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Audit Trail

The audit trail is a log of actions taken by users. For the audit trail to contain complete information, you must set up user profiles for all staff that access Open Dental. See Users, User Names, and Passwords. Once users are set up, the main audit trail will indicate the following:

  • The logged in user when the action was performed.
  • When the action occurred (date and time).
  • Patient accessed or affected.
  • The Permission name. Not all permissions are tracked. See Permissions.
  • The computer on which the action was taken.
  • Log text: Additional information about the action taken.

Only users with the Audit Trail permission can view the main audit trail. There are also several smaller audit trails that don't require the permission:

In version 16.2 and earlier, only users with the Security Admin permission can access the main audit trail.
Audit trail entries are never changed within Open Dental and should never be changed outside of Open Dental.

View the Main Audit Trail
In the Main Menu, click Tools, Audit Trail.

Actions are listed by date/time, with the most recent change at the end of the list. If a patient is selected when the audit trail is opened, only log actions related to the patient are shown by default.

Filtering Options 

  • From/To date: Show logs for a a specific date range. If you change the dates, click Refresh to update the list
  • Permission: Show logs for a specific permission.
  • User: Show logs made by a specific logged-on user.
  • Patient: Only show entries for a single patient.
           Current: Show entries for the currently selected patient (the patient that was selected before you opened the audit trail).
           Find: Select a Patient.
           All: Eliminate patient as a filter so that all entries show.
  • Limit Rows: By default, up to 500 log entries are listed at a time. You can manually change the number then click Refresh to update, or change the default in Miscellaneous Setup.

Click Print to print the audit trail to the default printer.

The following actions are always tracked:

  • Every time a user logs on, logs off, or closes Open Dental.
  • When anything is printed or copied in Open Dental.

The following appointment-related actions are not tracked:

  • No log for locking appointment times for all existing appointments.
  • No log for deleting planned appointments from the Chart module.
  • No log for changing providers on an appointment during Provider Merge (there is a log entry for the provider merge itself).
  • No log for changing patnums on an appointment during Patient Merge (there is a log entry for the patient merge itself).
  • No log for removing an assistant from an appointment.

Integrity of Data: In version 14.1 and greater, Open Dental checks to verify the integrity of the audit trail data. 

  • Black log entries indicate "trusted" entries; meaning Open Dental has checked and no changes have been made to the log entry since it was created. 
  • Red log entries indicate "non-trusted" entries, meaning this log entry failed the check to prove the entry is unchanged. This means the entry was changed outside of Open Dental to something different than the original entry. Red entries are not made by Open Dental, and it is possible they are malicious or not legitimate. When you update to version 14.1, all log entries prior to the update date will be red, because the entries have not been checked. 

Questions and Answers
Q. Why does my audit trail show a user as "unknown user"?
A. An "unknown user" in the audit trail is typically triggered by an automated service from within the program. For example, automated eConfirmations change the confirmation status of an appointment and an unknown user is logged.


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