Early in my career, my boss, a pediatric dentist, taught me a profound truth. He said, "Linda, every child who comes here has one thought in mind when they sit in our dental chair, 'When can I go home to Mommy?' " As a dental assistant, a dental hygienist and as a practice consultant, I have learned that this is true of ALL patients no matter their age. You may have good relations with your patients, however, the bottom line is that they would rather be out of your office as quickly as possible. Improving your clinical efficiency IS good customer service.
Here are four paradigm shifts which will improve your clinical efficiency:
Action Step: Take time to clean out drawers in operatories and store items in the sterilization area. Set up tubs with essentials for each procedure. Keep instrument sets complete.
Action Step: Do your research. Take a two-week time audit to determine your true CHAIR time. If you need help with this, check out an my e-book, Scheduling 104: Scheduling Efficiency With A Time Audit . It will show you how to take it to the next level with Doctor/Assistant time units.
Action Step: Get a copy of your state law, or go to www.DANB.org to find your state's options for dental assistants. Have a meeting with each dental assistant to create a training plan. You may hire one of the instructors from the local dental assisting school to come on her off-hours to train your assistant. You could ask your lab tech to teach them how to make temporaries or to pour great models. See if your favorite orthodontist will let your assistant spend time with them to learn how to make good impressions or to pour and to trim models.
Action Step: Make January the month to create or edit all of the clinical notes templates. If this is a new task for you, make it easy by printing out a procedure code frequency list for the past six months. Start editing your clinical notes templates with the procedures you perform most often.
Make January the month to focus on Clinical Efficiency. Get these four steps done and then look for my two upcoming blog posts, "Hygiene Clinical Efficiency" and "Emergency Clinical Efficiency" coming later this month. Do you use a feed reader? Subscribe to my RSS feed and never miss a post.
If you need help, we are adding Clinical Efficiency training to our services this year. Call 805.323.5041 or email me, [email protected], to discuss bringing Angela into your office. You will be glad you did!
(Download the attached file for the complete version.)
Drevenstedt Consulting LLC