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Clinics can be used when you have multiple locations. Once clinics are set up, you can assign clinics throughout Open Dental.

Turn on Clinics: In the Main Menu click Setup, Advanced Setup, Show Features, then check the Clinics box. Restart Open Dental.

Some Setup Tasks:

Documentation that pertains to version 15.4 and earlier only:

Assigning Clinics
If you follow basic guidelines, default clinic assignments for patient information should be accurate, thus reducing data entry. Several factors affect defaults and they are described below.

Patients: Every patient should be assigned a clinic on the Edit Patient Information window.

  • To find patients with no clinic assigned, run Database Maintenance. Check the results for PatientsNoClinicSet and manually assign clinics if needed. Contact Conversions for a service to associate patients, procedures, payments, etc. with clinics.
  • If Open Dental was used initially without the Clinic feature turned on, all patients that existed before turning on clinics will have no clinic (ClinicNum of 0). You will have to manually assign them. All new patients will use the defaults.
  • eCW: During HL7 import from eCW, clinics will not be set for new patients. 

If a patient's clinic needs to change, assign the new clinic on the Edit Patient Information window. Only clinics the user has access to are options when assigning a clinic.

Main Menu, Clinics: The clinic selected under the Main Menu, Clinics will be the default clinic when performing several actions in Open Dental. Each user can have a default clinic and usually it will be selected automatically when they log on. Headquarters is the default selection for employees who do not have a default clinic. See Setting a Default Clinic.


Note: When there are more than 30 clinic, there is no option to show hidden clinics.

The clinic selection determines the following:

  • The look of the appointment schedule.
  • The default clinic when adding new patients. If 'Headquarters' is selected, 'Unassigned' is the default. If adding a patient to an existing family, the clinic of the family is the default.
  • The clinic for new appointments.
  • The lab case status indicated in the Appointments module.
  • The employees that list in the Time Clock and the clinic associated with clock-in events.
  • Which Alerts show.

To set the default Main Menu clinic based on the clinic that was active the last time a user logged on or a workstation was used, see Miscellaneous Setup.

Appointments and Appointment Views: Each clinic can have different Appointment Views that determine what the appointment schedule looks like (e.g. operatories, appointment information, providers, etc.) To be available for a clinic's appointment views, an operatory must be assigned to the same clinic (e.g. only operatories assigned to Clinic A can be added to an appointment view for Clinic A). See Operatory Setup to assign clinics to operatories.

If an appointment has a clinic, all procedures attached to the appointment automatically default to the same clinic.

Lab Cases: Lab cases are associated with the clinic that is assigned to the operatory the attached appointment is scheduled in. The status of lab cases (indicated in the Appointment module) will reflect the status of lab cases for the selected clinic and date. If Headquarters is the selected clinic, the status will reflect all lab cases attached to scheduled appointments in any operatory, including those with no clinic assigned. See Dental Lab Cases.

Claims: A claim's clinic will always be the clinic assigned to the procedures on the claim.

Patient Payments: The default clinic for patient payments is determined by the settting in Account Module Preferences for 'Payments Use Patient Clinic'. Checked, the clinic for patient payments will always default to the patient's clinic. If unchecked, the clinic will default to the clinic selected in the Main Menu.

Claim Payments and Adjustments: Claim payments and adjustments default to the patient's clinic. If 'unassigned', the default will be 'none'.

Time Clock: Each time clock event is associated to a clinic. When clocking in, the clinic selected in the Main Menu is assigned to the event. Subsequent clock out events use the same clinic.

Providers: When providers are restricted to clinics, in some areas only the providers available for the selected clinic will be available options. These areas include Operatory Setup, Edit Appointment window, Edit Patient Information, Adjustments, Edit Claim Window, Payment Plan, Pay Splits, Broken Appointment Procedure window, Edit Procedure window, Schedule Setup.
Example: If Provider A is restricted to Clinic A, when editing patient information for a patient assigned to clinic B, Provider A will not be an option for primary or secondary provider.


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