Planned Appointments

Planned appointments are a way to track a patient's next appointment for treatment planned procedures (e.g. RCT, crowns, fillings). All patients should have either a planned appointment or be marked Done before going to the front desk. This ensures that no patients get dropped and helps the front desk quickly process the patient with minimal effort. To track unscheduled planned appointments, use the Planned Appointment Tracker.

Typical workflow:

  1. While the patient is in the chair, the assistant or provider enters the treatment planned procedures in the chart (procedures, additional time, notes).
  2. The assistant or provider creates a planned appointment for the next appointment, attaching the treatment planned procedures.
  3. The patient goes to the front desk to schedule. The front desk sees the planned appointment in the Appointments for Patient window, copies it to the Pinboard and schedules the next appointment.
  4. Patient comes in for next appointment. The provider verifies that planned procedures match what is scheduled.
  5. When the planned treatment is finished, the provider or assistant sets the appointment complete (this also designates the planned appointment as complete but does not delete it).
  6. If more treatment is needed, enter another planned appointment.
  7. If there is no planned treatment, mark Done. This will delete all planned appointments and indicate to the front desk that there is no planned appointment (Planned Appt Done will be checked on the Appointment History window).

  • Creating more than one planned appointment is allowed, but because plans change, it is often more efficient to only enter planned appointments that are ready to be scheduled. If you do enter multiple planned appointments, it can be hard to accurately predict the procedures, and thus you may need to frequently revise the planned appointments if procedures change. We recommend using Treatment Plans to outline a course of treatment while using planned appointments to communicate which appointments are ready to schedule.
  • Hygiene appointments (e.g. cleanings) should not be entered as planned appointments. Instead use the Recall List.
  • If you do not have computers in the operatories, planned appointments can be ignored. Instead schedule the next appointment using your standard procedure as a guideline.

Entering a Planned Appointment

  1. In the Chart Module enter the treatment planned procedures that will be attached to the planned appointment. See Entering Treatment.
  2. At the upper right, click the Planned Appts tab.

    Planned appointments that already exist are listed.

    • By default, planned appointments that are associated with completed appointments are also designated complete and hidden. To show them, check Show Completed. The setting of this checkbox returns to unchecked each time you restart Open Dental.
    • To reorder planned appointments, use the up/down arrows.
    • To edit a planned appointment, double click it.
    • Background color and text color of entries is determined by settings in Definitions: Prog Note Colors.

  3. Click Add. The Edit Appointment Window will show and the treatment planned procedures will list under Procedures on this Appointment.
  4. Highlight the procedures to attach to the planned appointment.
  5. If you need to attach Dental Lab Cases, click Lab in the right panel. Select the lab case or if needed create it. When the planned appointment is scheduled, the lab case will also be attached.
  6. Click OK.

The planned appointment is now ready for the front desk to schedule. To schedule the appointment chairside instead, click Pinboard on the Planned Appts tab, then drag it to the schedule. This is useful when providers schedule their own appointments.

When treatment is complete: The planned appointment should exist until scheduled treatment is complete so that cancellations or no-shows can be tracked in the Planned Appointment Tracker. Once complete, planned appointments are also marked complete and won't show in the tracker. Deleting planned appointments is optional.

Deleting planned appointments: Deleting planned appointments will permanently remove them, but will not affect any scheduled or completed appointments. To delete all planned appointments, mark Done. This will clear the list and also check the Planned Appt Done box on the Appointments for Patient window. To delete selected planned appointments only, click Delete. This will not affect the Planned Appt Done box.

Scheduling the Planned Appointment

Usually the chairside assistant or provider enters the planned appointment while charting treatment, then sends the patient to the front desk for scheduling.

  1. In the Appointments Module, select the patient.
  2. Click Make Appt, Make Recall, Fam Recall, or View Pat Appts. The Appointments for Patient window will open. The planned appointment will show in the appointment list just like any other appointment, except has no date or time.

    This window lists the patient's planned, scheduled, broken, unscheduled, and completed appointments. Planned appointments already completed do not show by default. To show them, check Show Completed Planned Appts.

    Planned Appt Done: If a planned appointment exists, this checkbox will be unchecked. If checked, there is no planned appointment and the next appointment should be a recall.

  3. Highlight the planned appointment to schedule.
  4. Click Copy to Pinboard.
  5. Drag the appointment to the schedule.

The new scheduled appointment will duplicate the procedures and length of the planned appointment. The planned appointment itself remains in the Appointments for Patient list until its scheduled appointment is marked complete, or until it is deleted from the Planned Appts tab in the Chart module. In the Chart module Progress Notes, scheduled appointment and associated planned appointment always show next to each other regardless of date.

If a patient leaves the office without making an appointment, or if they cancel at a later date, use the Planned Appointment Tracker to track and schedule planned treatment.

Scheduling chairside: To schedule the appointment chairside instead, click Pinboard on the Planned Appts tab, then drag it to the schedule. This is useful when providers schedule their own appointments.

Changes to a planned appointment: Usually planned appointments are not changed by front staff. Instead, the chairside assistant or provider should review, discuss, and verify the next steps with the patient, making changes as needed. To edit it from this window, double click it.