The first steps in a healthcare professional's journey are often difficult, because, besides the lack of experience, other obstacles can be found along the way, such as the doubts that arise when setting up your own office.
Many dental professionals, as well as medical specialists, often choose to start their careers working in clinics or offices of more experienced colleagues. This practice can yield good results, and help to gain more experience alongside a colleague, you can learn in theory a little more about what is necessary to manage a business successfully.
But there comes a certain time when it is necessary to put all this learning into practice and open your own office. As the list of questions is usually long, today we are going to help you with tips on what are the first steps you should take when opening a dental office.
Before we continue, we need to know: do you already use a management software to carry out your appointments? We invite you to get to know Ninsaúde Apolo, online software with features ranging from scheduling to digital odontogram. Learn more at our apolo.app website.
Choosing a location is the first step on your journey. When opening a dental office, it is important to check other establishments in the region of your liking. Regarding the choice of location, everything will depend on the type of service you intend to provide and who your target audience will be, which also directly implies your specialization.
In some neighborhoods, the service of a general practitioner may be more welcome than in others, but in some cases, there may be a lack of more specialized services. Another important point concerns the environment: does it have its parking lot or is there at least one parking lot close to the site? Is the location easily accessible? Accessibility (wheelchair ramps, for example)? Analyze all this carefully.
To make your final decision, you can take stock of information collected from the locations where you plan to open your practice. For example, how many clinics or offices similar to yours already operate in the neighborhood you have chosen or what quality of services you will compete with are some points to stand out. Also, observe what difference your practice has to offer compared to others existing in that region and how your future competitors carry out their marketing and dissemination strategies.
Here we will talk about the basic equipment needed to perform your appointments in the office, but we must emphasize that it is also necessary to research other items that will be part of your workplace, such as furniture and electronic devices in general, such as television at the reception and inside the service room, for example, as well as cabinets to store all your work instruments.
The first essential equipment is the dental kit. As the name implies, this equipment is a set of tools that the professional needs to perform any service, as it includes the following items:
- Dental chair
- Foot Control
- Equipment table
In addition to the items mentioned above, it is as important as it is essential that your office also has: radiography device, prophylaxis device, light box-under, curing light, dental compressor, vacuum pump, sealer, high and low rpm kit, bicarbonate jet/ultrasound pen and a dental autoclave.
It is important to remember that the items mentioned above are basic equipment to assist, but in addition to them and those already mentioned initially (furniture and electronics), there are also consumables, that is, glass ionomer, resin polishing paste, polyester strips, among others.
Develop a manual of routines and procedures
The routines and procedures manual is a document where you will detail the activities of your office. Some of the topics in this manual can be:
- How the organization of medical records and patient receipts will be carried out;
- How will the anamnesis form be used with new patients;
- Hand hygiene protocol;
- Protocol for the use of personal protective equipment (which ones to use in each office location);
- Office cleaning routine, containing the frequency and products used;
- Processing of articles with all steps of sterilization, instrument cleaning, and packaging;
- Preventive maintenance of equipment;
- Protocol for accidents involving biological material and first aid, as well as which service to look for and their telephone numbers;
- Pest and vector control program.
Secretary x Dental assistant: which one to hire?
Despite performing some similar functions, secretaries and assistants play different roles in a dental office, for this reason, it is not appropriate to hire just one person to perform both activities. Depending on the services provided by you, an assistant may not be needed right away, but it is important to hire a secretary to take care of the patients' appointments, confirm appointments and take care of the financial part.
When we talk about dental assistants, we are referring to the person whose functions are focused on direct care in the treatment of the patient within their office. The assistant can be instrumentation, care, infection control, and oral health assistant. Among the auxiliary functions are:
- Separate the instruments that will be used by the dentist;
- instrument the dentist during procedures, which can be surgical or not;
- Ensure that the dentist has safe and easy access to all necessary instruments, such as when performing maintenance on an orthodontic appliance;
- Perform the sterilization of the instruments used in the procedures.
Hire a management software
After aligning all these points mentioned above, to keep the office's activities organized easily and practically, as well as the appointments and medical records of your patients, we recommend that you use a management software such as Ninsaúde Apolo. The software plays a very important role in clinics and offices because with them it is possible to automate several steps without losing the quality of care.
Ninsaúde Apolo has features that will help you from the moment the patient schedules an appointment to the moment you perform your appointment, which implies not only issues such as anamnesis, medical records, and exams, but also all the financial part and the post-consultation. With the software, the patient will be able to schedule their appointment through online appointments, and the secretary will be able to confirm their appointments through automatic confirmation via Whatsapp or SMS.
The software also has a modern interface and a medical record with several features that will facilitate your services, such as the digital odontogram, and more several other tools. Check out more details in our article where we comment on the advantages that Ninsaúde Apolo brings to dentistry professionals.
And so we close another article where we hope we have helped in this new journey that awaits you!
Keep following the blog for more tips like these, and don't forget: if you are thinking of hiring a management software, contact us through our website apolo.app and request a demo of Ninsaúde Apolo.