Tuesday, October 8, 2013

A Couple of Ideas to Help Improve Your Office Efficiency

Today I thought I'd share with you a couple of ideas to make things in your office a bit more efficient.  These are just ideas that we use on a daily basis that we've found really do make a difference for the doctor and the staff.  I've also given these out in lectures over the years and have had good feedback from doctors and staff members regarding these.  I think from time to time I'll be coming back to this idea and sharing other tidbits that help make things easier.  Here's a start:
1. Have a morning meeting!  You hear consultants talk about this all the time and I think in some cases it has become trite to "have a morning huddle".  I never found  it very useful when I was a small, just starting out, 3 person (including me) operation.  However, as the office grew it became more and more important.  Now, with the size of the staff and the number of folks we treat on a daily basis, I can' t imagine functioning without it!  We're very lucky in that when I built the new office, I included a conference room that has a computer projector and screen.  We literally sit there every morning and project Eaglesoft on the screen.  We go through our entire day and make sure we are organized.  It's a great way to start the day and makes sure we provide the best care possible.
2. Keep a running list of needed repairs.  In a busy office there are always things that need to be fixed.  Often times they are little things like a handpiece hanger that is loose or a small water leak in the dental unit.  Those are the kinds of things that need to be fixed but you don't want to place a service call every time something little goes wrong.  We keep a running list of these "small repairs" in our staff area.  That way when we make a service call, the tech knows to check the list and in addition to fixing whatever the "big" problem is, he also fixes all of the little things while he is there.
We have 2 of these lists.  One for "dental" equipment repairs and one for IT repairs.  While we use Goetze Dental for both of these services, the same folks don't do those tasks.  The IT folks know to check their list too and we keep everything running smoothly.
3. Have a dedicated "air syringe" installed.  Often times your air/water syringe systems leak slightly and you don't even know it.  This can mean that instead of drying a prep before etching, you can end up with water in the prep.  This can result in less than optimal etching which cal lead to all kinds of problems.  This can also lead to a prep being too wet before applying the bonding agent as well.  Once again this can lead to problems with your restorations.
Then there is the problem of thinning the bonding agent after application & using clean dry air to remove the bonding agent solvent.  If your air/water system is spitting water then you are putting water into the bonding agent and, once again, that's asking for trouble.
The solution is to have a second air/water syringe system installed that is only attached to your air line and is not attached to water at all.    We call this "super air" in our office and it is a low cost and easy solution to this very common problem.  This *guarantees* you get clean, dry air every time.  It's a low cost solution and can be installed in a few minutes by a qualified technician.  Do your adhesive dentistry a favor and try this.  You'll be glad you did!

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