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Break an Appointment

Generally an appointment is broken when the patient does not give 24 hours notice. So, if a patient calls the morning of their appointment, needs to move their appointment and the excuse is not reasonable, the appointment should be broken. Then you can follow up or move as needed. 

To break an appointment, change the status of the appointment to 'Broken'. There are several methods.

  • In the Appointment schedule right click on the appointment, then select Break Appointment.
  • In the Appointment schedule, select the appointment, then click the break action button (right side of window).
  • On the Edit Appointment window, manually change the Status to Broken.

The preference for 'Broken Appointment Automation' in Appointment Module Preferences determines what happens. There are three preference options that can be turned on or off in any combination.

Note: A broken appointment can automatically trigger other actions as well.  See Automation.

Option 1: Prompt the user to add ADA procedure code D9986 (missed appointment) to the patient's chart.
The Broken Appointment Procedure window will open. The initial fee defaults to the fee entered for D9986 in the fee schedule.

When a broken appointment procedure is added, its text color in the Account module is determined by the setting for Broken Appointment Procedure in Definitions. See Definition Descriptions, Account Colors.

Option 2: Prompt the user to add an Adjustment.
The default adjustment type is set in Appointment Module Preferences.

Option 3: Prompt the user to add a Commlog.

How to Handle Broken Appointments
Once the appointment has a broken status, it can be handled in a number of different ways. 

  • Immediately move it to another date or time by dragging.  Once moved, its Status will automatically be set to scheduled.
  • Leave it in place until you can contact the patient. A broken appointment should be moved before the end of the day, however, so that incomplete appointments do not get left on the appointment book. 
  • Send it to the Unscheduled List, especially if it is an important appointment with a dental lab case.
  • Delete the appointment (red X).

To generate a report of missed appointments, see Broken Appointment Report.

Troubleshooting
There have been several changes to broken appointments in previous versions. Below is a synopsis to help with troubleshooting.

Version 15.2 or greater: If procedure code D9986 (MissedApt) exists in the procedure code list, a missed appointment procedure (D9986) will be added to the patient's Chart and Account.

  • The Broken Appointment Procedure window can be set to open automatically in Appointment Module Preferences, so you can change the fee and add any notes. If you do not want to add a D9986 procedure, simply click Cancel on this window.
  • The initial fee defaults to the fee entered for D9986 in the fee schedule.
  • The Commlog window and/or the Adjustments window can also be set to open automatically in Appointment Module Preferences.
  • To change the text color of broken appointment procedures in the Account module, see Definitions, Account Colors.

If procedure code D9986 does not exist in the Procedure Code List (e.g. Foreign Countries) an adjustment will be added to the patient's account.

  • The Adjustment window automatically opens so you can change the fee and add any notes.
  • The Commlog window opens next. This entry will show in the patient's Chart.
  • To only add a Commlog entry (and not an adjustment), set the preference in Appointment Module Preferences. This is not recommended.

For a short period of time, historical adjustments of $0 were removed when you updated and had the D9986 code in your procedure code list. To retrieve them, contact Open Dental's conversion department.

Version 15.1 and earlier: An adjustment will be added to the patient's account.

  • The Adjustment window automatically opens so you can change the fee and add any notes.
  • The Commlog window opens next. This entry will show in the patient's Chart.
  • To only add a Commlog entry (and not an adjustment), set the preference in Appointment Module Preferences. This is not recommended.

Questions and Answers
Q: I don't want to use D9986 for broken appointments. How do I disable this feature?
A: In Appointment Module Preferences, uncheck the 'Make broken appointment Procedure' option. Another way is to simply click Cancel on the Broken Appointment Procedure window.

Q: How do I change the text color of broken appointment procedures in the Account module.
A: See Definitions, Account Colors.

 

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