With computers in the treatment rooms the dental hygienist’s role changes. With a computer and an electronic schedule it is easy for the hygienist to just make an appointment and avoid the need to walk the patient up to the front so they can wait in line to schedule. However the best part of Front Deskless hygiene is improved patient care. Who better and what better time and place to schedule the next continuing care appointment than the hygienist chairside, while the patient is motivated to improve their dental health. The hygienist knows exactly when the patient needs to come back. He/she also knows exactly how much time this patient will need, if they are a gagger or smoker who needs extra time or are they a healthy 21 year old who needs very little time.
Another great plus is that the patient is motivated. They are acutely aware of any problems the doctor or hygienist may have found. They are usually sincerely anxious to take proper care of themselves. There will never be a better time to schedule the next appointment. Compare that to the typical motivation a patient experiences when the little smiley elephant recall post card shows up six months later. The patient must still believe there is a need, after all nothing is bothering them, they must find time in a busy life and then make the effort to call and schedule. The old send a card and hope system will never be as effective as scheduling chairside when the patient is anxious to make an appointment.
Another great service for both the hygienist and chairside assistant is instant access to patient data. For example what do you do when a patient asks, “When is my husband due and what do the kids need done next?” With a traditional front desk paper based data center you can’t really give an answer. You can have the patient go up front, wait and go find all the family charts, look through them for the answers. With electronic data and chairside computers as the data center the answer is easy and instantaneous. The result is better communication, better service and ultimately better dental health for our patients.