There are many exciting new orthodontic "toys" on the market that will surely catch your eye on the AAO exhibit floor, but be practical as you decide what (if anything) to purchase and implement.
It often seems that we decide on a solution, and then start looking for an opportunity to use it, or we implement technology or other projects because they seem like a good idea.
The result is often the "tail wagging the dog".
The first question you should ask yourself is "What problems am I trying to solve? I often see new products and technology purchased, based on what may work for another doctor or from what the sales representative has to offer. This may not be the best solution for you, or even address the areas you want to improve.
When looking at products and equipment on the exhibit floor ask yourself these questions:
Will it improve my clinical outcome?
Will it help me attract more patients?
Will it provide a positive return on
Once you have found that perfect solution for your office make sure to get the following information:
What is the implementation protocol?
What additional equipment will be needed? Are there specific
sterilization instructions that will require additional or different
Make sure to get clear, specific instructions so your team can
use the product correctly.
Are there any additional expenses?
What training is available?
Anticipated time frame for implementation?
Implementation is the next key and often the missing piece in really getting the most out of your new purchase. Too many times, I see great tools not fully implemented (or not implemented at all) due to lack of time and training.
It's important to involve your team in the implementation of any new products as soon as you can. They have questions and you need their commitment in order to be successful.
Another common complaint from clinicians
is that "the doctor went to a meeting and brought home this new (insert product here), but never told me how or when to use it."
To help your team make best use of your new purchase they will need all the information on how and when to use the new product.
What is the name of the product?
What is the proper use for this product or item?
Who would be the best patient for this?
What are the manufacturer's instructions for care and
What is the proper disinfection/sterilization protocol per the
manufacturer's instructions for use?
Following the manufacturer's instructions how to use, clean, disinfect and maintain it will make sure the warranty will not be voided by misuse as well as put you in compliance with the current CDC guidelines.
If you do decide to bring a new item into the practice, I would recommend holding a meeting to train the team on the proper application and protocol. This will allow the product and the team to be successful. Sometimes an individual will find what appears to be a better way to accomplish a task, not realizing that shortcuts create other issues that may not be immediately visible. Remember, the product may not produce its intended results if proper protocols are not followed.
New products, equipment and technologies offer innovative options for our offices and patients. These will require an investment not only in the purchase but also in team training for successful practice integration while continuing to meet all the standards for infection prevention and sterilization
With accurate information and thorough implementation many of the new products on the market will help you and your team "develop clinical excellence".