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    Running behind again?

    Brushing up on three areas could save time and energy.

    It’s true – there’s no stopping the passage of time, but there’s got to be a way to get it on your side.

    Does this scenario sound all too familiar? Hygiene needs an exam, the patient in room five can’t get numb, and now the CEREC machine is flashing red. As more minutes are lost, the office schedule is running behind again!

    As practice administrator, the clock can be a fierce taskmaster and is hardly your best friend. Sometimes things go wrong and difficult situations occur in even the most efficient practices, but the test is not what will go wrong. It’s how we handle these challenges when they do occur. It requires a team effort to overcome these mishaps and get back on schedule. How do we work together to help the doctors and team excel in clinical efficiency and recover the lost seconds and minutes?

    Related link: Own your time -- don't let it own you

    The center of most dental practices revolves around the dentist and the dental assistant working together for optimal patient care. It is critical to start by observing and evaluating the dentist/dental assistant relationship. The main objective of the dental assistant should be to provide quality patient care while working in harmony with the dentist to accomplish one goal, completing patient treatment. To do this there are three main focus areas that the dental assistant must become efficient in room setup, procedure flow and breakdown.


    Dental assistant room setup

    -Organize for efficiency. Highly used items should be at your fingertips in the operatory; if not move them within reach.             

    -Stock up. Before starting the day or at the end of each day, prepare and stock the room with all necessary items. Allow at least 30 minutes to do this.

    -Identical spaces. Working out of two rooms? Set the rooms up identically. Try the use of a bin system to organize procedures and materials for each. This simple step allows you to train yourself and others to automatically know where items are without any confusion.

    Related link: How to be more efficient


    Continue to page two for more...


    Julie Varney, CDA, RDA
    Julie Varney, CDA, RDA, has 23 years of chairside experience. She is currently the Practice Administrator/Dental Assistant to Brent A. ...


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