Patterson Dental Article Archive


What is Fuse and how does it differ from Eaglesoft?

By Ann-Marie DePalma, CDA, RDH, MEd, FADIA, FAADH

Technology Advisor II, Patterson Dental


Q: I have seen information about Fuse. What is it and how does it differ from Eaglesoft?


A: Eaglesoft is Patterson’s Windows-based, server-based software. Fuse is Patterson’s browser-based practice management software that can be used across devices and platforms.


Designed by dental professionals, Fuse offers the best of Eaglesoft with the contemporary look and enhancements that dental practices are seeking. Yet, Fuse is not Eaglesoft on the cloud. It is a different software with the ability to view information from multiple locations or a single location. Whether using Smart Screens, Walk Me’s, the Clinical Timeline, or Imaging, practices have unlimited information that allows for better practice metrics and software optimization. Patterson has developed Fuse with dental professionals involved in the entire process incorporating users positive and negative feedback to develop a product that dental professionals want and need. FAQ 39341 provides information regarding hardware and compatibility requirements for Fuse.

Eaglesoft will continue to be a growing software for practices that want a server-based product. Enhancements are constantly in development for future versions. In fact, FAQ 4404 allows team members to submit Eaglesoft product enhancements that they feel would benefit the software so that the developers can review and possibly include. The latest software, version 21.00.18, includes the ADA 2019 insurance claim form and enhanced security. Future updates will include other requested enhancement suggestions.

Following HIPAA guidelines, it is always best to be on the latest version of a software to protect both the patient and the practice. Checking the Eaglesoft RSS feed on either the practice management or clinical home screens will keep you updated when new updates become available. Scheduling an Eaglesoft checkup with a Patterson Technology Advisor is a great way to review the practice’s goals and use of the software.

Since Eaglesoft is server-based, there are costs in acquiring the software and hardware and any related monthly IT fees. Fuse’s monthly subscriptions are directly related to revenue generating activity, including the number of providers and eService enhancements. Providers are doctors and hygienists and are based on full- or part-time status within the practice. Any administrative team or non-producing team members are not considered in the subscription pricing. This pricing model allows for flexibility as the practice needs grow. Fuse’s pricing structure allows for an insurance suite bundle, file storage and electronic prescriptions. Other electronic or patient engagement services can be added as well. 

Every practice and team are unique in its wants and needs. What is best for one practice may not be the best solution for another. Patterson now has two practice management solutions to offer dental professionals that provide that uniqueness and customization that is required in today’s dental environment.

Contact your Patterson sales rep, the local branch, your Software Technology Advisor or me at to learn more about which will be best for your practice.

What are some best practices to optimize Eaglesoft performance?

By Ann-Marie DePalma, CDA, RDH, MEd, FADIA, FAADH

Technology Advisor II, Patterson Dental 


Q: What are some best practices to optimize Eaglesoft performance? 


A: For Eaglesoft to perform to its optimum efficiency, there are several steps that should be taken on a daily and weekly basis. Just like performing end-of-period processing allows for accurate information, performing system optimization provides the best performance for Eaglesoft and can reduce the number of errors or freezes that sometimes can occur. Always consult with your IT professional to determine the best practices from their perspective as well. Working with IT professionals who are familiar with dentistry and our unique requirements is important to maintain optimum system functionality and security. 

Reviewing the latest hardware and networking requirements for the version of Eaglesoft the practice is using is an important component of system optimization. FAQ 5073 provides the latest hardware and networking for Eaglesoft while FAQ 2119 offers the version requirements and upgrading checklist that should be used prior to any upgrade. For security reasons, it is always best to be on the most current version of any software. Beyond the checklist and requirements, daily and weekly maintenance of the server and workstations is important. 

For daily server maintenance, it is imperative to stop the Eaglesoft database engine prior to obtaining a backup. If a backup is attempted while the database is running, the files may not copy successfully and there will be an invalid backup. There are several backup options that are available from Patterson. Ensuring that all computers are logged out of Eaglesoft correctly and on the Windows screen will also assist in obtaining accurate information. Many team members do not understand the correct way of exiting from Eaglesoft, which can create issues for others. 

Weekly maintenance also includes doing a weekly reboot of the server. By doing this, it allows the server to refresh. Computers store information in short-term memory and refreshing the server allows for quicker retrieval. Once the cache or temporary storage gets too large, it can cause slowness, lockups, or other issues. This reboot also allows for any necessary Windows updates to be applied to the computer. This reboot, however, should be done outside of normal business hours. 

Workstation maintenance is as important as server maintenance. Shutting down or rebooting work stations weekly is key to allowing computers to perform faster. Like clearing the cache on the server, clearing the cache on the workstation improves functionality. Some IT professionals also recommend turning off workstations at night (other than any computers that will be used for remote log in) and restarting in the morning. 

Any third-party applications the practice utilizes are also set up for regular syncs or tasks with the practice’s computers. It is recommended to perform these tasks and syncs outside of normal business hours at a time when patients are not seen. Again, this helps with keeping computer and software functionality at its best. 

With the practice’s use of patient’s protected health information, it is imperative that the practice follow the most up-to-date standards for information security. Review FAQ 19885 to learn the best information security practices for small businesses. 

To ensure that you are running the most current version and to allow for any software-related concerns, Patterson offers support through phone, chat, emails, or FAQ. For a monthly investment, team members or IT personnel can contact the Patterson Technology Center for any software-related questions. If a practice decides not to enroll in support, any upgrades or questions are charged at the prevailing rate. 

All these steps will assist the practice in using Eaglesoft and their computer technology to achieve the best for their patients and practice. As a patient’s periodontal foundation is important to restorative health, performing routine maintenance on the server and workstations provides the foundation for all practice management functions.

Contact your local Patterson Software Technology Advisor or me at to assist or to learn more.

Let’s talk about insurance and Eaglesoft

By Ann-Marie DePalma, CDA, RDH, MEd, FADIA, FAADH

Technology Advisor II, Patterson Dental 


Q: How are insurance payments and adjustments entered? Can I submit claims electronically? 

A: During a walkout, if the patient has insurance either as a policy holder or family member, once the walkout is saved, the Process Insurance Window will open. Depending on settings within the software, for example to print now, print later, or send claims electronically, the claim will be sent to the claims queue. Other information in the insurance window includes the pre-authorization number, remarks for unusual services, or the narrative, and choosing a provider for the claim. Once in the claims queue, the practice can decide whether to print or send electronically as appropriate.

Insurance companies currently are accepting the ADA 2012 and the new 2019 claim form (which is available in Eaglesoft 21.00.18). At some point soon, insurance companies will stop accepting the ADA 2006 form, so it is advisable to update Eaglesoft to the appropriate insurance form. See FAQ #93 on how to change insurance forms. 

Once a claim has been submitted electronically, it will go to a clearinghouse. Patterson’s clearinghouse is Change Health Care (CHC). CHC reviews the information on the claim, making sure there is information in appropriate areas. CHC doesn’t know if the information is accurate, only that there is information in the appropriate spaces.

During the time when claims are reviewed, they are listed in the claims queue in Eaglesoft as “in process.” When the next batch of claims are sent to CHC, those “in process” claims move to the “open” status. If there are any issues with the previous claims, the report that is returned will highlight the issues for the practice to address. The claims that are rejected by CHC are returned to the claims queue and remain there until the practice addresses the issue on the claims. Once CHC approves the claim information, the claim is sent to the appropriate insurance company and will become “open” in the claims queue. Claims can then be tracked by date or insurance company for processing. Once a claim payment is received, depending on settings in file/preferences, the claim is closed and cleared from the queue. 

Actual claims for payment are listed in the open list as black while treatment pre-authorizations are in green. Based on practice settings, pre-authorizations are closed when the claim is submitted for payment. 

When an insurance payment is received, the practice opens the patient’s account, goes to the insurance tab, and makes sure the correct patient and the correct claim are selected. The total of the insurance check is entered, along with the insurance check number and other appropriate information. If this is the final payment on the claim, the checkbox next to the check amount is checked. Most claims are final payments. Occasionally, however, there are instances when there may be additional payment on the claim (for example, if the insurance company requests further information on a line item). The payment is entered based on each line item from the explanation of benefits (EOB). If there are any comments on the claim, such as patient deductible not met, or maximum reached, this information can be entered as a note in the note history with the “display note on account statement” checked to inform the patient on the next billing statement.

Once “save” is clicked on the insurance screen, if there are any adjustments to be made or secondary insurance to be submitted, another window opens to enter adjustments or submit the secondary insurance. 

Patterson offers insurance processing eServices along with claims processing including eAttachments, Real Time Eligibility, eClaims Connect, and Electronic Remittance Advice. Contact your Software Technology Advisor or to learn more about insurance processing and Patterson’s insurance suite of electronic services.

What are SmartDocs and how should they be used?

By Ann-Marie DePalma, CDA, RDH, MEd, FADIA, FAADH

Technology Advisor II, Patterson Dental

Q: What are SmartDocs and how do we use them?

A: SmartDoc is a document storage area that allows you to add, create, and save documents in Eaglesoft. Think of SmartDoc as an electronic filing cabinet. In an actual filing cabinet, we use folders. Within SmartDoc, the folders are called document groups. When information is scanned into SmartDoc, the team can put any information into the correct document group so that all the appropriate information will be easily retrievable rather than scrolling through the long list of recent documents. Documents in Smart Doc can be saved as Word documents, PDF files, Excel spreadsheets, PowerPoint presentations, or as an image JPG.

Many practices only use SmartDocs for patient information. On the Practice Management home screen under File/Preferences, the SmartDoc preferences allow the office to create and save documents in a variety of areas beyond the patient. SmartDocs can be saved in the patient, the providers, the practice, insurance company, laboratory and referral recipient areas of Eaglesoft. Patient SmartDocs preferences include statements (saved in the responsible party’s SmartDoc), letters, recall letters, walkout statements, medical histories, payment plan contracts (saved in the responsible party’s SmartDoc), treatment plans, and informed consents. Signatures can be required for payment plans, treatment plans, and informed consents if the practice so desires. End of period reports can be saved in the practice’s SmartDoc under practice information. End of period SmartDocs can eliminate the practice’s printing and storage of end of day, month, or year reports. Quick reports can also be saved into the practice’s SmartDoc. Insurance contracts, laboratory documents, and referral information can all be saved in their appropriate SmartDoc.

Any document that requires a signature can be saved in SmartDoc as a read-only file. Once a signature is acquired, the document cannot be edited or deleted. Any unsigned documents can be deleted by right-clicking on the document in recent documents and remove document. A document can also be renamed or put into a document group by right-clicking on the document in recent documents, choosing Document Information, and adding a name or document group. You can even transfer documents from one patient to another, should a document be entered in SmartDoc in error, by also right-clicking on the document and choosing Transfer Document.

Document groups can be found under Lists and contain EOD/EOM/EOY, informed consent, insurance, medical history, patient identification, and many other groups. The office can create any other document groups that are specific to their needs. Documents can also be exported from or imported into SmartDoc. Many practices also use SmartDoc for image storage in addition to using Advanced Imaging.

In creating a SmartDoc, a letter or document can be created from an existing document or can be created using the letter merge types and fields. A letter merge field allows the practice to merge information into the document such as patient name, address, date, balance, etc. The letter merge type will determine where the letter can be accessed. For example, a letter merge of “patient letter” will only be available from the edit person window and the patient SmartDoc. To learn more about letter merges, visit FAQ #20190.

Utilizing SmartDoc is a great way for the practice to keep track of documents including documents that patients can complete during their initial or continuing care appointments or that are uploaded from patient engagement programs such as RevenueWell, OperaDDS, or Solutionreach. As practices become chartless or paperless, utilizing SmartDocs is an essential component.

To learn more about SmartDoc, review FAQ #2015, contact your local software technology advisor, or email

Where can we put documents in Fuse?

By Ann-Marie DePalma, CDA, RDH, MEd, FADIA, FAADH

Technology Advisor II, Patterson Dental

Q: In our previous software, we had an area where we put documents. Does Fuse have something similar?

A: In Fuse, any document that is completed, scanned, or uploaded from patient engagement programs such as RevenueWell will be stored in the document center. The document center can be accessed from the patient overview screen by entering the patient’s name in the search bar and in the lower right corner of the patient overview window is the document center.

New patient registration and insurance information can be printed and then scanned into the document center as new patient forms. The patient’s medical history can be completed from the clinical area, health tab and will be saved into the patient’s document center. Treatment plans and informed consents can also be found in the document center.

Documents can be scanned after a one-time download of a TWAIN scanner driver, uploaded from the desktop or other file, or moved to another patient if the document was entered to the wrong patient. Documents can also be grouped into document groups or file folders. Document groups can be created in the Forms and Documents area of the business center and are accessible from other areas of the software.

The communication center of Fuse allows a central location to review and record conversations and all communication with patients. The communication center for each patient is available as a navigation tool, along the patient overview, appointments, clinical, and account areas in the upper right-hand corner of the header bar. The options from the header bar navigation include email, in-person, phone, text, US mail, or other. Choosing an option opens the communication center where patient communication can be sorted by newest to oldest or a date range, along with whether it is a specific account, insurance, patient care, or miscellaneous communication. Each category can be viewed independently, or all communications can be viewed. In fact, patient notes can be found under patient care of the communication center! The right-hand area of the patient’s communication stores the message center. The message center allows for team members to record any type of patient communication, whether a call, text, mail, or in-person conversation. A patient specific to do list can also be generated. If letters have been created in the Forms and Documents area of the business center, they can be accessed from the message center. An icon in the upper right corner of the message center allows team members to view the patient overview information without having to open another tab.

There are numerous ways to save documents into Fuse. For more information, contact your local software technology advisor or

What is the best way of handling insurance adjustments in Fuse?

By Ann-Marie DePalma, CDA, RDH, MEd, FADIA, FAADH

Technology Advisor II, Patterson Dental

Q: What is the best way of handling insurance adjustments in Fuse?

A: Adjustments in Fuse are created in the Practice Settings section under Billing, Adjustment Types. An adjustment type is then added, but can be either positive or negative. A positive adjustment type increases the patient balance (debits the account) while a negative adjustment decreases the patient balance (credits the account). To help distinguish between a positive or negative adjustment, it is advised to put a + or – sign in the description. Since most practices utilize Plans within Fuse that allow for adjustments to be applied at the time of service, negative insurance adjustments should affect production while a positive adjustment can affect adjustments or collections depending on the situation.

When processing an adjustment, click on the search bar and locate the patient’s account. Within the account window, apply adjustment. When applying an adjustment, determine if it is a positive or negative adjustment at the top of the adjustment window and choose the appropriate dropdown for the type of adjustment. A negative adjustment can be applied to any account member or to the entire account. A positive adjustment can be applied to a specific provider. Selecting a negative or positive adjustment will determine the type of adjustment seen in the adjustment type dropdown. Enter the amount of adjustment and note if appropriate. Adjustments will be applied to the oldest balance first, but can be manually entered and placed on the appropriate line item and applied.

The adjustments can be reviewed in either the account summary by date of service or in the transaction history by posting date. Posting date is when the transaction is entered into Fuse while the date of service is the date the treatment occurred.

Several reports can be reviewed for adjustments, including adjustments by type, adjustments by provider, and benefit plans by adjustment types. As in all reports, the report selected appears blank but then appropriate filters can be applied. A report can also be saved as a favorite report by choosing the ellipsis on the right of the report and can either be printed or exported.

For more information about adjustments, contact your local software technology advisor or

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What is the best way of handling insurance adjustments in Eaglesoft?

By Ann-Marie DePalma, CDA, RDH, MEd, FADIA, FAADH

Technology Advisor II, Patterson Dental

Q. What is the best way of handling insurance adjustments in Eaglesoft?

A. Depending on several factors (ranging from how Eaglesoft is set up to how the practice is wanting the see adjustments), there is no “best” way to set adjustments. Depending on how providers are paid, whether on production or collection, will determine the “best” way for the practice. Additionally, if a practice is working on true production or adjusted production, the setup for adjustment types may be different. Each practice should work with its accountant to determine the best direction when dealing with how and what adjustments should impact.

Adjustment types are found under Lists, General Set Up, Adjustment Types. Adjustment types can affect adjustments, production, or collection, depending on how the practice would like to use them. For example, offices will often use insurance adjustments affecting adjustments, while refund adjustments affect collections, yet every practice will view their adjustments differently as to how adjustments will affect their productivity and reporting.

An adjustment can be either a credit or debit adjustment. Depending on how a debit or credit adjustment is utilized, it will affect the patient balance and thus the outstanding accounts receivable. A debit adjustment should increase the patient balance while a credit adjustment should decrease the balance. FAQ #173 provides a reference for adjustment types and the area of impact. Depending on the type of adjustment and how it is set to affect productivity, the adjustment itself may or may not appear on specific reports. FAQ #173 will describe how a debit or credit adjustment will appear on reporting since some adjustments are designed to appear on certain reports and others not.

To ensure proper usage of a credit adjustment, select the type of adjustment from the adjustment tab in the account. Determine whether the adjustment is to affect adjustment, collection, or production (if correctly set up, this will be a default for the type of adjustment chosen). A note can be entered to further explain the adjustment, if needed. For example, a Delta adjustment may affect adjustments and the note may state the patient or date of service (DOS). If the practice is in-network with many third-party providers, it is recommended to have adjustment types set for each insurance company so that the amount of adjustments each period can be determined and evaluated. Enter the adjustment amount and whether it will affect line item, patient, or provider (line item includes both patient and provider while patient and provider only affect one or the other) and distribute appropriately.

For a debit adjustment, the practice will have the ability to age the adjustment (current, 30, 60, 90 days) and select an appropriate provider to which to apply the adjustment. Like the credit adjustment, the debit adjustment can affect adjustment, collection, or production, and a note can be entered while making certain that the appropriate distribution is performed, especially in multi-provider practices.

For more information about adjustments, contact your local software technology advisor or

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Going from chartless to the cloud with Fuse

By Ann-Marie DePalma, CDA, RDH, MEd, FADIA, FAADH

Technology Advisor II, Patterson Dental

Q. Our practice was chartless in our old software. Now that we are using Fuse, how can we maintain clinical documentation?

A. In Fuse, there are several options for maintaining documentation, including the Communication Center and Clinical Note Templates. For information on the Communication Center see the information in the Patterson page on titled, “Where Can We Put Documents in Fuse?”

For clinical notes, a template can be created to allow for easy clinical note entry. From the business section, under chart, go to clinical note templates. Initially, a category must be created. Categories can include hygiene, restorative, diagnostic, perio, endo, crowns, or whatever the practice would like to use to classify and categorize the clinical note.

From the category, a template can be created. Name the note template and add a section. The entire note can be in one section or separate sections.

There are several ways to create notes that can be pre-populated with information for ease of entry. Pre-populated prompt areas include multiple choice, yes/no, true/false, ad-lib, link tooth, or note text. Depending on the information requested will determine the type of prompt that is used. For example, a multiple-choice question allows for additional information to be added and allows for multiple answers. A yes/no or true/false question simply requires one of the answers. An ad-lib question offers a before and after response. For example, with blood pressure, the before would be the systolic measurement while the after is the diastolic. Link tooth ensures that the tooth being worked on is noted as a chart note, while note text allows for free form writing of the note information. Any prompt other than note text can be required to be completed for the note to be considered complete and prompts can be skipped to allow for manual entry. Notes can be previewed, moved up or down, or deleted prior to saving.

In the clinical section of Fuse, the note sections and templates will appear on the left-hand side of the note area. Choose the type of note and complete as appropriate, click finish. If areas of the note have not been completed and are required, the system will not finish until the areas are corrected. Once finished, the note will appear and any manual entries can be added. After completing the note, click save. The user will have the option of finalizing the note now or keeping the note open for 1 day or 24 hours. Since the saved clinical note is part of the patient’s legal document, any changes are noted by drawing a line through the initial information. If the note is left open for 24 hours, the user can go back and make any additions or corrections as needed without having the deletion lines drawn. This allows for team members to complete notes as is best for them, whether during working hours or after work. Once the 24-hour period has elapsed, the note automatically is locked and is legal. Notes will appear on the patient’s time line as well as in the communication center.

For more information on notes or patient communication contact your local Patterson branch software technology advisor or me,

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What is the best way to write clinical notes in Eaglesoft?

By Ann-Marie DePalma, CDA, RDH, MEd, FADIA, FAADH

Technology Advisor II, Patterson Dental

Q. We are going chartless in our practice and there has been discussion about how to handle chart notes. What is the best way to write clinical notes in Eaglesoft?

A. If the practice is on Eaglesoft version 20 and above, in addition to Auto Notes, a new feature, Smart Notes, makes writing notes easier and stress-free. Auto notes can be used as templates to automatically add text to clinical notes without having to type the note each time. A Smart Note allows the user to use the Auto Note with prompts that can be prepopulated with responses. For example, during a Hygiene Auto Note, the hygienist must manually add or delete the type of radiograph taken during the visit from the Auto Note. When a Smart Note is added to the Hygiene Auto Note, the hygienist will only have to click on the type of radiograph taken from the pre-populated list, thus saving valuable time.

In order for all team members to access Auto Notes or Smart Notes, the security profiles must be set accurately. To ensure that all security settings are appropriate, go to the security profile settings for each security profile or if the practice has set each person’s security individually, go to providers/staff and edit the person’s security. On the drop down for the Show Security Zone, go to Lists Items/Setup and scroll through to allow view, add, edit, or delete as per practice protocols, Auto Notes, Note Types and Smart Notes. See FAQ #427 (Creating and Using Auto Notes) and FAQ #35354 (Create and Use Smart Notes).

Smart Notes are set up so that, when adding a new Smart Note, the following information is needed to create the Smart Note:

  • Prompt Name: The name of the Smart Note.
  • Description: This is an indicator that is displayed asking or stating what the response is asking.
  • Prompt Text: This is how the prompt will appear in the note to notify that a response is available to populate. The Prompt Text will appear as <>.
  • The individual response choices.

Once the Smart Note is created, go to the Auto Note and place the cursor at the point where the Prompt Text should be located and add the Smart Note.

Since many third-party payors are now requesting clinical notes rather than narratives for the claims processing, utilizing Smart Notes and Auto Notes provides the administrative team with the clinical information that is needed to process the insurance claims. Following the SOAP note format (Subjective, Objective, Assessment, Plan), the clinical team can create and use their created Auto Notes and Smart Notes to easily provide the documented treatment information in a timely manner by a few simple clicks. Auto notes can easily be edited to add any additional patient specific information that is not already prepopulated.

For more information on notes or patient communication contact your local Patterson branch software technology advisor or me,

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Creating buttons in Fuse to help make charting easier

By Ann-Marie DePalma, CDA, RDH, MEd, FADIA, FAADH

Technology Advisor II, Patterson Dental

Q. We want to make charting easier for our clinical team in Fuse. Can we create buttons for the team to use with service codes?

A. Yes, in Fuse, the buttons are called Favorites and can be customized for each user or the same for all team members. The Favorites are found in the charting section of the clinical screen.

In order to set up Favorites, one has to be in a patient’s chart (the practice’s test patient is always a good choice). On the right-hand side of the odontogram (tooth chart), click on the tooth icon (chart). Scroll to the bottom of the chart section and locate Manage. Click Manage and the Service Code list will appear. There are five blue dots at the bottom of the scrolled section that offer team members the ability to organize chart favorites by pages. For example, a page of service codes and a second page of conditions. From the service code list, drag and drop a code into the right-hand side of the screen. Individual services, Swift Codes, or Conditions can be added to the Favorites. To locate a code, a search can be done by code or service type. Once the appropriate codes are located on the right, click close at the bottom and the Favorites are established.

Once the Favorites are complete, a Group can be developed. A Group can consist of numerous codes, services, or conditions under one general Favorite. For example, all the hygiene codes can be grouped under a hygiene Favorite. To create a Group, at the bottom of the chart area and to the left of Manage, find Group. Click Group and Favorites can be dragged together and combined. When the first code is added to another code in the group, the user will be required to add a name to the group (for example, hygiene). Once the group is named, click save and close. You can add as many codes, conditions, and swift codes to a group as desired. A number will appear on the icon representing the number of codes in a particular group.

Once Favorites or Groups are established, teams can decide if the Favorites will be set universally for all team members or if particular team members want different options (for example, different dentists in the practice using different procedure codes). After the initial group of Favorites are set, any team member can log into Fuse and, in the lower left of the chart area, will find Import. Click Import and select the provider’s Favorites that the user would like to import. Any existing Favorites will be overridden with the new Favorite information.

Using Favorites is a great way to make charting and treatment plan effortless within Fuse. For more information about Favorites or Fuse, contact your local Patterson Software Technology Advisor or .

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What are Quick Pick Buttons and how do we use them?

By Ann-Marie DePalma, CDA, RDH, MEd, FADIA, FAADH

Technology Advisor II, Patterson Dental

Q. What are Quick Pick Buttons and how do we use them?

A. Quick Pick Buttons are a part of the Eaglesoft clinical chart module that allows clinical team members the ability to customize charting codes for the practice. Team members can chart existing, proposed, referred, or rejected services to the odontogram (tooth chart) to present a picture for the patient of needed work or existing dental treatment.

When the Eaglesoft chart module is installed, there are defaults that are automatically set up. Many practices stay with the defaults only, but others like to customize the buttons to their needs. Practice customization is one of the hallmarks of Eaglesoft.

If the practice chooses to customize, several steps will need to be taken.

First, review the current Quick Picks through the Quick Pick Assignment Master Report. This report provides the Quick Pick button information and all of the codes associated with each button. The Quick Pick button itself is usually the most commonly used service, while the codes on the button dropdown menu are codes associated with the common code. For example, the periodic evaluation button would have in the dropdown menu all of the evaluation codes the practice uses. Anterior and posterior composite Quick Picks do not have codes in the dropdown area since, when set appropriately, Smart Codes can be used. Smart Codes are easy ways to chart multiple services and different surfaces of a tooth (see FAQ #9862).

If the practice would like to change a Quick Pick button, the button is changed under File/Preferences and Quick Picks. There are 24 Quick Pick buttons; 22 are related to services, while two are designated for conditions as defaults, but the practice can alter these as appropriate. To change a button, click on the button number and the service code list will appear, choose the code and use. In order to unassign a service to a button, right click on the button number. When buttons are changed or unassigned, the dropdown menus remain and will need to be altered.

In the service code list, choose the service code to be removed or altered. On the right-hand side of the code, click on chart set up/button group. If the code is to be removed from a button, select none. If added to a button, select the button group from the list. Additionally, in the Display Abbreviation, rather than the actual service code number, many practices choose to create an abbreviation that will assist the clinical team in remembering the code. For example, APro, for adult prophy. Exploding codes can also be added to the Quick Pick Buttons either on the button they are related to or a separate exploding code button. Exploding codes are assigned to the Quick Pick button in the exploding code set up. Once the Quick Picks have been assigned the way the practice wants, it is advisable to run the Quick Pick Assignment Master and save it to the Practice Smart Doc. That way there is a record of the “new” Quick Picks. The practice can also do this with the default list as well.

When charting. the clinical team chooses the service code or condition as appropriate. Utilizing Quick Picks makes charting easier and less time consuming.

For more information about Quick Picks see FAQ #129, contact your local Patterson Software Technology Advisor, or email

Do we have to run EOY in Fuse

By Ann-Marie DePalma, CDA, RDH, MEd, FADIA, FAADH

Technology Advisor II, Patterson Dental

Q. In our old software, we had to run end of year (EOY) to obtain accurate yearly reports. Do we have to run EOY in Fuse? What are a few EOY reports to run?

A. Since Fuse is cloud-based, at 12:01 am on January 1, it will know that a new year has started. The same holds true for end of day and end of month. There is no end of period processing in Fuse. However, reports can be generated to reflect the practice’s EOD, EOM, EOY information as appropriate.

With any report in Fuse, the report itself initially appears blank. All reports can be selected, or a category can be chosen. Categories include:

  • Activity
  • Clinical
  • Financial
  • Insurance
  • Patient
  • Provider
  • Referral
  • Schedule
  • Service

Once a category is chosen, on the left-hand side of the screen, the filters will appear, so click Show Filters. Filters allow the practice to determine the amount of information contained in the report from:
Providers or provider types
Patient types or status
Date range
Transactions by posted date or service date
Many other filters depending on the report chosen

A report can also be saved as a favorite by click on the (star icon on right of screen). Custom reports can be created as well. A custom report allows the practice to generate specific reports that are in addition to the built-in reports. To create a custom report, select “create custom report” at the top of the report screen. The practice will have the ability to determine the name, category, and description of the report and select any filters as appropriate. The custom report can be saved and viewed at any time with varying filters or marked as a favorite.

There are a number of reports that practices like to review on a regular basis, not only at EOY. However, any report that is created in order to have the information match, the exact filters must be chosen. Reports that will have matching criteria include:

  • Day sheet
  • Daily production collection summary
  • Performance by provider detailed and summary
  • Net production by provider
  • Net collection by provider
  • Adjustments by provider
  • Adjustments by type

Also at end of period, practice administrators like to review Practice At a Glance statistics in addition to the daily dashboard. The Practice At a Glance dashboard can be customized to view specific items, and there are several widgets that open to Smart Screens or to the actual report. Similarly, the logging on dashboard can be customized with appropriate widgets. If the robust reporting in Fuse is not sufficient, Patterson has now integrated Dental Intel with Fuse to provide further reporting information.

For more information about Fuse reporting or end of period processing, contact your local Patterson Software Technology Advisor or

What are best practices for end of year (EOY) processing with Eaglesoft?

By Ann-Marie DePalma, CDA, RDH, MEd, FADIA, FAADH

Technology Advisor II, Patterson Dental

Q. What are best practices for end of year (EOY) processing with Eaglesoft?

A. End of year processing can vex the hardiest of Eaglesoft users. There is much to be accomplished within a short time frame. However, with a plan, a smooth transition to 2022 can be accomplished. To that purpose, Patterson offers a video to review EOY process. In the event you want to get a head start on your processes, here are a few tips.

Prior to starting the actual EOY process, remember the EOD and EOM (end of month) processing must be completed.

Before processing EOY, make sure the file/preference setting for SmartDoc is set so that your EOM and EOY reports will be saved to the practice SmartDoc. Additionally, test the SmartDoc printer and set to Null (see FAQ #2014 SmartDoc Preferences and FAQ #19560 SmartDoc Printer Setup and Troubleshooting).

With the many changes that have occurred the past year with team members, there may be some who are no longer part of the practice. Inactivating providers/staff at the end of the year will remove them from reporting. It is advisable to remove inactive team members before processing EOY. However, in order to inactivate a provider (hygienist or dentist), one must have exclusive use of the system. To learn about exclusive use, review FAQ #5107 and for inactivating providers FAQ #260 will offer details on how to accomplish the inactivation.

In addition to inactivating providers, it is recommended to clean up expired custom hours for both past and present employees. Doing so will provide accurate OnSchedule goals for the new year as well as updating chair schedule hours. Here is the link to a video demonstrating the way to clean up individual custom hours.

If the practice is using fee schedules, insurance fee schedules take effect usually on January 1 each year. To ensure that the practice is using the most up-to-date insurance fee schedule so that insurance payments will be accurate, update the in-network fee schedule prior to January 1. Also, many offices consider updating their practice fees at year-end as well. See FAQ #10986 to update practice fees and FAQ #12470 reviews using fee schedules. As a reminder, any time the practice updates the practice fees, it is recommended to send the new practice fees to in-network insurance companies for evaluation and a possible reimbursement increase. If the practice utilizes coverage books, the coverage book can be updated during the insurance payment process. See FAQ #75 to learn about updating coverage books during insurance payments.

The American Dental Association updates the CDT codes every year. Dental codes are added or deleted and Eaglesoft can be updated to add the appropriate new codes. Eaglesoft has a utility that will add new codes, but will not inactivate any codes that the ADA has deleted. It would be the practice’s responsibility to inactivate the deleted codes. Before determining whether to run the CDT utility in Eaglesoft, review the updated CDT code listing with the ADA. If not all of the new codes will be utilized in the practice, it may be best to update the codes manually rather than running the utility. Contact the Patterson Technology Center to learn more about the CDT utility.

EOY reporting is vital to the success of the practice. Default reports are:

  • Coverage production
  • Provider productivity
  • Production by account
  • Referral productivity – yearly summary
  • Service codes productivity master
  • Service type productivity - general
  • Service type productivity – detailed

All of the default reports whether selected to print or not will be placed into the practice’s SmartDoc. Any other reports the practice would like to run at EOY must be manually selected. Once EOY is processed, all reports set back to zero. Review FAQ #39956 for information on running EOY reports and any additional reports that are suggested.

There is a lot to EOY processing, but the Patterson Technology Center and your local Software Technology Advisor are available to assist and guide you through the process. Here’s to a great start to the new year!

What are best practices for end of year (EOY) processing with Eaglesoft?

By Ann-Marie DePalma, CDA, RDH, MEd, FADIA, FAADH

Technology Advisor II, Patterson Dental

Q. What are ways a practice can engage with patients and improve insurance efficiency within Eaglesoft?

A. Communicating with patients in a variety of ways is an important step in reducing failed or no-show appointments and cancellations, as well as keeping both the restorative and hygiene schedules filled. It has been estimated that 40-60% of the restorative schedule comes from the hygiene schedule. If neither are booked, or booked and then have a high number of cancellations or failures, both the practice and patients suffer. Patients want to be engaged by their dental teams in a variety of manners. Today’s dental patients are technology-savvy and want to be engaged with technology. Text messaging, email reminders, online scheduling, and bill pay are areas that patients are looking for from their dental practices. Patterson and Eaglesoft have a number of options for practices to engage their patients in the perfect solution. Many team members are not even aware of the options that are available to engage patients while helping the practice flourish.

Eaglesoft’s eReminders are a simple way to reduce the amount of time team members spend making reminder phone calls to patients. This convenient service uses outbound messaging through phone calls, emails, and/or text messages to remind patients about upcoming appointments. It provides a bridge for those practices that want to try using electronic reminder systems but are not yet ready to make the leap into more sophisticated services.

Patterson offers a number of patient engagement options and collaborates with several vendors, including RevenueWell, SolutionReach, and OperaDDS to offer a practice a variety of possibilities that suits its unique needs. Whether RevenueWell, SolutionReach, or OperaDDS each may include online scheduling, telehealth, two-way texting, online forms that write back into Eaglesoft, online bill payments, marketing campaigns, secure email or chats, caller ID, or phone and online reviews. Depending on a practice’s needs, a vendor option can provide patients with engagement solutions that works best for them. Whichever vendor or solution is selected, the Patterson Technology Center (PTC) is the one-stop call for any Eaglesoft or vendor question, thus saving the practice time and money without having to make multiple calls or contacts.

Patient education is the hallmark of high patient case acceptance. Gone are the days of handing a patient a flyer and expecting him or her to schedule their treatment. Patients want information about their dental health or disease using technology … and they want it in a way that they can understand and inform significant others. Dental care is expensive and understanding the value of treatment is important. Using CAESY Cloud, the practice and patients have access to more than 280 multimedia patient education presentations that include 3D animations and videos. CAESY Cloud works seamlessly
with Eaglesoft and can be used for multiple patients on a variety of devices.

To improve overall practice insurance efficiency, Patterson’s insurance suite provides eClaims, eAttachments, Electronic Remittance Advice (ERA), and Real Time Eligibility (RTE), all for a single monthly fee. No more separate service fees and all are integrated directly into Eaglesoft without an Eaglesoft version upgrading concern. eStatements can also be added to send patients billing statements electronically so that the practice’s revenue cycle is seamless and paperless. Eaglesoft Card Payments can be incorporated to eliminate double payment entries, manual errors, and reduce reconciliation times by directly posting credit card payments into the patient’s Eaglesoft account.

With the increased awareness and state regulations regarding the opioid epidemic, Patterson offers ePrescriptions. eRx provides information on formulary-based drug coverage, enhances renewing of medications, and complies with EPCS (electronic prescribing of controlled substances). Each year approximately 1.5 million patients are injured by preventable medication errors and dentists using ePrescriptions use a standard electronic format that protects dentists and practices.

For more information about any patient engagement options or the insurance suite, contact your local Patterson software technology advisor or


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What is the best way to engage patients in Fuse?

By Ann-Marie DePalma, CDA, RDH, MEd, FADIA, FAADH

Technology Advisor II, Patterson Dental

Q. What is the best way to engage patients in Fuse?

A. Patient engagement is critical in today’s digital world. Calling patients to confirm appointments takes time and removes team members from a variety of essential practice duties. For example, RevenueWell offers a whole suite of products that a practice can utilize to improve communication with patients and engage them in the practice. RevenueWell offers Fuse practices a variety of options. From text or email confirmations to marketing campaigns, there are numerous options that suit a practice’s needs. Yet, there are some practices that feel the additional investment in RevenueWell may not be what they need.

For practices that feel RevenueWell may not be for them, Patterson offers Fuse Engagement, which provides the ability to send electronic reminders and recalls and receive electronic confirmations directly within Fuse. Fuse Engagement is included in the monthly Fuse support fee at no additional charge! With Fuse Engagement, team members can automate, schedule, and send email, text or voice message appointment or recall reminders from within Fuse. Appointment statuses are automatically updated with electronic confirmations. Team members can track and manage patients that have planned or confirmed messages right from the Fuse Engagement area. Fuse Engagement can help maintain a full schedule and reduce no-show appointments. However, it is recommended that Fuse Engagement not be used with any other patient engagement solution including RevenueWell, Weave, or SolutionReach. If the practice uses an online form, two-way text, newsletters, or email campaigns product, it is advised to continue to use that and not utilize Fuse Engagement. Fuse Engagement provides a simple built-in solution for reminding patients that they are scheduled for care or that they need to schedule.

Once Fuse engagement has been installed, an icon will appear on the left-hand side of the Fuse screen along with other icons such as patients and schedule. A reminder message can be created for patients with appointments and those without a scheduled preventative appointment but are due. The practice can determine which patient groups will receive a message. A patient can receive up to four messages that can be either voice, text, email, or any combination. The system allows the practice to determine how many hours, days, weeks, or months in advance of the appointment or due date to send the selected message. There are pre-populated messages, but any message can be customized to suit a practice’s needs. Once the message is created, the office can preview and, when finalized, the message is live to go to patients. There are also several available reports that can be generated including the patient history of messages and how a particular message is performing. All of these assist the practice in optimizing contact with patients.

For most Fuse practices, RevenueWell is the complete solution, while Fuse Engagement offers a simple approach to a time-consuming process. To learn more about Fuse Engagement, contact your local Software Technology Advisor or the Patterson Technology Center Fuse line at (800) 294-8504.


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