– Dr Nupur Shrirao, Dr Rockson Samuel
Since you’ve read the entire book, here’s a small test sheet to self-evaluate your understanding of the same! So grab a pen and paper and answer what you feel is right. This paper can then be your checklist for making your own dream team!
1. Who should be included in the team for each case?
2. How will mutual understanding and professional continuity be ensured when narrow specialists carry out their work areas?
3. How to take into account the psychological compatibility of colleagues?
4. Who will take responsibility for the overall performance?
5. Who should supervise the material stocks, biomedical waste clearance, patient registrations and smooth functioning?
6. Who should know everything about a patient?
7. Who diagnoses and plans the examination and treatment of the patient?
8. Who is responsible for the quality of treatment?
9. Who should the patient contact in case of problems during and after treatment?
10. What if the team members disagree with diagnosis and distribution of tasks between specialists?
Answer 1. The team for each case will consist of a dentist, a technician, a dental assistant, a dental receptionist, and a billing office manager. If the dentist is dealing with a complex case, he may want to bring in a specialist. The team is responsible for ensuring that each patient is well cared for and that all procedures are performed in accordance with current standards of care.
There must be one person who knows everything about all cases, and that must be the leader or principal dentist. In case of a multidisciplinary case, the opinion of the leader should be taken on by one of the consultants.
Answer 2. The biggest problem with dental health care is that it has been fragmented. This means that many different people are carrying out the same job. It is very important that there is a continuity of care between a dentist and a specialist. If a patient sees a dentist for one reason, then they should see the dentist for the same reason every time. The best way to ensure this continuity of care is to have a dental practice that is owned by a group of specialists and led by a principal dentist.
Answer 3. It's a question that has been asked for many years. The most critical thing is to make sure that you have an open mind. Be prepared to try new things and to change your mind if something does not work out. Regular group meetings and activities may help in getting different people on the same plate. Sparing a few minutes for representative celebrations of different festivals and staff birthdays goes a long way for psychological bonding.
Answer 4. The principal dentist will be responsible for the overall performance of the clinic. He or she will have the authority to hire staff and supervise them; also will be responsible for the daily operations and will make sure that they are running efficiently. The principal dentist will be in charge of the financial aspects of the practice.
Answer 5. A well-structured management is required to ensure the material stocks, biomedical waste clearance, patient registrations and smooth functioning. The following people should be involved in the management of the dental clinic:
- Principal Dentist: Responsible for all the procedures that are related to the dental clinic.
- Dental hygienist: Responsible for maintaining the hygiene of the dental clinic and the equipment used.
- Dental assistant: Responsible for cleaning the dental clinic and sterilizing instruments, which are used in the dental clinic.
- Office manager: Responsible for managing the office staff and ensuring that they are properly trained.
- Administrator: Responsible for keeping the records of all the transactions that take place in the dental clinic.
- Accountant: Responsible for keeping the records of all the transactions that take place in the dental clinic.
- Receptionist: Responsible for registering the patients and assisting them in finding the required service.
- Cashier: Responsible for managing the cash and cash payments.
- Security guard: Responsible for maintaining the security of the dental clinic.
- Dentist supervisor: Responsible for monitoring the operations in the dental clinic.
- Secretary: Responsible for taking care of all the administrative matters related to the dental clinic.
- Cleaner: Responsible for cleaning and maintaining the premises of the dental clinic.
- Maintenance worker/ technician: Responsible for maintaining the equipment and machinery used in the dental clinic.
Answer 6. It takes great leadership to build great teams. Leaders who are not afraid to course correct, make difficult decisions and establish standards of performance that are constantly being met – and improved at all times. The principal dentist (leader) is the one who should know everything about a patient. He should be thorough with the case and spend a lot of time with his or her patients. He will be the one point contact of the clinic for everything. It is the responsibility of the specialist dentist to update the principal dentist about all of his/her cases during and after treatment. Effective team leaders ensure that team morale remains high and that workers are motivated to perform well.
Answer 7. Diagnosis, and the plan of examination and treatment must be done by the concerned doctor to whom the case has been allotted, with the opinion of the principal dentist; or at least informing him/her of the same. It’s crucial that this dentist be knowledgeable about all aspects of the patient's health. This includes all medical conditions, past and present, medications the patient is taking, and any other information that could affect the patient's care. The concerned dentist should also be able to make recommendations about how to prevent future problems.
Answer 8. This is the most tricky question. The importance of quality is sharing responsibility for patient care. In a dental clinic, the quality of treatment is controlled/determined by the principal dentist. The principal dentist will make sure that each patient receives the best treatment possible from his or her team (Operating Surgeon). An operating surgeon or the specialist dentist is accountable for keeping the best records for each patient. He/she will always make sure that each patient is happy with their experience at the dental clinic, and that each patient feels comfortable, safe, valued and respected. An operating surgeon will make sure that each patient leaves the dental clinic feeling better than when they entered. To make things simpler, refer to the image below:
Answer 9. In case of any problems with appointment scheduling, the patient must contact the clinic’s reception and get it sorted by the receptionist, who will update the operating specialist of the same. In case of any problems with the treatment, the patient must contact the clinic’s reception, with a connecting line to the principal dentist. The patient should be placed in direct contact with the principal dentist, instead of clinic managers or receptionists. The dentist will be able to address any issues that may arise in a scientific manner and help keep the patient informed and calm. That is why, it is important that the treating specialist should update the principal dentist about every case. The dentist can also refer the patient to the treating specialist, if needed. The patient should never be left to deal with the issue on their own.
Answer 10. The dental practice must have a clear set of rules in order to be successful. A practice should have a set of procedures that the team members follow, and they should also be able to understand each other. They must be on the same page, and this can be achieved through communication. The team members must have a clear understanding of what is expected of them. In addition, they must know how to communicate with one another. They should be able to work well together and be able to solve problems effectively. They should have a clear understanding of each other’s strengths and weaknesses, and be able to work around these differences. The team members should be able to work together efficiently.
If you are the principal dentist and the team leader of your clinic, and the team members disagree with diagnosis and distribution of tasks between themselves, you will need to be able to handle situations. It is important that you have a plan in place in case of disagreements among the team members. The best way to handle this situation is to have a meeting with the team members and explain your plan to them. Then, make sure everyone understands the plan and agrees to it. If they still don't agree with the plan, then you should explain why the plan is the best one for the situation. You should also have a plan in place for the next step if the team members still don't agree with the plan. This plan should include the steps that you will take to resolve the disagreement.
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