Anticipate Change

by Larry Emmott on June 26, 2008

in Management

Using advanced technology will change how things are done in the dental office. It will change the nature of some of the tasks. It will change how much time is required to do things. It will change the location of some tasks.  It will change the personnel needed. It will change how we communicate with our patients and it will allow us to do some things we could never have attempted before.

However all these changes are not revolutionary they are evolutionary. That is they will not happen instantly by themselves but will slowly evolve over time as the doctor and the team become accustomed to the technology.

For example, the first time the front office administrative assistant tries to make an appointment with the electronic scheduler it will take much longer than the old paper book and be very frustrating. In fact it will be awkward, slow and frustrating for several days and the scheduler will be begging the doctor to go back to the old book. After another month electronic scheduling will be easy and much faster than the old book and the advantages of the electronic schedule will be so obvious that the office would never go back.

After another few months the scheduling tasks will be distributed to others. Since it will now be possible to schedule wherever there is a computer appointments can be made by any number of team members and they can be made anywhere there is a computer, including in the back, chairside. Next you could confirm the appointment with a card or better yet an e-mail, which has the exact date, time and purpose of the appointment listed. Finally you could then do a computer search of the electronic schedule to evaluate scheduling effectiveness.

This is just one example of how the task changes, the people doing the task change and the location of the task changes. How we communicate with our patients changes and we can do some things we could never have attempted before.

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