How Many Office Tasks Does a New Patient Generate?
When a new patient comes to your Chiropractic Practice, how many steps must your Front Desk person take to create a new patient account?
Typically, a new patient comes in to fill out forms and then your Staff has to remember to copy their driver’s license and their insurance card. Next, the patient’s data has to be typed into a computer. Co-payments also have to be collected and future appointments need to be scheduled. Are all of these tasks being completed for every patient? How do you know?
The Genesis Chiropractic Software can eliminate this memory management with a tool we call a Task Checklist. All of the steps are written down and turned into tasks that can be automatically assigned to your staff members. The Task Checklist is launched with every new patient and your staff will know exactly what to do without being told. The Practice Owner will be able to see at a glance if every task was done for every patient, which ensures a consistent patient experience in your office. It also gives you and your staff peace-of-mind knowing everything is done at the end of the day. Learn more with the free webinar that can be viewed right on this page.
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Read the transcript:
Jason: Well, good afternoon everyone and welcome. Jason Barnes and Jessica Pancoast here for this week’s webinar, and this week we’re actually talking about all of those tasks that have to be done for every patient or for every day or for every month in your practice and remembering to figure out what those tasks are and making sure that they get opened and then done.
Today we’re gonna talk about how we can more easily manage all those repeatable things that need to be done in your practice. So we’re going to…I think the term Jess, is reintroduce, reintroduce the task checklist because, you know, if you haven’t been reading all the release notes, we’ve got some new things which I think are kind of exciting, different ways we can manage these. So that’s what we’re talking about. We’ll give it another minute or two before we get started.
Okay, let’s get started. I’ll do another brief intro. Jessica Pancoast is the head of our help desk in our training team. My name is Jason Barnes. Today we’re talking about operations of a practice. Those things that need to be done for let’s just say every new patient or every day you want your staff to do an end of day reconciliation, and there are steps that they have to remember to do, make sure they tally up the cash, make sure they tally up the…kind of previewing for next week, Jess…tally up all of the insurance payments and make sure we know what’s going in the bank account versus what’s posted in the system. Maybe you want to do inventory control on, you know, a certain time of the month, whatever it is. As a practice owner or an office manager, you wanna make sure that those tasks get done but sometimes just remembering to assign them to people can be a task in and of themselves.
So today we’re going to talk about how we can, number one, identify what work in your office needs to be done on a repeated basis. Number two, figure out how we can create those items in a list somewhere. Number three, figure out how we can best execute those on a regular basis so that you as the practice owner or administrator can keep track of the fact that this work actually got done.
The concept of what we’re gonna call a task checklist is not new. We used to call them ticket macros in our system, and Jessica just created or corrected me saying that they’ve been around for four years, not for three years. We’ve seen them more widely used in the last year or so by many of our practices.
So, first of all, what exactly is a task? For anybody who’s not using our system which I believe most of the viewers end up being our users. They know what tasks are, uses are. But anyone who doesn’t know, a task is not an email. It’s not a notification that something happened. A task is an action item that needs to be done within [inaudible 00:03:12] by a certain individual. That task…and can you bring up a task work screen, Jess? Those tasks can range in varying spectrum from order more coffee cups to follow up on a no-show to get my credentialing done for Medicare. Any way you look at it, none of these tasks are created, you know, people ordering coffee cups is in no way on par with getting my credentialing done with Blue Cross Blue Shield. And so these tasks have a couple of things, and their anatomy is important. They have a priority associated with them, the critical tasks all the way down to low priority.
And for us, we want everybody to understand that those priorities actually mean something. When we need something done, the people we assign it to, typically is not the only thing we’ve asked them to do, right? When I’m looking at an office manager role versus a front desk role, very different roles within an office. The front desk has to remember to do a lot of things though. Somebody checks in, how many things are they required to remember at that moment? Ensure they have an insurance card. Do they have a balance from a previous visit? Did they have their next visit showed up? I can keep going. How are they gonna remember to do all that? There are some old rock stars out there that do remember it every single time. But if you add to that saying “Order coffee cups,” or, you know, “Make sure that we get more vitamins in for this particular type,” that’s when you can start to throw people over the edge because it’s not part of their regular routine.
So each time we have a task, we’re gonna sign them that task. It’s gonna be a specific person in the lower right-hand corner where you can see that both Joe Blue is the owner and the requester of the task. These are not like email. Number one, typically only one person has access to an inbox. That’s not the case in a task. Everybody in the practice can see the tasks that need to be done by each person. And Jessica is preemptively going to, what we’re gonna call the ticket manager console…I should call it the task manager console. Sorry about that. And you can see each user in the practice and what they have to do. This allows somebody to actually have a sick day or go on vacation. And we can actually cover their task. And you might not wanna do all their tasks. You might wanna push the low priority ones and only address the critical or the high tasks.
However, today’s topic is about how do we manage those things that need to be done every single day or every single week. Just remembering to open the task is a task in and of itself, right, as the practice owner or as the office manager. So what types of things are repeatable? We typically have a range of answers on that, but every single practice I’ve ever talked to Jess, always agrees that when a new patient comes through the door, they want a certain list of things to happen. They wanna make sure that they’re scheduled for at least a follow-up or report of findings. They wanna make sure that insurance benefits are verified if they have insurance. They wanna make sure that they get them to sign some sort of disclosures, whether or not it’s an advanced beneficiary notice from Medicare or just a HIPAA agreement. There’s always some list of things that has to get done. Imagine you had to open a task every single time somebody walked through the door to do all that stuff, that sounds like a large job. But how do you know that it got done for every single one of your patients? So one of our more popular task checklists, and we can actually go to that, allow one right now, is a brand new patient. That brand new patient consists of a sub-list of…How many of this? That’s six. I’m counting them correctly, Jess?
Jason: Six tasks under a checklist. Those were the things that you want to have happen every single time a patient is brand new. So I already said it’s kind of daunting to try and remember to open that up. But before we get into how we can automate the execution of such a checklist, what things that need to be repeated, and how do we need to go about defining that work? So, in this particular case, we’ve got an example of new patient checklist. On this one, they wanna make sure that the fifth one down is verify benefit, invite them to spinal care classes is one before that. You know, posture screen, somebody wants to take a picture of that patient and make sure that picture is in file so that an evaluation or analysis can be done on a posture. And finally, those first two tasks, you know, file checklist. That’s actually pretty standard for most of our offices who use this, what things need to go in the file for that patient. We don’t wanna open a task for driver’s license. I don’t wanna open another task for insurance card. I definitely don’t wanna have to open a third task due to have secondary. That’s too much.
So, how does somebody know with such a vague name, Jess, of file checklist, exactly what things they should be collecting? Is there a way to give them more direction?
Jessica: Yes, you can actually create a task from a task checklist that will open up with information in the Bonnie tab of the task that opens. And you can get to it by going to this open editor button. And in here, you can have something that looks like this, is actually pasted in there, a list of items that need to be completed for this general sounding title.
Jason: So those specific things, you can even put in the title of that tab, you know, check the body for these specifics, right?
Jason: So you’re gonna direct that front office person to go look into the body to make sure that we have all of these items. We wanna be as specific as we possibly can, and we wanna make it easy for the front desk person or the office manager who’s ever doing it to actually have clarity for what their job is. When we ask them to remember for each patient that has Medicare that they need something, that’s where I see the biggest fall down take place. You don’t want to have any of your staff members remembering some sort of matrix or grid of when a certain direction applies or it doesn’t. In this particular case, they can get quick and efficient because they’ll remember things. But they’ll always have a task to go and set and say, “Oh, this is what should be done in this particular case.” You can get pretty specific with the instruction that you’re giving within these tasks. So, Jess, can you close this now, and we go over a little bit more of the anatomy of the offset dates, etc. of how we would go about creating a new patient one?
Jessica: Sure. So first thing, you’re gonna need to get to this page, configuration system task checklist. Once you’re here, you can create a new task checklist by clicking the add task checklist button up at the top. You’re going to get a pop up somewhere. Here we go. You can name it. You definitely wanna keep it active that means that it will display. You actually have a second option of show on travel card. There is the option of opening these checklists directly from the patient’s travel card in the provider room if needed. This checkbox just says whether or not this particular checklist is one that should be available to be opened from the travel card. So that’s going to be a case-by-case basis on whether or not you want to check that, and it can be updated later. So, you wanna type in your name. you gonna hit save, and it’s going to be in this list of checklist on this page.
Then what you’re going to do is you’re going to select that checklist that you just named from the list, and down at the bottom is where you’re going to add all the tasks that need to be part of that checklist. You click add, you get a new row. You’re going to type in the title of the task that needs to be in there. If you do want them to be in a specific order, we do recommend putting numbers in front. If there are going to be a large number of tasks, you might wanna start with 01 rather than just 1, so they stay in the right order. It just makes it a little easier when someone’s working on their workbench. If they need to be completed in a specific order, to be able to sort them and have them appear in that order from your workbench. So if you do have them and they do need to be done one right after the other or in a certain order, we just recommend that you start off the title with 01, or if it’s just one through nine, you can just use one through nine.
So there are three fields that are required. The first one is the title of the task. And that’s going to be under this template column. So you’re going to put in the title here. The next field that is required is the owner role. So when you create these paths, they don’t need to go to a specific person. In truth, most of the time we recommend that they don’t go to a specific person that is because if that particular person ever leaves your practice, this test checklist is going to error out any time you try to open it unless you’ve gone in here and updated that user ID. If the user ID is no longer active in your practice, it causes problems. So we do recommend just selecting a role saying, you know, “This is something that the front office should do or the office manager.” The next required field is the priority: critical, high, normal, low. So you select the priority of the specific tasks that you’re creating. And you can have mixed priorities within a checklist.
Those are the required fields. Everything else is going to ask you to fill in that information when you open it. So the provider and the requester, they are required in order to open the task. But if you don’t set it up right now, you’ll get pop-ups asking you to do it later. If you are using this for one of our automated processes, which we will be getting into how to do that, I do recommend filling in the provider and the requester right here, just gonna make the automation process that much smoother. So I’m just going to go ahead and put in my provider and just make it my office manager is the requester.
Next, we have the category. This is not a requirement at all. It is optional. What this does is on the task manager console, you are able to only view tasks that have a specific category. So if that is something that you wanna be able to come to this workbench and see how many of these specific categories tasks were pended in a particular month without having to go through each task and look them up individually, then one of these categories might make sense for you to add to the task. You guys do not have access to create any categories, but as long as the category sounds like it could be useful for many of our practices, just send over, you know, I’d like to add a category for atask called X, Y, and Z. We’re gonna have our support team add that for you.
So for example, in this task checklist that we have, you can see all the other ones are labeled day one. So I’m just going to choose day one. And now we get to the start date offsets and the due date offset. So when a task checklist gets executed either manually or using one of the automated processes, the start date is the start date of the task. In general, if you leave it at zero, that means that this task is going to open up on someone’s bench today as active. If you change that and put an offset number of days in there, what happens is the task gets opened today as soon as you execute that checklist, however, the task basically has a follow-up date, just like pushing off any regular tasks on your workbench and setting a follow-up date for a few days in the future so it’s hidden from your active workbench, but it will automatically pop up when that start date is once again gone by. This start date just creates the ticket automatically with that start date in the future. So if it’s something that cannot happen today, perhaps it’s, you know, further down on the list of things that need to be completed, so a number of things have to be completed first, so likely it’s not getting done today. You can set a start date offset.
You can also set a due date offset. These are the second date on a task. I’ll just go back to the task workbench to show you. So right here this is the start date, and this here is the due date or the scheduled date, pretty much if…What it means is, if this date has gone by, the task is going to show up as red on the workbench, just letting people know that this task has been out there a number of days and no one’s been touching it, so one should look at this task. These due dates are set by the priority level. In general, the offset is the difference between the start date and the scheduled date. For low, it’s two weeks, normal is two days, high is one day, and critical is four hours. So if you would like to push off that due date a little more, then you can add a due date offset in here. So even though it’s a normal priority, maybe it can be done in four days, and that’s fine.
Once you fill in everything on this row, hit okay. Now, you’ll see these little red triangles up at the top left of each field. That is indicating that this has not been saved. So make sure you hit the save button right above to actually save the information, and so this task checklist is now updated. Once you have created all of that information, you will be able to then go into the open editor and enter whatever it is that might be needed in the body. Again, that’s an option, it is not a required field. So now that you have your checklist created, you can execute it. You can use it.
So these checklists can be opened manually, pretty much you come right back to this page and up at the top after selecting the one you want, you hit execute checklist. If there are any fields that need to be filled in, like the provider or the requester, it’ll ask you to do that. It’ll also ask you about a patient. So if there is a specific patient that this is about, you can enter that patient here, just start typing in their last name, and you’ll get a list then you can select them. If it’s not about a specific patient, you know, it’s about ordering new coffee cups or anything like that, this is a field that can be left blank. The requester field cannot be blank. That does need to be filled in. If you did not fill it in on the task itself in the checklist, you do need to fill it in here. That will fill in any blank requester field with the name of the user you filled in here. So once you fill in that, you hit okay, and the task will now execute and those tasks will open up and go on to the benches indicated by the owner role or the owner ID. So that’s how to manually do it from this workbench.
You also have the ability to manually open it up. And I’m just going to pick someone random here from the travel card. Now, as I was saying earlier, some…if you choose to have the task checklist available on the travel card, that’s an option, so not all of them are going to show from here. But the ones that do will show up if I click on these three bars next to the date, and I select run checklist, I’m going to get the option of those checklists that I did create, that I checked that box that said show on travel card. So I again can select one of these, and because I’m already in this specific patients account, that checklist is going to be automatically associated with this patient. So those are the two manual ways to open up a checklist.
We also have a way to open up checklists that can happen automatically based on when a patient checks in. So, in the alerts that we have in our system, whether it’s a practice alert or a patient level alert…I’m specifically right now going into the practice level alerts. And that was going by configuration practice schedule and then clicking on the notifications tab. I know it’s a little hard to read just because I’m zoomed in. I’ll make it a little easier for you guys to see the rest of the page, and this is on our beta server. So this is our new and upcoming version of this page.
So we have a bunch of alerts on the practice level here. And I’m just going to select one of them so I can show you what it looks like. So we have our name. We have the popup message. We have actually the patient facing stop turned off. This is what would make the kiosk go red if you’re using a kiosk screen for patients to check in. What I’ve heard of just referred to as the red screen of death. This is what makes it red when they check in and tells them to go see the front desk. If this particular alert is not something that needs to stop the patient, this is where you would turn that off. These show pop-up messages is what would make the alerts pop up on the schedule. Again, this is turned off because this particular alert is only supposed to be opening that new patient checklist.
So instead of having pop-ups and red screens, instead we selected from the execute checklist option, we selected our new patient checklist. And that means when a patient checks in, this checklist will automatically be created and associated with that patient. Now, in order to make it happen only for those patients who actually are new patients, we have selected the rule, “has new patient exam appointment type”. So, in our demo practice, we have an appointment type called “new patient exam”. So in the rules for this alert, we went down to the “has a specific appointment type” rule and selected new patient exam. So what happens here, is that when a patient comes in and they check in specifically for this type of appointment, this checklist will get executed, attached to the patient account who just checked in, and all those tasks open up and go onto the workbenches of the front office and the office manager and the physician based off of what this task checklist that you created tells them to do. And if any of them have that offset, it will push those off, and it’ll only open up those that…it will only show you those that have a zero here. But those other ones still get…They all get opened up at the same time. They’ll just be pushed off with this at follow-up date.
And this way, you guys can really keep track of the tasks that are getting completed, making sure everything is getting done that day, especially if you know that there’s…Well, right now we have seven, seven-day ones in this checklist. And you come into the task manager console, and you look at day ones, and you’re looking to see how many have been pended so far this month. And you’ve looked at perhaps one of your appointment detail reports to see how many new patients you had that month. Obviously, the amounts that have been pended should be a multiple of seven. You want all those tasks to be completed. So you can come in here, select month to date pended, select my practice, so it goes across all of the users at your practice. Select that day one category, to only look at this day one tasks. Just so you know, categories can only be selected from the checklist or any of the automated processes our system has in place, like no future appointment to tasks or no-show task, those types of things.
Basically, when you’re opening a task just from the workbench or from the help menu, you do not have the ability to add these categories. So these are specifically for these automated ones. But you can go up here, select this, hit go. And you can see how many tasks have been pended this month and compare it to how many tasks should have been pended based on how many new patients you add, should be a multiple of seven. And you can also look at current staff, which is the default when you come in here. And again hit go, so you can see how many are still outstanding, whose benches are they on, what has not gotten done. This way, the tasks…you know, when everyone’s completed them, they’re going to be updating these tasks and saying, “Okay, I completed this, files uploaded,” whatever the particular task is requiring them to do. So you have a record of, not only when it was completed, but who completed it.
So this is something that we ourselves use a lot using this system, making sure that tasks all gets done, completed, and everything is trackable so you can see exactly who’s doing it. It really helps. You know, if something is not getting done right, you can see who’s doing it. Maybe a little training is needed in order to get the task completed as it’s supposed to be. And that is task checklist, and the ways they can be executed either manually or automatically.
So now I guess we’ll open it up to any questions. If you are looking at the screen and you do not have a chat box to your left, there is a button up at the top that will say show chat. You can click on that, and you’ll then have the chat box over on the left-hand side. Let me just bring up the chat and see if anyone’s typed in any questions.
All right, no questions yet. But I will stay on the line for a couple minutes and see if anyone does have any questions about task checklists, how they’re created or how they’re executed, how they’re opened up and used. And I’ll give you a couple minutes for that and then and if no one has any questions, we’ll open it up to see if anyone has any questions about anything in the system. I know, I’m rather a fast typer, but I know not everyone is. So I wanna make sure I give you guys enough time to type in any questions you might have.
Is there a list of the seven items on the checklist and a person completes four of them is there a way to check off which four have been finished? It’s really going to be the ones that are completed are going to be pended, and they’re going to be then closed. So, the idea of tasks is that the task gets opened, someone does the work, and then they pend it back to who the requester is so that requester is then closing those tasks after confirming that they have indeed been completed. So it’s not so much that you’re checking off which ones have been done. You can do that using the task manager console, looking at however many have been pended. And hitting go, it’ll show you all those tasks. It will count them up. Give you a total at the bottom. But you can also see how many have not been completed by selecting current tasks and hitting go. That will allow you to see all those tasks that are still out there. As you can see for our demo practice, we have a lot of the spinal care class tasks that have not been completed for some of our demo patients. So at any point, you can see however many are still open. You can also see however many have been pended, take a look through them, make sure that those tasks…they should have notes on them saying who did them and everything should be verifiable if needed.
With the multitude of steps required, do you have a step-by-step itemization list available? Dr. Grey, are you talking about how to create a task checklist or all the different places that they can be executed from? So on the task checklist…Oh goodness, we have lots of question marks on this one, that one. So on the task checklist up at the top next to the right-hand side, we do have a help page that goes over creating task checklist. We also have a video that specifically goes over a version of a new patient. Actually, I think it’s just ordering coffee filters. But we have a way to…We go over how to create them from here. We also go over some of the definitions or our definitions of the categories. We are working on hiding some of those ones that are just not useful for you guys, so you don’t have to pick and choose out of them.
I’ve joined a tad late. How did you open the task manager console? Okay. That’s very simple: report, workflow, task manager console. When it first opens up, it will open up by default to your role in the role dropdown. I do recommend selecting my practice. That does show you all the tasks that are opened and on a workbench at someone at your practice on your benches. There is an option for all, but just be aware that that will show any tasks that are outstanding for your practice. But that’s on maybe your coaches workbench, training, the billing team, and all of that. So not usually something that you guys need to look at. They’re usually tasks that you guys sent over to us. And we’re gonna be sending them back to you eventually. So my practice is the one that we do recommend. But you can also break it down role by role. But my practice will show you all of them at once which many people use.
All right, does anyone have any other questions on checklists? If not, I will open this up to questions on any part of the system.
And for anyone else who did join late, I did actually remember to record it this week. Sorry about forgetting last week. So, give it a week or so, and you will be able to find this on the website via the blog section. They will have a link to the video. So if anyone wants to re-watch it, you will have that ability. Again, sorry about last week. If anyone has any questions about what we went over last week, which was no future appointments and being proactive or reactive in tracking those, feel free to open a task to the training team. We can go over that with you one-on-one.
All right, so it doesn’t look like anyone has any more questions on checklists. Does anyone have any questions on anything in the system?
What is the website and blog section? Okay. So, depending on which…So genesischiropracticsoftware.com, if we have any PTs on here, it’s best…Let me get this right because I always get that one wrong. It’s sptbilling.com. So we have either one of those, whether Cairo or PT and then we have the blog section. So under Genesis is under resources. STT, I think it’s also under resources. So, STT billing if you are a PT or Genesis chiropractic software if you’re a chiropractor…and really, I mean, it’s gonna work for you either way. Those are just websites geared a little more towards your specialty.
Inventory question, if we have inventory…we no longer have an office. Is there an issue if we delete them from the system? So we do recommend, instead of deleting them, we do recommend the other option on that page, deactivate. And there is a reason why. So if you delete a row in here because you no longer use it, if you then create a new item because you get, you know, different type of vitamins, different types of a shake, a different brace, or anything like that, that CPT, that fake CH code that you previously used for a different item, can now be used for a new item. That means if you try to print out any summary reports for our patients that had previously purchased by item, they will now see the new description rather than the old one that they had actually purchased. So we do recommend deactivating them instead. This will keep it from showing up on the POS sales screen, so you don’t have to filter through them on that when you’re trying to sell something. But it would keep that description in there. That means any of those descriptions for any previously sold items will still show, and it’s not going to accidentally be called something else.
Is there a way to have it not show up when we run our inventory report? Lisa, you’re gonna have to tell me what inventory report you’re running. It’s probably the charges report, but just if you can…yeah, if you confirm that.
Is there a way to put an alert in POS for those about to expire? And I’m afraid, Dr. Grey, I’m gonna need more information from you as well. Is there a way to put an alert in POS for those about to expire? For what about to expire, like if you had…? Oh, okay. So like if you had vitamins on the shelf that were going to expire or as in a patient has purchased them and, you know, they purchase a 90-day supply, and it’s now 90 days later? Either the 90 days later I could do…okay on the shelf. So the alerts in our system are really only when a patient checks in. But you can create a task. So when you buy them, you know, you by your set of vitamins. You can open up a task and you know, look on the bottle, these expire on April 1st, 2016. You can create a task and just open it up, have it to have the start day of either April 1st or if you wanted a week notice in advance, go ahead and give you that. Create the task, open it to yourself or to whoever is in charge of your inventory, and that task will just automatically open up once that start date is once again passed, letting them know that, you know, if any vitamins from this batch still are on the shelf, the expiration date is either today or is coming up. So for the expiration for POS, I would recommend a task instead of an alert.
When we actually count inventory we run a POS report. There’s quite a bit of product that is no longer valid or carried in the office. So, Lisa, are you just working off the point of sale like this page right here and hitting the print button and seeing, you know, the items left here and that type of thing? Okay. I don’t think so. I think it just prints out zero through whatever every time. But that is something I could ask for, especially since I’ve seen some of our practices have a lot of deactivated items. I can open up a task about that. It’s not gonna be something that will be done, you know, in the next week. But we can see if we can have a check box of you know, pretty much show deactivated type thing or hide deactivated. So I will open a task about that.
Must notifications be set up at the beginning of the year to count patient visits? Example, notify front desk on patient’s ninth visit. If I set up the notification now people have already had five visits, will it count correctly? Yeah, it will. So you can create it now and the patient has had five visits and say, “Give me the ninth visit.” So what happens is when a patient checks in, it looks to see how many visits they’ve had. If you’re just using its counting visits, it’s looking to see how many visits are either checked in or checked out. If you are using one of the care plan visit countings, please be aware that care plans only count down when I claim is created and the care plan is applied to it. So if you have any unbilled visits for the care plan, the count will be off. You need to keep up to date with care plan claims in order for the care plan alerts to count correctly. But any of the other ones that are just counting alerts, yes, it pretty much…It looks at your alerts that say, you know, this patient’s checking in, what visit is it based on the alerts that you have created, whether it’s from the first of the year or is it from a specific date, counts them up and determines whether or not that alert should go off.
All right, any other questions today? A lot of good questions today. All right, well, if anyone does have any questions going forward, you guys can always open us up a task open to the help desk, help open, help request task, fill in your title. Please, actually tell us what you’re looking for. It just helps us prioritize a little better and get you a help faster, hit send, and choose help desk assimilated. That’ll come to my team and we’ll be able to reach out and answer any of these questions or any others that you have.
So, thank you, everyone, for joining us today and hope to talk to you next time. Bye.
Learn more about task checklists in Genesis Chiropractic Software
Another blog about tasks in Genesis