Summer Cleaning Guide: Simple Updates to Help Make Your Dentrix Database Run Faster 

Summer Cleaning Guide: Simple Updates to Help Make Your Dentrix Database Run Faster 

If your practice uses Dentrix, you know exactly how powerful a tool it can be in terms of the amount of patient data it can hold. Over time, however, the amount of data that is housed in your Dentrix database can grow so much that you start to notice slowness when attempting to access that data. So – how do you prevent these potential slowdowns? We’ll give you a hint – it’s something your dental practice is very familiar with: routine cleanings!  

So what all is involved with these cleanings? In this blog post, we break down some of the most common steps to take as well as tips and tricks to keep your Dentrix database running as quickly as possible. 

Cleaning Tip #1: Purge Old Appointments  

Appointments get stored and saved in your database from the moment your practice first started using Dentrix. If your practice has been using Dentrix for many years, that data can really add up. So how can you reduce the amount of appointment data stored? You can simply purge old appointment data within your Appointment Book that is stored on your system. You would just need to determine how far back you’d want to go. To do this: 

Step 1. In the Appointment Book, select File then “Purge Appointments.” 

Step 2.  With your cutoff date in mind, select the desired date. For instance, if you only want to keep appointments for the past three years, then you’d want to select three years and one day in the past. This way, any appointments scheduled before the previous three years would be deleted. Don’t worry – Dentrix’s Office Journal entry feature adds a time stamp for each patient that notes the date, time, and reason for the purged appointments. 

You can also repeat these same steps with unscheduled appointments. 

Cleaning Tip #2: Purge Exported Files 

Similar to purging appointments, purging your exports can also help gain speed efficiencies. Anytime you merge letters or export data from a Letter Merge, it dramatically increases the size of your Dentrix database. Not to mention these exports usually contain sensitive info that by deleting them, can offer more protection for your patient’s data. To do this: 

Step 1. From the Office Manager, click “Maintenance” and then “Purge Exported Files.”  

Step 2. Select the files you want to purge. You have a few options here. You can purge data files for Letter Merge letters and Quick Letters. You also have the option to purge text and log files from both reports and utilities. We recommend that you remove both types.  

Cleaning Tip #3 Setting Patients to Inactive 

Most offices have guidelines for what designates a patient as “inactive.” Most likely these are patients that have not visited your practice in years, nor have they responded to any efforts to get them to return. If you have patients that meet these criteria, you should set their status to Inactive.  

In addition to making your Dentrix operations faster, when patients are set to Inactive it also won’t allow them to show up in places like your Continuing Care Module, Treatment Manager, or other reports! Here’s how to inactivate a patient: 

Step 1. Pull an Inactive Patient list. Within the Office Manager, select “Reports” then “Lists” then “Inactive Patient List.” Make sure this list does not include any patients with future continuing care dates or future appointments.  

Step 2. To change the patient’s status to inactive, open the Family File for each member of the list.  

Step 3. Double click the Patient Information block and then update their status from “Patient” to “Inactive.” Repeat for until every member of this list has been set to “Inactive.”  

If you notice that the slowness persists, Dentrix recommends these additional steps to help.  

We at Pact-One have a couple more things we can do to help! For example, it might be time for a server upgrade. Your server could still be running older-style mechanical drives. If you are experiencing issues with your Dentrix Database, contact us today 

Written by Pact-One Technical Services Engineer Carlo Sanchez

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