01 Jul Tips for a predictable, positive, and productive workday
Patients may perceive a more positive experience on days when the schedule runs smoothly and the office milieu seems calm and relaxed. On such days, productivity may be improved, and the stress level of the dental team reduced.
Likely there are other occasions, though, when the office ambience may feel tense and uncomfortable. Some unavoidable circumstances for such days include patients arriving late for appointments, clinical personnel running behind schedule, or procedures requiring more time than anticipated. However, many such stressful circumstances are preventable.
Productive and smoothly run dental operatories do not happen by chance. The operatory schedule is generally tightly booked with specific times allotted for patient care, operatory breakdown, and preparation for the subsequent patient. In a busy and productive schedule, there is no time allotted for searching for missing instruments, restocking supplies during dental procedures, or retrieving materials from another operatory. Each of these “mishaps” negatively impacts quality time spent with the patient. Thus, treatment room efficiency and chairside organization are paramount to ensure a productive day, a manageable schedule, and a positive patient experience. Following are some clinical tips to enhance safety, chairside organization, and treatment room efficiency to prepare for a predictable, positive, and productive workday.
While efficiency and timeliness are important in the dental operatory, it is important that clinical personnel do not compromise infection prevention protocol and safety. A well-established and written infection control program promoting standard precautions for each patient must be followed. Even in instances where time is short, clinical personnel must not disregard infection control compliance to save time. For example, contaminated sharps may pose a safety risk to patients and dental personnel if handled improperly, and surface disinfectants may be ineffective at killing microorganisms if not used according to manufacturers’ instructions.