SCDI Meetings in Denver

Posted October 19, 2016 by Dawn

The second meeting of the ADA Standards Committee on Dental Informatics this year was held at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Denver, Colorado. XLDent continues to participate in Working Group 11.1 Standard Architecture and Working Group 11.9 Core Reference Data. This year we were invited to participate as a voting member and happily accepted the invitation.

Our working group Chairman, Dr. Mark Diehl, unexpectedly passed away last April. Dr. Diehl’s most notable accomplishment is the work he had done to produce numerous standards and technical reports related to the architecture, data structure, and open implementation of the electronic health record. Most notable are the following:

  • ANSI/ADA Standard No. 1000,Standard Clinical Data Architecture (2001, revised 2010);
  • ANSI/ADA Standard No. 1027, Implementation Guide for Standard No. 1000 (2010);
  • ANSI/ADA Standard No. 1039, Clinical Conceptual Data Model (2006);
  • ANSI/ADA Standard No. 1067, Electronic Dental Record System Standard Functional Requirements (2013).

He was recognized as an expert in the science of clinical informatics and I was proud to have served with him on WG 11.1, 11.9; and, the recent progress we made on ADA Technical Report No. 1091 for Cloud Computing and Data Storage. Dr. Diehl will be missed and we will do our best to continue the work he started. During the Plenary session today, Dr. Amit Acharya was nominated as Chairman of the Subcommittee on Clinical Informatics and Dr. Terry O’Toole as Vice Chairman.

During our session, WG 11.9, which will define a core set of data to support the Implementation Guide for TR 1067, focused on narrowing the scope of the project because the group was not able to make much progress given the expanse of the undertaking. Dr. Mark Jurkovich proposed that we focus on the exchange of information based on current standards that already exist (i.e. X12 835, 837D, 270, etc.) and are successfully in practice to exchandawn-no-backgroundge objects of data, versus focusing on the monumental scope of interoperability. It was concluded that the working group will take a “bottom-up” approach in that we will start with a focus on establishing a standard core set of data that is typically exchanged during a referral between a general dentist and a specialist, for example. All of this will be done with the ultimate goal of achieving interoperability at some point in the future. Keeping this ultimate goal in our sights means that we will need to decide on the standard document or transport mechanism (i.e. HL7 CCDA format) so that we can begin populating it with this first core dataset.

With these meetings wrapping up, I’m on my way to meet up with Duane at the ADMC meeting….and tomorrow the ADA 2016 Exhibit Hall opens!

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We have a lot to celebrate here at XLDent!

Posted October 7, 2016 by Danielle H

Customer Service Week 2016 is wrapping up and we’ve had a great time learning from each other.

This year, each of our business teams hosted an open house for the entire company. A few highlights from the week…


Bingo with the Admin Team



Chocolate fountain with the Software & Training Team


Alexa & Katie are now XLDent Certified!


Even those who work remotely made an appearance

The open houses gave us an opportunity to learn about the contributions each team makes to the success of XLDent. We’ve shared a lot of laughs and taken extra time to appreciate each other.

Thank you to the XLDent team for everything you do to support successful dental practices!

To see more of what we’ve been up to this week, check out our Facebook page.

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3 Ways to Create a Happier Team

Posted October 4, 2016 by Danielle H

Happy National Customer Service Week! This week kicks off a time where we recognize the efforts and achievements of ourhappy-teamteam and say thanks. Specifically, we are focused on the theme – Great Attitude, Great Team, Great Results. The XLDent team is taking time to learn from each other, strengthen their skills and have a little fun along the way. We know that a happy team is more likely to provide even better service to our customers. Want to learn more about how to create a happier team in your dental office? Here are 3 ways to help you get started:

1  Say thank you

Ok… this is an obvious one, but, how often do you actually thank your team? Make it a point to show your appreciation on a regular basis and remember to be specific.

Don’t say: “Thank you for the hard work today!”

Do say: “You did an excellent job making Justin comfortable during his procedure today, thank you!”

2  Eat together

A Gallup Study from 2013 found that about 2/3 of employees would stay at a job because they had good relationships with their coworkers. When people have the chance to connect with each other socially, they are happier at work. So spend the money to provide lunch for your group once in a while. Consider adding in the occasional after-work activity as a show of appreciation.

3  Invest in people

All team members need to be given the opportunity to advance personal growth.  This can be especially challenging for dental practice owners. The nature of small dental practices and the focus on production time will force you to be more creative to fulfill this need for your team.

Start by engaging with your employees and learning about their educational interests. Ask each team member to think about educational opportunities that interest them. Then, schedule a team meeting to openly discuss the ideas or courses that each person is interested in. This is your time to listen so encourage the group to share. Finally, find ways to apply these ideas and offer new opportunities for your team. If your budget is small, focus on web based training opportunities.

While many things seem like a greater challenge when you’re a small business owner, engaging with your team may actually be easier. You have the ability to get to know each employee on a personal level. Use these ideas to create strong relationships with your team members. Your practice will be more successful (and profitable) when your team is happy.

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Meet Darin: Getting Started Coach

Posted September 22, 2016 by Jennifer G

Tell me about XLDent’s Getting Started Program.

The Getting Started Program was designed for dentists who are opening a new dental practice. We provide them with guidance and coaching throughout their first year in business. The purpose is to help them build a successful practice. This is completed through our five phase program…Plan, Build, Implement, Review, Grow.

As the coach, how do you get involved?

I get involved pretty early on, usually before the practice opens its doors. One of the most important building blocks to practice success is establishing effective electronic dental records. For this reason, the Getting Started Program begins with basic database and systems planning. I learn about the business owner’s goals and provide a roadmap for achieving them.

Throughout the program, we work together to review topics like marketing, scaling for practice growth and business systems. I educate practice owners on some common Key Performance Indicators and how to generate these statistics in XLDent.

Coaching meetings are conducted remotely, using phone and web conferencing tools. This makes it really convenient for the doctor – especially in the beginning when the practice is not open yet.

What are some of the KPI’s that you recommend reviewing?

We review new patient reports at each meeting to see the pace at which the practice is growing and make sure that we’re on track to meet practice goals.

Referral source analysis helps to identify the most effective marketing campaigns and helps the business owner understand their return on investment. This includes analyzing cost per patient acquisition and production values from each referral source.

It’s also important to measure patient retention and address recare scheduling workflows early on.

How does this program help dentists grow their practice?

Business owners look forward to each coaching meeting as an opportunity to analyze KPIs and plan for the future. While so many business owners fly by the seat of their pants throughout their first year, the dentists I work with appreciate taking time to focus on business strategies and look at the big picture.

What is your favorite part about being a coach?

Building relationships with new business owners is awesome. When they understand how committed I am to their business and that I’m going to be here when they need help, it’s very rewarding.

What has the response been from dentists going through the Getting Started Program?

It’s been really positive! The tools we’re providing new business owners aren’t just making the first year go smoothly, it’s helping dentists set the stage for years to come. Even after completing the Getting Started Program, I’ve received calls from dentists who want to share their experiences and successes.


As a Certified Implementation Specialist at XLDent, Darin works with new and established dental practices all over the United States. Outside of work, he loves spending time with his wife and four kids, especially getting outside and doing art projects with them. In the rest of his spare time he enjoys watching and playing sports.

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How to Setup In-Office Membership Plans

Posted September 20, 2016 by Danielle H

membership-planAccess to dental insurance is likely a determining factor for a patient to visit the dentist, especially when it comes to preventive care. One way practices are attracting the uninsured is by offering in-office membership or discount plans. If you’re considering doing so, read on to see how they work and how you can effectively manage them in XLDent.


Enrollment in the membership plan gives you a 20% discount off of your annual continuing care visits.  Here is what is included:

2 routine dental cleanings
2 exams, including oral cancer screenings
1 set bitewing radiographs (if recommended)

In addition, you will receive a 15% savings on all dental services.
Services that are not utilized within the 12 month period are forfeited.

Let’s assume your office fee for the continuing care visits are as follows:

Periodic Oral Evaluation $70 x2 = $140 annually
Prophylaxis $105 x2 = $210 annually
4 Bitewings $80 x1 = $80 annually

Total Annual Production Value: $430
Cost of the Membership Plan: $344
Annual Membership Discount: $86

Here’s how we recommend tracking this information in XLDent:

Step 1: Create payment, credit, and debit codes. For Example:

P10 Payment Cash – Membership Plan
P11 Payment Check – Membership Plan
P12 Payment Credit Card – Membership Plan
CR10 Membership Plan Discount
DB10 Membership Plan Debit

Step 2: At the time of enrollment, apply a payment code in the amount of the membership fee and a credit code in the amount of the annual membership discount. For most patients, this will result in a credit on the patient’s account.

Step 3: Create an Alert for patients that participate in the membership plan. Add the alert to Patient, Scheduler, Post Transactions and Treatment Plan areas. Sample: “Membership Plan Expires 7/11/17”classification

Step 4: Create a Classification for Membership Plan participants and apply it to each participating patient. This is optional, but will allow for additional auditing of membership programs.

Patients will carry a credit balance on their account until the production from their second continuing care visit is applied. Generally, this happens 6-8 months after enrollment. XLDent recommends that your office establishes the following procedures to audit Membership Plans:

  • Review Credit Balances (Monthly). Run the Accounts Receivable Report, select Credits Only (use the Print To Screen option). Use the blue hyperlink to view each account on the list. If you have a Patient Alert established, verify the Membership Plan expiration date. When the expiration date is in the future, simply close the Patient Record and move on to the next. If you determine that a Membership Plan has expired, remove the Classification and Alerts. Check to verify that there is not a remaining credit balance on the account. If there is a credit balance, resulting from unused services, apply a debit code in the amount of the credit balance.
  • Review the Classification Report (Semi-Annual). Review the Classification Listing (found under Listings – Patients By Classification) to verify that the patients listed have active membership plans. Patients who have used their membership benefits will no longer have a credit balance (and will not appear in your credit balance report).
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