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    Posted June 30, 2014 by
    Los Angeles, California

    How Addressing These “7 Sources of Waste” In A Dental Practice Will Improve Patient Care And Reduce Costs

    Lean practice management is a management approach used by dentists and practice managers to eliminate waste in the dental practice. The goal is to create a lean business that contributes to lower overhead and increased profitability. Changes in healthcare reform, payer reimbursements and patient demand for care have prompted medical practices to adopt the methodologies of lean practice management and dental practices are no exception.

    “Until recently, dentists didn’t get training in business,” explains Kim Bleiweiss. Today there are many options to management training and coaching for dentists and their dental team. Dentists can now learn how to implement leaner and more efficient office practices by applying the principles of lean practice management.
    According to Bleiweiss, there are seven main sources of waste in the dental practice:

    1. Overproduction
    2. Waiting
    3. Unnecessary Transport
    4. Over-processing
    5. Excess Inventory
    6. Unnecessary Motion
    7. Defects

    Using these seven sources as a starting point, dentists can begin to look at specific areas of their practice and identify then eliminate inefficiencies.

    Additionally, talent is often underutilized. Something every dental practice can adopt immediately is a culture where the entire dental team is asked to consistently be looking for what is working well and what could be improved. That places a responsibility on every team member to identify any unnecessary steps in a process and eliminate them resulting in a change to that process. Changes to a process results in improved patient care and substantial cost reduction.
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