Friday, August 1, 2008

Newsletter Archive- A Simple Spring Cleaning

Dental Office Waiting Area- EnviroMed Design Group
Dental Office Waiting Area- EnviroMed Design Group
A Simple Spring Cleaning can Help Ease the Stress of Relocating to Your New Dental Facility - AND Improve Your Practice Profitability

Mary Wiebusch, CDA, Practice Administrator

Whether you are ready to begin the design phase of your new office or still in the early research phase, the time is right to do a little “pre-move” spring cleaning! With very little effort, you can probably uncover visuals and brochures that you have forgotten about. You can also assess what is valuable within your current daily practice and what you should discard to make room for new technologies and products. You may discover inconsistencies within your documentation regarding comprehensive patient recordkeeping. A critical objective within spring cleaning is to promote a refreshed and renewed attitude regarding patient care. The goal is to bring passion back to your patient communication and education. The net result will be increased patient retention, case acceptance and increased profitability.
Our JP Institute Educators typically note numerous areas in every office that would benefit from a careful evaluation. The following areas should be evaluated during your spring cleaning…

Chart Analysis

Pull ten charts at random for each hygienist and doctor. Review the documentation or software templates. You may find that one or two key items are missing from all records. The number one priority is to discover what areas need refinement. The next objective is to formulate what is needed in order to make the refinements occur. As an example, if your team is spending significant time with case presentation and determines there is not enough time to include thorough documentation to support the comprehensive health of the patient, you may need help. When quality time is being spent on the clinical needs of the patient, reviewing pending treatment and other tasks are not completed as meticulously as they could be, a support person may be needed. Depending on the current size of your office and number of hygienists and doctors, this may be remedied with intermittent help from current team members or it may require a full time addition to the team. When carefully orchestrated, asset allocation of team members can be one of the most resourceful strategies in your business plan to increase efficiency and profitability.

Please mark each item listed with a “Y” for yes, “N” for No, or “N/A” if not applicable.
________Health History Update signed and dated at last hygiene visit.
________Health History Update signed and dated at last doctor visit.
________Periodontal Screening documented at last hygiene visit.
________Bleeding tendency recorded at last hygiene visit.
________Comprehensive Periodontal Evaluation completed annually on all patients.
________Oral cancer screening documented at last hygiene visit.
________Blood pressure recorded annually.
________Current Radiographs present in record:
________BWX (within 1 year of last visit)
________FMX (within 3 –5 years of last visit)
________PANO (within 3 – 5 years of last visit)
________Notes re: patient’s current co-therapy recorded at last hygiene visit.
________Informed consent prior to periodontal therapy recorded with a patient signature, OR
________Patient’s verbal informed consent prior to periodontal therapy recorded.
________Patient’s decline for diagnosed treatment recorded and signed, if therapy was declined.
________Patient’s current periodontal condition can be determined from documented data.
________Patient’s current diagnosed interval for hygiene can be determined from documented data.
________Treatment rendered reveals a patient with disease without a diagnosis and / or treatment plan.
________Patient has incomplete restorative or aesthetic or periodontal treatment.
________Date restorative treatment was diagnosed is documented.
________Clinical indications for restorative treatment documented. (Caries, fractures, open margins, etc.)
________Initials of provider recorded.


Evaluate all of the technology and equipment in your operatories. Ask yourself the following questions: Is this equipment in good working order? How often is it used? Do team members need additional hands on training to use this equipment effectively? Do you run behind when you use this piece of equipment? How can we improve our time management? Is using the equipment adding value to our patient’s experience? Are we increasing the clinical health and value of our services? Are we increasing case acceptance? Is this equipment easy and efficient to use?
This spring cleaning will assist you in determining if new or upgraded technology is needed or should be integrated into your new office design.

Co-Therapy Tools

How many gadgets do you have that get patients involved in their own care? Are they all being used? How much space do items that have not been used for more than a year occupy? Now is a great time to assess these tools and determine whether they are in fact valuable for patient compliance or just taking up valuable space. We all have our favorite gadgets and The JP Institute is no exception. Over the last 29 years we have been exposed to numerous co-therapy tools. The JP Institute maintains that the best tissue results and patient compliance is achieved with use of the Philips Flexcare power brush. You will dramatically reduce the space required to stock co-therapy tools by providing the opportunity for your patients to purchase a Flexcare. Patients will value this home care device because they invested in it, and many just like the technology of using a power brush. As an aside, power brushes are the absolute best co-therapy tool, and a must for any aesthetic dentistry.
Many offices choose to include the gift of a Sonicare to the patient who is completing a large restorative or aesthetic case. The brush, used daily, is a reminder of your office each time the patient uses it! Using the correct verbal skills is important whenever you give the patient a gift. In this case you could say “Mrs. Jones, we are so happy to provide you with this Flexcare power brush as a gift. We appreciate you being such a wonderful patient. This very special gift is one of the most powerful tools you can use to keep your teeth and gums healthy. Because you have trusted our office to support you with optimum dentistry, we would like to review with you what it will take to achieve your goal of a healthy mouth for life!” At that point you would review co-therapy, re-care intervals, and naturally any other treatment pending.


How many dull and over-sharpened instruments do you own? As part of your spring cleaning, be sure to inspect hand instruments, EMS Piezo tips, and micro-ultrasonic inserts. Do you have your instruments color banded with tray set-ups? Are you finding bundles of old, unusable instruments just taking up good useable space? Proper instrumentation is crucial to patient results and to the time management of your appointments. Expediting your appointment to allow more time for patient education and case presentation is the key to ensuring long-term patient retention. Proper instrumentation with well-maintained equipment will give you the benefit of both.

OSHA and Environmental Supplies

Deep down at the very back of the cabinet underneath the sink lives a plethora of opened sterilization supplies that were just the thing to use until the next best product showed up on your doorstep. Take an inventory of what you have, and then get rid of the expired products, bottles and jugs you are not currently using.

Visuals, Brochures, and Hand Outs

You are getting close to completing your spring cleaning project! You are digging through the last drawers and shelves that house a massive amount of patient education materials. As mentioned earlier, there may be some fun surprises waiting for you at the bottom of the drawers. That perfect brochure on implants that you had forgotten you purchased is waiting to be found. Once again, it is important to discern the value of the handout to the patient and to your practice success. If you are not sending visual documentation of the diagnosed procedures home with your patients, you have uncovered another missed opportunity of perceived patient value. Handouts of published articles pertinent to the patient’s diagnosis are also wonderful additions for those analytical types. A hanging magazine wall file works great to organize those loose articles that benefit patients understanding of the dental services that you provide.


Once you have completed your spring cleaning it’s time to celebrate! Your office will run more efficiently AND be more profitable. Another added benefit: you will have less to pack and move when you relocate or remodel! Enjoy the results of your spring cleaning!
Back to the Beginning: As you advance through the process of planning your new dental facility, it is imperative that you have a well-structured plan of action. Enviromed’s Start Up Kit is a great place to begin. Utilizing the experienced Enviromed Team will ensure that you design an efficient space while saving many dollars by preventing unforeseen pitfalls. The JP Institute’s expert, custom designed curriculums can assist you by maximizing your current profits and increasing your case acceptance that will allow you to have the practice of your dreams!

About the Author

Mary Wiebusch, CDA, Practice Administrator
Her passion for practice administration progressed from her 30 years of diverse talents as a CDA. Merging her strong clinical background with her experiences as a Program Director of dental assisting, she has become proficient in communications, case presentations and office management. As an experienced leader, coach and trainer, Mary has expanded her career as a trainer for The JP Institute, providing training in the ‘business reality’ of dentistry. Through the JP Institute, she offers solutions designed to develop a profitable and enjoyable dental practice combining clinical and practice management refinements.
The JP Institute offers continuing education training for the entire dental team. JP specializes in analyzing and refining practice philosophies, business systems, hands-on implementation of clinical skills, technology and product integration.

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