What’s Behind Door #2? – Supply Organization

Episode 041

Have you ever gone into the office after regular business hours to see a patient and struggled to find all the items you needed? I have. It’s frustrating and inefficient. Today we discuss ways to reduce the need for a scavenger hunt when gathering supplies and equipment. All of that and more on episode 41 of Business of Dentistry!


More About This Show

Have you ever provided after-hours for a patient? Perhaps it’s been someone who needed an extraction and it couldn’t wait, or maybe a kid who had an accident playing baseball or football. I’ve been in that position many times before,  you probably have too.

And you’ve probably had a similar experience of not being able to find what you need when helping that patient, because your staff isn’t in the office. I have, and it’s always made me realized how much I need my staff to help me! They keep me efficient and effective, and save me a lot of hassle.

On today’s show I raise this topic because I wanted to share how we’ve organized our office to avoid searching for things when my staff isn’t there to help.

In my office we have three surgery rooms, and we have cabinetry in those rooms that are identical. We keep the same basic supplies in the same place in each room: gloves, equipment, gauze, masks, etc. By doing so we make our work more efficient, we all know the same things are in the same places in every room.

That’s one of my recommendations for you: keep the same things in the same places in your different office rooms. If you take the basics of what you use for each patient and put those in the same places in each room, it is a good way to start getting organized.

We also label our cabinets and drawers in the supply closet. By doing so we don’t have to open up everything to know where something is. By labeling each cabinet and each drawer, we know what’s in that specific area. We save ourselves time, energy and headaches by using this system.

And finally we ultimately created a master list. I had my staff make a list of exactly what we have in each room, down to the drawer and cabinet in each room.

For example, in our three surgery rooms, we labeled them Room 1, Room 2 and Room 3. Then I asked my staff to go into room 1, then label each of the cabinets as 1, 2, and 3. Next I asked them to label each drawer of those cabinets (1, 2, 3, and 4). Then we made sure we have the same supplies in each of those cabinets and the drawers.

Finally, I had my staff go in and document what is in each. Then I had them go into the supply room and do the same thing. Next we put a supply list  on the outside of the supply closet’s doors.

All of our office rooms are numbered as well. I had my staff make a master list of what is in each room, each surgical room and the supply cabinet. They made that list, printed it and put it in a 3- ring binder. So now if I’m looking for my CO2 laser, I open the binder and look for its location.

It definitely takes some effort to get this set up and to maintain it, but it has worked really well for us.

I’d love to hear if you have another organizational process you follow. And if you have an inventory system that works, I’d also love to hear from you as I am still figuring out that piece of the puzzle! Listen in to today’s episode of Business of Dentistry to hear the details on that and then shoot me an email and let me know what is working for you

Tweetable: Organize each operatory in the same fashion.

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