Dos, don’ts and options for UDA claims and charting

Dos, don’ts and options for UDA claims and charting

A little individuality never hurt anyone :

The way dentists present their claims for NHS UDAs seems to vary as much as the way they chart and the type of biscuit they have with their tea (or coffee).

A nurse we spoke to works with three dentists; “One sends his UDAs as he completes the work, one at the end of the day and one when he feels like it. It’s the same with charting. One goes left to right, left to right. Another goes left to right, right to left. The joke is the other one seems to do something different with every patient.”

In every case, you need a practice management system that can support them in the way they like to work and ensure that ‘all the sums add up’. Obviously you can’t expect the software to organise biscuits, but you can build in flexibility for many of the functions that dentists use. That’s the philosophy we’ve used in the development of Pearl Dental Software.

Knocking down barriers and creating flexibility

There are two basic approaches you can take when designing a piece of application software. You can make it very rigid and prescriptive in the way it works, setting out a standard work-flow for all to follow. Alternatively, you can make it flexible so that it is guided by the work-flow of the individual using it.

The first approach works brilliantly for applications requiring a standardised way of working, such as a call centre. It’s a brilliant way of reducing the cost of training and support – everyone gets the same training. It ensures everyone follows the same way of working, and therefore it is easy to figure out support issues. This is great for a low-skill workforce in a repetitive job.

The second approach allows skilled professionals the flexibility to work in their own style. This is important because it means that the software serves the individual and supports their methods. They stay in their comfort zone and that reduces stress and thus reduces mistakes. In truth, this also reduces training, though not that training directly related to the software. If you have a dentist trained in Romania and another trained in Reading, then they’re going to do things slightly differently. You need a system that manages those differences, not one that prevents them.

We believe that most of the functions of a practice management system should follow that second approach. Pearl is therefore highly configurable to meet the needs of the practice. And wherever possible it’s also flexible enough for key functions to be used the way the individual dentist (or nurse) wants to use it.

So what is the best way to report UDAs?

Actually, it’s the way that works for that individual dentist. If the routine is to send the claim as soon as it’s closed then do it that way. If you want to do it at the end of the week, that’s fine too. So long as it’s completed within the NHS reporting period, who cares? Certainly not us, and that’s why Pearl supports every way of reporting a dentist can imagine whilst ensuring regulatory and procedural compliance in the background.

If your dentists and hygienists are individuals and you’d like further flexibility in your system and information about how to get it, please contact us.

Ben Baker
Ben Baker