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Case Scheduling


Almost all of the features of DentaLab for QuickBooks (DQB) are intuitive and very easy to learn and use. We find, however, that labs that have not had experience in scheduling cases with software often need extra coaching to help them get started. This topic will discuss what information is needed, how items and tasks are scheduled for a case and the variety of possibilities for handling case management.

You will see there are very few requirements but tuning in to the options can lead to very efficient scheduling that serves to develop a case just the way the doctor wants it as well as assuring that it is returned in time for the patient visit.

To begin, DQB provides for several levels of case scheduling:

1) By Critical Dates for case received, case start, case end, case ship and doctor’s request date, in which the system sets the received and start dates to the current date (allowing overrides), the user enters the doctor’s request date based on the prescription or a lab standard, then also enters the start, end and ship date.

2) Automatic Scheduling, based on work center daily unit limits, schedule factors for difficulty/time and existing workloads, is the recommended method for greatest efficiency and for scheduling by task steps, rather than the whole case. The task steps can be very broad or very detailed or anything in between. This method sets the above Critical Dates for starting, ending and shipping.

3) Manual Scheduling by the user, recommended only for special circumstances and adjustments, as this is the most time-consuming. Manual adjustments can also take place after automatic scheduling.

Preliminary Information Setups

Before one can enter and schedule cases, there are several required tables of information that need to be setup. In addition, optional tables of case-related information can be entered to provide for management control and speedier case entry.

The required tables are:

Customers: the basic information needed for billing customers is established in QuickBooks and includes essentials such as name and address plus terms, taxation, payment methods, ship method. Then in DQB, additional information can be added such as standard days to ship, doctor preferences by work center and/or item.

If working with group practices with multiple doctors under a billing account, you can also setup QuickBooks jobs for each one with separate shipping addresses. In DQB, each doctor in a group practice will be treated as a separate customer with their own preferences and case tracking.

Items: the basic item names, descriptions, type and default price are established in QuickBooks. In addition, you can setup price levels for special pricing by item or percentage in DQB and assign a price level to a customer. Also in DQB, you can assign a default work center, technician, and/or schedule factor to an item.

Work Centers: this is the entity for which you will establish daily unit limits and track cases. It can include one technician or multiple technicians, be considered a major department or a sub-department, it can be another lab to which you assign work, or an outsource company that performs all or part of the work. When assigning daily units limits and schedule factors, you can establish your own measure for a unit such as a minute or tenth/hour, quarter/hour or any other interval of time.

Note that if you plan to assign technicians or implement barcoded technician productivity, you would also establish Employees in QuickBooks.

Prior to entering your first case, you should also review the Case and Invoice Settings under DQB Options to determine if you wish to change any of the default settings. In the Holidays option, you can select holidays and other non-workdays on which you do not want to schedule work.

Optional tables:

Case Status

Case Type Holidays/Non-Workdays Lab Notes Price Levels

Quality Control Issues

Ship Methods

Standard Procedures

Tooth Numbers Tooth Shades

Each of the optional tables serves a very good purpose for dental laboratories and you can choose whichever ones you would like to use.

We highly recommend the use of standard procedures, which define tasks by work center, item, and time, for the best management control and for speed when entering cases. Details and samples for these and other optional tables can be found in the DQB user manual available from Help in the menu.

Case Entry and Scheduling

When you receive a prescription or work order for a new case, you can elect to enter its information from one of these places in the Cases menu:

Case List and Actions

New Case

The Customer List will automatically be shown. You can also request customers by name, account, and various criteria as well as the alphabetic index. From here you can highlight the selected customer and double click to begin creation of a case record.

From QuickBooks, the customer's credit limit and current balance will be examined by DentaLab for QuickBooks. If the balance exceeds the limit, an alert message will be displayed.

Near the top of the screen are the Critical Dates. The enter/received date and start date are automatically set to the current date, but may be overwritten. You enter the doctor’s request date based on the prescription or your standard lab turnaround time. If not automatically scheduling, you would set the start, end and ship dates.

The New Case Entry process is broken down in steps aligned with these tabbed pages on the Case Entry form. You can choose the ones you want to use:

  • General Information

  • Add Items

  • Add Enclosures

  • Preferences by Work Center, by Item

  • Images

  • Case Plans

  • Materials

  • Purchase Order

  • Documents

  • Technician Notes

It is in the Add Items tab that you build your case by selecting one or more standard procedures and/or one or more items. When appropriate, you can also select quality control issues and assign technicians. The case will appear in the grid. From the grid, you can double-click any item to fine-tune it in any way or right-click to stop scheduling or rolldown a changed schedule.

When the case items have been specified and you are ready to schedule, simply click the Schedule button. After the case is automatically scheduled, you can still fine-tune it if you wish. We recommend that you use the automatic schedule option for the greatest speed and efficiency. The system will examine the master schedule by work center and date to find the earliest date with availability to complete the item. The system will bypass dates that:

  • are established as non-workdays in the Holiday table

  • are Saturday and Sunday dates unless specified as workdays in the Company table

  • do not have a sufficient number of units available when the system reviews the number already scheduled vs the maximum limit.

To determine the number of units to schedule, the quantity or units entered will be multiplied by the schedule factor for the item. The default schedule factor is set to 1, but may be changed either in the item master record or at case entry. If the schedule factor is set to 0 (zero), this will result in no scheduled units being added to the schedule master for the item.

Note that you can also reschedule items or mark them as completed from the Master Scheduler or from the Extra Time Cases grid. From Basic Lists-Work Center or the Master Scheduler, you can also fine-tune the daily limits by date or by week.

Once scheduled, here are some of the additional options available to you.

  • Mark Cases for Try-in/Finished

  • Reactivate a Case

  • Mark Items Complete

  • Place a Case on Hold

  • Show Work Ticket

  • Print Work Ticket

  • Case Materials Disclosure

  • Invoice Case

  • Show Invoice

  • Print Invoice

  • Delete Case

  • Create Purchase Order

  • Scan barcode for case tracking, technician productivity

Case Forms, Queries and Reports

Both from the Cases menu and the Reports Center, a large number of case-related reports are available for which you can select your own dates and other criteria. Many of these reports are available in both detailed and summary formats. Typically the reports are shown on the screen and/or printed, but from each report you can also select from a list of additional formats such as Adobe Portable Data Format (PDF), Excel, CSV.

From the Case List, you can also quickly retrieve cases through the Find options by date, doctor, patient and a host of other criteria.

The forms related to cases include:

Work Tickets Case Labels Quality Control Feedback

Case Invoices

Case Materials Disclosure

In addition to the standard choices provided by the system, customization is available for all forms and reports.

If you have further questions…

You can contact the support team at Mainstreet Systems at:

Voice : 215-256-4535 Fax: 215-256-1594 Email: Skype: mainstreet-systems Web:

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