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January 2013

DentaLab NewsJanuary 2013
from Mainstreet Systems & Software

FAQ  DentaLab News


January News

DQB Release 1.33 Has Been Posted:  The January release for DentaLab for QuickBooks is ready and posted on our website.   To check out what is new, see the list below.  Those who have an up-to-date support agreement can call for the current authorization codes when ready to download. 

No Increase for Support Agreement Rates:  For the support agreements, we have elected not to raise the rates for the upcoming year in light of the tight economies throughout the world.  We have been lucky that a substantial number of labs recognize the value of having strong responsive software support for so many of their business activities and in turn appreciate having a strong support team for their software.  If you are one of these, we hope that you will help spread the word.  

International News:  DentaLab for QuickBooks has been in use in ten countries in addition to its home base here in the USA.  We have just added another country Kenya and have been told that the CAD/CAM capabilities at this hosptial lab will serve eight more nearby countries.  

Winter Weather Alerts:  We have been lucky this month with our northeast weather and are currently experiencing a definite lull, but have no doubt that in the winter months ahead there will be plenty of snow and ice.   Should dangerous conditions prevent us from traveling to the office, we are prepared to serve you from our home computers and will be checking both voicemail and email.  Be sure to leave adequate information on your purpose for contacting us and how to respond to you.  

It's Time for Annual Reviews

Although these can be done anytime during the year, we particularly like to encourage all of you to have an annual review for your DentaLab software during January or February.  We have developed a list of topics that should be covered in the review plus we welcome any topics or issues you would like to address.  For just about everyone we help to assure that critical procedures are being performed properly, fill in gaps in knowledge, explore new possibilities.

If you wish and give us authorization, we can login to your computer for the review.  The typical amount of time for the review is about 2 hours and if not used otherwise, you can apply the no-charge hour(s) in your support agreement toward this.   Call when ready to schedule an appointment for your review.

Our Special Offers

For the remainder of January and throughout the month of February 2013, we are offering these specials:

1) If you purchase a license to the standard DQB version or two additional users at $600, you will have a choice of a 50% discount on one of the $400 supplements such as image scanning or email notifications or free attendance at the spring group training session.

2) Those licensing the starter DQB version at $400 will be offered free attendance at the spring group training session.  


  Easy, versatile software for the modern dental laboratory.

To Answer Your Questions

Q: If we did not mark all the items that should have had the medical tax device set on, do I have to reinvoice the cases that had those items after I mark them?

A: No, you can set the indicator in the item record at any time prior to the time you need to report and pay the medical device tax.  When the time comes, just run the Medical Device Tax report to have the system check which items are taxable and then tally the taxable sales and calculate the tax.  Note that there was a ruling from the IRS in December 2012 to change the basis for the taxation from 100% down to 75% of the sales amount.   We revised the report and have already sent it to those who requested it.   It will also be included in the DQB 1.33 release in January.

Q: We would like to track the progress of our cases through the lab and also measure technician productivity.  Would it be better to use barcoded case tracking or the new tablet app for workflow?

A: Each of these methods has its pluses, as well as some minuses.   Barcodes have been proven successful for many years since they are highly accurate as well as cheatproof.   In most labs using barcoded case tracking, the barcodes are scanned by a supervisor or quality control person when the work on the case item is deemed acceptable and complete.   This typically means that there is at least a slight delay from the time the item was completed to the point when it is scanned.   

In situations where more precise timings are desired, a tablet available to the technician can provide this with a simple touch to record starts, pauses and completions.   This, however, requires a greater measure of trust and discipline on the part of each technician.   Tablets also offer the advantage of having the case related information such as images, case communications and case plans right at hand and being able to enter technician notes on the case.   The technician can also view their daily assignments and a list of the upcoming case items scheduled as well as those completed.  A tablet can also provide for convenient access to the internet for a variety of purposes such as ordering inventory, training, research, and communication with the dental office. 

Please note that there is no reason why you can not have both in your lab.

   With the same look and feel of QuickBooks.

Color Definitely Makes It Easier

With the introduction of the colorful dashboard on the home page of the standard version of DentaLab for QuickBooks, we were struck by how much easier it became to check on the case workloads and trends for the lab.   In a quick glance, you can see if there are prebooked cases, how many on-holds and out for try-in cases you have, how many cases are late in meeting in their schedule.  Then throughout the day, you can see the progress of the completions against the scheduled units for the day, work center by work center. In the twelve-month graphs you can see up (hopefully) or down trends. 

Since we have multiple programmers performing the testing, we were also pleased to see the creative ways they created meaningful dashboards through the effective use of color.  When you first install the January update, there will be a default set of colors for each category in the dashboard, but we recommend that you take a few minutes to go to Options and then Dashboard Settings to establish your own set of colors.

There are other areas in DQB that also make effective use of color.   For the standard set of work tickets, you can go to Options/Case Settings and setup colors to correspond to each weekday for shipping.    We have also customized many work tickets in a variety of ways to achieve the benefits of color in attracting the attention of the technicians.

Also in Options/Case Settings/Table Highlights you can set colors for the Case List to highlight which cases are on-hold, out-for-tryin, prebooked, remake, and other statuses.  

Still another spot to consider color is in the invoices printed by DentaLab for QuickBooks.  Red to highlight invoice messages for the dental office has been a popular choice when customizing the invoice template.

If you have found ways to use color effectively in your lab, we hope you will let us know.  We would also enjoy seeing samples of these as well as your new dashboard.  An easy way to capture a screen is to use the Windows clipboard, pressing CTRL+C to copy, then going to Paint or Word or Notepad and pressing CTRL+V to paste, then Save As to your chosen location.

The DQB January Release

Here is what's coming your way in the January release:

Home Page:   New Dashboard with Six Graphs

The Home Page of the standard version of DQB will now display six case-related graphs.  On the left will be 3 graphs to reflect the current workloads:

1)    Case Counts by Status – this shows the number of cases for each of these statuses:  Prebooked, Open/In Lab, Out for Try-In, On Hold, and Open/Remake.

2)    Late Cases – this shows the number of units that were scheduled for the prior 30 days but are not yet marked completed.

3)    Scheduled vs. Completed % - this show the percentage of units scheduled vs. the current day’s limit and then the percentage of units completed.

On the right will be 3 graphs showing the trends for the past 12 months for:

1)    Cases Received

2)    Remakes

3)    Units Scheduled 

From the graphs, you can double-click on the bars to see greater detail.  In Options/Dashboard Settings, you can change the colors for the categories in the graphs.

Option to Specify Default Request Date 

In Case Entry, the Request Date is initially set to the Enter Date plus two.  Now in Options/Case Settings, there is a new option “Automatically Set New Case Requested Date” that you can check and enter the number of days.  Doing this will initially set the request date to a specified number of lab workdays, taking into consideration holidays and weekend, after the Enter Date.

The user may override the initial date if the prescription requests a different date or for any other appropriate reason. 

Case Alert Option within Case Communications

This new feature will provide an indicator that the communication is to also be displayed as a case alert in a pop-up window whenever the case is requested for viewing or editing from the Case List.

New Report:  Customer Assignments by Price Level

For each price level, this report will list the customers assigned to the price level.  This report is available in the Basic Lists/Print section. 

Revised Report:  Medical Device Tax Report

In December 2012, there was a new ruling from the IRS that changed the basis for the medical device tax from 100% of taxable sales down to 75%. The report has been changed for this ruling.

Revised Price Level Report – Alphabetize Items

For the Price Level Report, if the price level is by item, the item names will be listed in alphabetical order.

New Case Status:   Prebooked

For those labs offering advance bookings in their schedule, there is now an official prebooked case status.  Wherever there are options related to case status such as the Find from the Case List, options for color highlights, and reports by case status, the prebooked status will be available.   When the case arrives in the lab, the status can be changed from a selection box on the first case entry screen or by reactivating from prebooked to open/in lab.   The option for patient name matching for new cases has also been expanded to include prebooked cases.

Improved Tab Order in Case Entry

For those who much prefer using the keyboard rather than a mouse, we have improved even further the use of the tab key in case entry, particularly for working your way through the grids. 

Technician Incentive Pay Schedules

For those who use the Technician Incentive Pay feature (also popularly known as Pro-Pay), you can now set up the pay schedule in conjunction with a standard procedure as well as an individual item.

Image Scanning Supplement:  Backup Documents

For those licensed for the Image Scanning Supplements, the latest feature to store other case documents in addition to scans and the images sent from dental offices has also expanded the backup procedures to include these documents.

We are sometimes asked if we ever run out of good ideas for the system.   This sometimes seems true at the start of a new quarter, but somehow between our users and our staff plus continual changes in technology and compliance measures, the new ideas always roll in and keep us hopping.  


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GT Dental Aesthetics, Illinois

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