New Patient Protocol

Welcome E-Mail

New Patient Protocol

Do you have a protocol when a new patient calls your practice and is added to your system?  If so, is each step clearly defined to ensure every new patient has the same experience?  Do you have a way to ensure each step was taken with each patient?  We would like to take this time to cover features in the Dolphin Management 6.0 update which will save you time and provide your patients with a consistent experience.

New Patient Correspondence

This information is directly related to New Patients, but the concept can be utilized for virtually any correspondence you send to your patients and/or billing parties.   A few months back, we posted about the Dolphin Management Schedule Job Manager (HERE).  This feature has been in Dolphin Management for years, but the 6.0 update has made this an extremely powerful tool.  If you are not familiar with the Job Manager, please read our initial post and install it on your system (preferably on computer running 24 hours a day).

As you may be aware, Dolphin Management can prompt your team to add letters to the queue based on different events (like adding a patient).

You can do this by going to Edit>General>Patient Statuses and add a document to that prompt.

New Patient Added

This is a great option if you would like to send documents to your patients and billing parties.  Depending on the mail method of the receiving party, the documents can be physically mailed, e-mailed, or both.

New Patient E-Mail

You may want to create “pretty” e-mails with educational tools and download links for My Orthodontist.  With Dolphin Management 6.0, you have the ability to create “pretty” e-mails (HTML e-mails) with a few clicks of your mouse.

Go to Edit>General>E-Mail Templates.  When you select a template (or add a new one), you will see the option to format the text as HTML.


Don’t worry, you do not have to be a computer expert to setup HTML templates.  Your Dolphin software will do the work for you, in the background, while you design your e-mail templates.

In our New Patient example, we created a new template called “Welcome E-Mail”.  The template has our logo, links to My Orthodontist, information about our practice, and contact information.  You have the freedom to be as creative as you would like with HTML e-mail, so please have fun with this and post examples.



 New Patient Online Questionnaires

If you would like your patients to complete questionnaires at home (i.e. Informed Consent, Medical History, etc.) as soon as they are scheduled for an appointment, you can automate the process.

Go to Edit>Schedule>Appointment Types and find the appointment type you would like to initiate the Questionnaire process.  In this example, the New Patient Exam – Adult appointment type will prompt the user to send 3 questionnaires for any patient scheduling this type of appointment.

Appointment Type

After the patient is added and an appointment is scheduled, the system will ask the user if any questionnaires should be sent.  You can have the system automatically add the questionnaires without prompting the user by unchecking the box in the image above.

Automatic Online Questionnaire

If questionnaires are added during this process, the system will add an e-mail for receiving party to the E-Mail manager.  The user has the option to view any questionnaires that are ready to be sent.  In this particular case, there are 3 e-mails in the queue for the same individual.  Your staff can choose to send all three or you can delete 2 of the 3 e-mail messages.  This is a manual process at this time.

EMail Manager

New Patient Report

Some offices send each new patient, or billing party, an e-mail welcoming them to the practice.  In the past, if you wanted to create a nice looking e-mail it needed to be done outside of Dolphin, it was typically not personalized for each individual, and it was a manual process.  With Management 6.0, you can now utilize the HTML feature, DIRT, and the Job Manager to automate this process entirely.

The first step is creating a report with the information required to send an e-mail to all new billing parties and/or patients.

NOTE:  Your practice may need to modify these reports to get them to work properly.  The first time you run the job manager you will create A LOT of e-mails.  I suggest running the job right away (make the job run in 5 minutes) and deleting all of the e-mails created.

The “New Billing Party (Non-Patient) Added E-Mail List” report will pull the following individuals:

    • Patient is NOT Deleted
    • Patient is marked as Active
    • Billing Party has an E-Mail Address
    • Patient is in a New Patient Status (KEY)
    • Current Status Description is LIKE “New Patient….” (KEY)
    • The Billing Party is NOT the same person as the Patient

The “New Billing Party Added (Patient) E-Mail List” report will pull the following individuals:

    • Patient is NOT Deleted
    • Patient is marked as Active
    • Patient has an E-Mail Address
    • Patient is in a New Patient Status (KEY)
    • Current Status Description is LIKE “New Patient….” (KEY)
    • The Billing Party IS the same person as the Patient

If you would like, you can import these reports into the Dolphin Interactive Report Tool (DIRT).  You can download the Patient Report HERE.

Dolphin Job Manager

Once you have your report working properly, go into your Dolphin Job Manager and setup the Automated E-Mail functionality.

Type the name of the Job that you are creating, choose the computer with the Job Manager installed on it, and choose the Automated Email Messages task.  Click the settings button next to your task selection.

Job Manager Setup

In the setup screen, choose the report related to your task, to whom the message is meant, the e-mail template you created, type in your e-mail subject, edit the template (if need be), and setup the report to send on the date a patient was entered (exactly as you see it).

E-Mail Job Manager

You will want to tell the system how often you would like to run the report and queue the messages.

Job Manager Schedule

E-Mail Automation

Finally, you can completely automate your e-mail configuration by creating a job to send all of your e-mails in the e-mail manager.

USE CAUTION WHEN DOING THIS WITH NEW JOBS!!!  This process will take some trial and error…it is easier to delete unwanted e-mails than contact your entire database because you sent messages that should not have been sent.