b. Dental Appointment Systems. In all clinics, a central appointment system is
maintained at the reception desk. Most clinics are set up with CDA access in all dental
treatment areas (DTR).
(1) Central appointment system. The central appointment system relieves
the professional sections of administrative work and of answering telephone inquiries
about appointments. It also provides a guide for the receptionist to obtain
medical/dental records from the files in advance of the day's appointments.
(2) Individual appointment books. Individual appointment books enable the
dental officer or dental specialist, who knows the patient's treatment needs, to work out
mutually satisfactory appointments. Individual appointment books are normally kept by
those doctors providing specialty care.
(3) Use of both systems. In some clinics, both systems may be used, the
individual system for the specialty services and the centralized system for the general
(4) Communication. All dental personnel should be familiar with the
systems used in their clinic and in other clinics to which patients may be referred.
Dental specialists should inform patients of the appointment system in use so they can
cooperate in all matters concerning appointments.
c. Scheduling. Commanders at dental activities (DENTACs) establish the
policy for appointment systems. Management of treatment time is extremely important
to maintain maximum productivity. The dental specialist is often responsible for
scheduling appointments for patients.
(1) Definite time periods. In some clinics, appointment systems are based
upon dividing the day into definite time periods of 15-minute increments; 1-hour, 45-
minute, or 30-minute appointments may be given.
(2) Troop scheduling. In clinics where supported troops are in training,
blocks of time may be set aside for troops from designated units and scheduled to
coincide with periods of troop availability.
(3) Family member scheduling. In clinics where both military personnel and
family members are treated OCONUS, appointment systems may be arranged to
provide treatment of military and family members at different hours during the day or on
different days of the week.
(4) Advance appointments. Some dental clinics limit the number of advance
appointments a single patient may have. This is done to keep the waiting period for
appointments to a reasonable length of time or to minimize broken appointments.