms, one view for each doctor, or any number of other creative combinations. To switch between the different views, you would normally use one of the twelve function keys at the top of your keyboard. You can also select a view from the drop down list on the right hand side below the calendar and pinboard. You can see that an entire ten hour day fits on the screen.
The grayed-out appoinments at the beginning of the day above have been marked complete. Colors are customizable in Definitions. The appointment with the X across it is a broken appointment that is waiting to be handled. The operatory names can be as descriptive as you want and can be rearranged at any time in the Operatories or in Views. You have a lot of flexibility in views for changing what information shows on each appointment, including medical notes, lab cases, telephone numbers, procedures, chartnumbers, etc.
Also shown are multiple providers. Each provider gets a bar to the left of the appointments section that shows that provider's time. Each provider is a different color. The colors can be changed and the order of the time bars set in the Provider setup or in views. In the Appointments module, hovering over the colored square directly above each provider's time bar will display the name of the provider. In the example above, the practice is open where the background is white, and closed where it is gray, although the colors are completely customizable in Definitions. Each provider can be assigned a completely customizable Schedule, including support for any type of alternating schedule and any temporary schedules for specific dates.
The scrollbar to the right allows you to move up and down throughout the entire 24hr day. The scrollbar has infinite scrolling, making it very smooth and efficient. Scrollbar behavior is covered in more depth in Appointment Views.
To quickly move to a different day, you can use the calendar or the navigation buttons just below the calendar. In the calendar, you can click on any day to go to that day in the appointment book. The day showing in the appointment book is represented by the gray square, whereas the red outline represents the current date. To go to a different month, use the buttons at the top of the month calendar. The most common button to use is the Today button, just below the calendar. The buttons on either side will navigate forward and backward one day at a time. The Week button below switches the display to week view. The buttons to either side will navigate one week at a time.
The week view shows every day of the week, including weekends. It is fully functional including dragging appointments, setting blockouts, etc. So sometimes, it's easier to switch to week view to move an appointment because it does not have to involve the pinboard to move it to another day. Since each appointment is so narrow in week view, you will have to make heavy use of the info bubble that pops up when you hover over each appointment.
The pinboard to the right is for moving appointments between days. Simply drag appoinments onto the pinboard, select a different day, and drag them back off. The horizontal red line indicates the current time. It automatically moves down every minute and lets you visualize the time to within a minute or two.
The Employee Schedules at the lower right show for the current day. Just above that are the action buttons for working with the currently selected appointment. From View Patient Appointments, you can schedule any appointment including the Planned appointment, an unscheduled appointment, a new appointment, or view any appointment for that patient. The numbers in the production box are discussed in the Appointment Views section.
The small box at the upper right of each appointment might have a couple of letters in it. First is the credit type: A, B, or C, or you can use whatever letters your office prefers. An "I" also shows if the patient has insurance. Every appointment has a second optional provider for hygiene so that only one appointment has to be made even if a patient is technically seeing two providers. Appointments are edited by double clicking on them.
There is a main Toolbar as well as two toolbar buttons at the upper right for Appointment Lists, and Print. The print button will open a setup window for the settings that will be used to print the day being viewed.
When it prints, it will only print between the start and stop hours. The number of operatories per page will directly affect the number of pages printed. More operatories per page will cause less pages to be printed. The font size also manipulates how many pages will print. Some additional settings that affect how many pages will print would be the time increment setting and the rows per increment settings in the Appointment Views window . If too many pages are being printed with a small font size, try increasing the time increments or setting the rows per increment to one. Clicking the save button will remember the current settings for the next time you print. The setup window will always show every time appointments are printed. The printouts can be posted throughout the office in areas where you do not have monitors.
If your schedule is booked out for more than a few days, it might be a waste of time to manually search for an open time slot. So for larger offices with full schedules, you can make use of the Search button at the right, about half way down. Drag an appointment to the pinboard and then click the Search button to see the next 10 available opennings.
Click on any of the dates to jump to that date in the schedule. Drag the appointment off the pinboard and close the search box. There are two different search behavior options that can be set in Module Setup.
There is a Waiting Room feature at the lower right of the main screen. See the Time Tracking section of the Appointment Edit window for information on how to use and automate this feature.
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