David Ticzon, DDS, told MacCentral that his offer to make his self-built dental software available has gotten lots of response from other dentists and FileMaker Pro developers.
Ticzon developed an application to run his Mac OS-based dental practice, but had never previously thought about selling his dental solution to anyone, since it is never finished and is always evolving. However, with Dental Mac now in “maintenance mode”, Ticzon is considering giving it away to the dental community as freeware.
“I have realized there really is an interest in the project and I should continue development,” Ticzon said. “My current version does work, but there are few minor items I think should be improved before release.”
One missing feature: an actual account of patient insurance that is 30, 60, or 90-plus 90 days past due. This is one piece of the puzzle that has baffled Ticzon since he first started building his dental solution, he said.
“The way I solved this problem was to have a box which has folders that are dated in two-week intervals,” Ticzon explained. “As my office sends out claims to insurance companies, a carbon copy is placed in the current folder in the insurance box. As we receive insurance payments, we staple the copy of the payment to the carbon copy of the original claim. This method is an easy way to see which insurance had not paid on a claim. The carbon copy is a good method to prove to insurance company about what was printed on the claim; sometimes insurance companies want a FAX copy of the carbon. For example, the insurance company may claim that a signature is missing. The carbon copy proves that a signature was included.”
Electronic claims was another feature that he wanted to add, but he never got around to investigating the method of doing so. Plus, Ticzon had been hoping to move towards digital x-rays for his office, but hasn’t had the chance to see if he could find a digital x-ray that would work via USB, and then have the pictures pasted into the patient’s record.
The insurance forms that his office uses are the Delta Dental forms, which are on tractor paper. In fact, Ticzon still uses an ImageWriter II, used because said forms are a duplicate form. However, the artwork has been completed for a laser/inkjet printer version of the insurance forms, he said.
“I have sent in several claims with the laser/inkjet version without any problems with the insurance companies,” Ticzon said. “However, I still personally like the dot matrix forms. I am able to print walk out statements, regular statements, and treatment plans that includes the calculations of expected payments by the insurance companies.”
The dentist’s self-made solution offers a database for ordering supplies, which keeps track of when items were last ordered and the price paid. Also, items can checked off to remind users when we need to order them again. The database also provides an estimated total of what will be spend in the orders.
Regarding patient accounts, there’s a list of patient accounts. At a glance, you can see which accounts are past due. The accounts can be sorted in according name, balance, etc. Also, there is another database on which accounts are marked when waiting for payment from the patient.
There’s database for all deposits that need to be made. As well, there’s a separate database that makes a duplicated copy of all patient transactions, just in case something went wrong with the main patient transaction file.
Ticzon’s solution offers several levels of passwords “so the staff can’t modify or delete transactions that were done the previous day.” The dentist has one of the computers in his office as his “Doctor Computer” and protects it with a screen saver.
“The doctor’s password level is running so any modifications to a patient’ account would be done by me,” Ticzon said. “I strongly suggest that the doctor retains this password, so you won’t be having an employee tampering with the accounts. The employee computers are running OS 9 with the user feature on so staff can’t change the date or time of the computer.”
For each transaction posted, a note field is available. Phone numbers of patients can be dialed with a click of a mouse. An employee database is available in a “doctor level password” area. A message area allows staff and doctors to leave messages for each other. Plus, there’s a tax database for tax deductions, but Ticzon has never used this feature since he uses QuickBooks to keep track of all his tax deductions. He said he would probably remove this feature when the software is released.
“I guess it is time for me to hook up with a FileMaker Pro developer to work out a few minor details, then look into the legal matters of releasing the dental solution,” Ticzon said. “I do have a FileMaker Pro development version which would allow me to put out the dental solution without the need to have a copy of FileMaker Pro, but this would prevent the use of the dental solution on a network. Therefore, I think each user will need a full version of FileMaker.”
He said he would keep track of the e-mail address of all those interested in the product and will let them know the dental solution is polished and released. If you’re interested in keeping tabs on the product or helping Ticzon with the tweaking, drop him an e-mail.
What’s more, Dr. Bruce Rogovin uses and recommends a package called FoxTeeth, which is developed by a dentist in Cincinnati. The company is called Dental Solutions and can be reached at 513-829-8831.