Unseen Clutter in the Dental Office

When people think of getting organized they are usually referring to the clutter that is stored on the counters, in the corner, on desk tops, and any area where it does not belong. Eventually there is no place left to work so they spend precious time, energy, and money getting organized. Everything is put in its’ place and there is now plenty of work area to complete tasks. To everyone’s frustration, within a few weeks or months, the clutter has returned. Why? Much of the problem is due to the invisible or unseen clutter that exists in the way we do things.
Invisible clutter is parts of our processes that take place, mostly out of habit, throughout a normal work day and we don’t even realize how inefficient or disorganized it may be. Since it is invisible, it is rarely recognized therefore it is rarely addressed. Rest assured, you can identify invisible clutter, remove it, and prevent the visible clutter from being an ongoing problem. Other benefits include increased efficiency and reduced costs.
The first step is to write out in detail the actual steps taken from the starting point to the finish point. There is a twofold benefit to eliminating unseen clutter. The first is you are finding ways to complete things more efficiently and less costly. The second is the creation of a written protocol for training of new employees that ensures consistency.
There are many ways to get from point A to point Z. You can take a direct route, or the highway, for the quickest travel time or you can take a longer route, the scenic route, which takes a little longer Toothache During Early Pregnancy but the scenery may be more enjoyable. The same is true with office procedures, although in the scenic route with regard to office procedures are often not enjoyable at all; they are frustrating.
Many office procedures take the scenic route because nobody was ever taught the shorter route or they don’t recognize that a shorter route is even possible. For example, let’s say your dental software can record both a dental and periodontal charting but each charting is housed in a different screen. Throughout the examination the assistant is constantly switching between screens and jotting additional notes on scrap paper for entry later. Why?
At first glance, it would appear that is the way it must be done. The only solution seems to be delaying doctors’ progress until the assistant has caught up on data entry. In fact, this was the solution used at first. Not many doctors like this option but they accept it because they don’t know or haven’t learned any other way. If someone takes the time to identify the invisible clutter in processes they will be able to implement solutions that are more efficient thereby increasing productivity and cutting costs.
The second step is to evaluate what and when every step takes place during this procedure or process and then find ways to group similar items together. A viable option for the above example is to reorganize the procedure so that everything relevant to the dental charting is completed at one time and then everything relevant to the periodontal charting completed next. This eliminates jumping between screens, jotting notes on the side, and it does not delay the doctor.
The third step is to try out the new process. Sometimes things look right and appropriate on paper but in the real world they fail. It is important to test it on the next patient scheduled or have a staff Colgate Shopsmiles Reviews member be the patient. My preference is always a staff member playing the part of patient. It removes anxiety and allows the office to communicate with each other while working out the new process.
Once everything is finalized, train the staff, and implement it immediately. Training is very quick when the staff is involved in the process of reorganization. You may not even have to take the time to train; it will automatically become the new process as you are working through it. Remember to keep a copy of this in your policies and procedure manual for future use.

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