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October 2017 Newsletter
                              developing clinical excellence
In This Newsletter
End Of Year Tax Planning
The Value Of An Exit Interview
National Orthodontic Health Month

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How Andrea can help:

· Sterilization review, design and implementation

· Basic and advanced chairside duties

· Clinical training system and manual

· Indirect bonding

· Clinical coordinator

· Verbal skills to encourage compliance

· Reduction of emergency visits

· Personalized clinical manual

· Inventory control

· Instrument set ups and organization in the operatory

· Implementation of your treatment plans

· Reduction of patients beyond estimated completion date

On the web

The end of 2017 is quickly approaching. This year seemed to go by more quickly than others! If you are thinking of purchasing new equipment for your practice, now is a good time to do so.  With some planning it is possible to evaluate your current sterilization area and determine if changes are needed for compliance with the current CDC guidelines.  If changes are needed there is time to get equipment ordered and placed in service by the end of the year.
A first step is a thorough evaluation of your current system.  One tool that is very helpful is the summary that CDC developed in March. 2016.   CDC has developed " Summary of Infection Prevention Practices in Dental Settings Basic Expectations for Safe Care and Companion Checklist". This document summarizes current infection prevention recommendations and includes a checklist that can be used to evaluate compliance.  You or your team can use this checklist to identify all procedures performed in their office and refer to appropriate sections of this checklist to conduct their evaluation. If the answer to any of the applicable listed questions is no, efforts should be made to determine why the correct practice was not being performed, correct the practice, educate team members, and reassess the practice to ensure compliance.
If you would like assistance evaluating your current sterilization system please call me to schedule your sterilization review and training. Together we can implement changes to gain compliance with the current CDC and OSHA guidelines.
The Value Of An Exit Interview.
So, you have heard the dreaded words "I quit"... now what?
Do you wish you knew what you could have done to keep a departing team member?
The exit interview with a terminating employee is your opportunity to gather information about what your office is doing well-and, what your office needs to do to improve.
Really effective exit interviews can give you that insight. They can teach you ways to repeat good experiences and avoid bad ones.  Many times, the feedback employees provide is positive, and when it's not, it gives you valuable insight on how to fix it for your existing employees and new hires.
Plan the meeting
It's a smart idea to meet face-to-face for an exit interview. Your employees will appreciate the gesture, and it will generally result in more productive conversations.
What to ask
While you never want the conversation to appear scripted, there are key questions you want to touch on when you conduct exit interviews. You should also ask some of the same questions across the board in every exit interview. This way you can compare answers and look for common responses.
Here are some important questions to ask:
1.    What caused you to start looking for a new job in the first place?
2.    What is the office doing right? Moderately right? Poorly? Very Poorly?
3.    How could conditions be improved?
4.    What would you do to improve the situation that is causing you to leave?
5.    How do other employees feel about the situation? The office in general?
6.    What isn't the office currently doing, that if it started to do, would improve things?
7.    What were three things you enjoyed most about working here?
8.    If you could change three things, what would they be?
9.    Are there ideas that you have that you wish you could have implemented while you were here?
10. Please describe the three best things about working with your supervisor.
11. What would you change about our new employee orientation program ? In other words, are there things that you wish you had known before or during the beginning part of your employment with our office?
Processing employee feedback
Nearly every exit interview should help you identify opportunities for improvement within the office. Look for patterns in feedback from outgoing employees to identify possible organizational issues. If you do notice a trend, take it to heart and suggest some actions that can be taken to avoid losing additional employees .
For example, if you start hearing that many employees have left because the job was not what they expected to do when hired, it may be an indicator that you need to evaluate your job descriptions and/or hiring practices.
Unfortunately, if you are learning improvement ideas or employee concerns  at the exit interview, it is too late to take action to improve or help the exiting employee. The best time for  an employee to discuss concerns , dissatisfaction and suggestions with the doctor or their supervisor is while they are a committed employee, not on their way out the door.
Make sure your office provides multiple opportunities to gather and learn from employee feedback, including employee reviews.  My next newsletter will help you develop and implement performance planning sessions (reviews) for your team.
End the exit interview meeting on a positive note. Commit to using the information provided to improve your workplace. Wish your employee success in their new endeavor. End the exit interview graciously.

National Orthodontic Health Month
When October comes around the first thing that comes to the mind of most is "trick or treat", but for orthodontists this means National Orthodontic Health Month.

National Orthodontic Health Month is all about creating awareness about orthodontics and promoting orthodontic health. This is the perfect time for your practice to interact with your surrounding community and patients to help them better understand the importance of what your practice does. It is important that those of all ages understand the health and lifestyle benefits of orthodontics.
As part of October's National Orthodontic Health Month, the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) is providing braces-friendly Halloween recipes and tips to help orthodontic patients and parents enjoy the holiday.  AAO members can download posters, coloring sheets, and artwork at  to post in their office, their general dentists office or at their local schools.
With Halloween everywhere this month it's the perfect opportunity to spread awareness in a fun way.
Here are few ideas for your practice:
-Host an orthodontic community health fair
-Distribute healthy Halloween treats
-Provide patients with healthy Halloween treat recipes
-Host an in-office orthodontic trivia contest
-Post fun orthodontic facts on your website/ social media platforms
-Host a pumpkin smile carving contest
-Candy buy back programs
I hope you all enjoy a safe and "spooky" Halloween ~ Boo!

Thank you for your continued support of my clinical newsletter.  I hope you and your team find the information useful.  Please visit my website and feel free to email me with any comments or questions. 

Andrea Cook
Andrea Cook LLC