In order to use some of PracticeDent’s extended functionalities – such as incoming mail sorting, X-Ray and IMS integration – you will need to install the PracticeDent Plugin. This is a small and lightweight application, whose main task is to help you make PracticeDent play nicely with the pre-existing software and hardware (such as X-Ray, DICOM viewer, IMS programs) on each computer you want to use.
Note that the PracticeDent Plugin is not required – you only need it when you want to be able to use X-Ray integration (DICOM), IMS integration and automatic sorting of incoming mail on a specific computer.
For the time being, the Plugin is only natively available for Windows operating systems. However, while we’re working on bringing it natively to OS X and Linux, it can easily be installed on any OS X and Linux machine with the help of a large number of virtualization programs, such as Oracle VM VirtualBox (free), Parallels Desktop (paid), and others.
In order to install the plugin, you will first need to log into your PracticeDent account, navigate to the “Medical practice” menu item, then select the “Settings” icon from the menu-bar on the left, and scroll down to the “PracticeDent Plugin” section. Here, you will find a button to Get the Plugin.
Once you click the link, you will be prompted to download a file – “PracticeDentPlugin.application” – which will then let you start a setup process. You may be prompted to confirm you want to install the application. One the installation is complete, the Plugin will start automatically. Additionally, a “PracticeDent Plugin” icon will be created on your Desktop.
Once you have successfully started the Plugin, you will be asked to choose a language, with which to proceed.
Next, you will be presented with a small window, entitled “Account”, which will prompt you to enter a Username and a Password. These are your PracticeDent credentials (email and password), and are required in order for the Plugin to be able to function correctly. Once you have entered your credentials, click “Save”.
Now, you will be able to see the Plugin’s icon in your computer’s notification area (the rightmost part of the task bar) – a small, white tooth in a green circle. This indicates that the Plugin is, indeed, running. In order to access its menu, just right click the icon; from here, you can access the Plugin’s basic Account, set up the IMS application you would like to use with PracticeDent, access the X-Ray integration setup, enter he Email Settings, or Exit (to turn off the Plugin).
The basic Account is simply your credentials – the Username and Password for your PracticeDent account.
The IMS application set up requires you to select which of the supported IMS applications you would like to use with PracticeDent. You can currently choose between DIgora, DBSWin, QuickVision, Suni and Trophy, and soon – many others.
Once you select the respective application, you will be able to launch it from PracticeDent simply by clicking the “Open in IMS” button in the patient’s profile.
The X-Ray integration set up requires you to select your DICOM Folder – this is the folder, on your computer, or in your network (should be accessible from the current computer), which your X-Ray uses to store images. Please note that the Plugin does not process previously existing images in the DICOM folder, only images which are stored into the folder while the Plugin is running.
Next, select your DICOM viewer – this is your preferred application for reviewing X-Ray images.
After that, you can select whether you would like the software to delete the source files after import; this means that the Plugin will upload the images from your DICOM folder into the PracticeDent cloud, making them accessible from any device, connected to the internet, and will then remove them from the DICOM folder.
You can also allow the Plugin to automatically create patients; this means that whenever an X-Ray is taken for a person who is not yet registered as a patient in your PracticeDent account, the Plugin will take all of the patient’s data from the DICOM file and automatically create a new patient profile in PracticeDent.
Finally, you can opt to enable standard image files; this option is useful if your X-Ray’s output is different from DICOM (which contain all of the patient’s information), such as PNG (which do not contain patient data). In this case, the Plugin cannot analyze the file to extract patient data, so it will either analyze the file name, or prompt you to select a patient for each new image file that the X-Ray produces. In order to allow the Plugin to use the file names, you have to set up your X-Ray to save images following a set of rules, which the Plugin will then be able to understand.
Once you enable standard image files, you can specify the filename pattern that your X-Ray uses to save files. The pattern should include at least one of the following identifiers:
#PID – patient ID
#FN – first name of the patient
#LN – last name of the patient
Also, you could use the * (asterisk) character if the X-Ray generates file names containing anything more than #PID, #FN and #LN.
If your X-Ray outputs files such as 123_Anna_Caspari, the rule you need to specify is #PID_#FN_#LN.
Respectively, if the rule you specify is #LN_#FN_*, then the filenames that will work with it can look like Caspari_Anna_blablablabla. The “blablabla” bit can, essentially, contain any text, as the * character means all characters are allowed. It’s useful if the X-Ray creates files with the same name, followed by consecutive numbers (e.g. Caspari_Anna_1, Caspari_Anna_2, etc.).
The Email settings will display all of the email addresses used by your entire practice. Setting up each email for use on your computer is straightforward – double click on the address you would like to set up, then provide the incoming mail server, username and password for the email account.
The Plugin only supports IMAP accounts, for the time being. When entering your incoming mail server, use “imap://” in case the server does not use SSL/TTL, or “imaps://” if it does (as you see in the image).
Note that, while you will be able to see all of the email addresses that your co-workers have set up in their PracticeDent accounts, you will not have access to their correspondence, unless you actually log into their PracticeDent accounts. That is, the Plugin only allows PracticeDent to access the correspondence of a given email account only when the respective user is logged into the PracticeDent website. That being said, you only need to provide the credentials for the PracticeDent accounts that will be used on that specific computer.
The PracticeDent Plugin does not treat all incoming mail equally. It analyzes whether emails come from existing patients by checking the email address of the sender. If the email has been sent by a sender, whose address is registered in one of your patients’ profiles, it will go through and will automatically be associated with that patient. However, if the sender address is not registered in any of your PracticeDent patients’ profiles, this email will not be sent to your PracticeDent account – it will be treated as an unrelated message, and you will only be able to see it by using your regular email client. Additionally, please note that the Plugin uses “push” functionality, so old messages are not processed – only those which arrive while the Plugin is running.
In order to see how to use Email in PracticeDent, read this article about the Communication Center!