To amuse myself I often time how long things take. One thing I frequently see in practices is that it takes a long time to get rubber dam ready – typically 2 to 6 minutes.
The usual problem is that the items needed to apply the rubber dam (the dam itself, clamps, applicator, hole punch and frame) are distributed randomly across several drawers both in the surgery and the sterilisation area.
As I asked last week, wouldn’t it be so much better if the set-up could be done in 3 seconds?
And again, it can be.
Simply create a box for the rubber dam. Then, setting up becomes a 3-second procedure:
Get the box out of the drawer, open the box. Done!
Or, better yet, hand the local anaesthetic to the dentist and do the 3-second set-up as he administers it.
That way you waste no time at all, not even 3 seconds.
One thing to watch though. You need a rule that states that the box is not allowed to be put back in the drawer until it is complete.
If you don’t have this rule the whole system will fall apart because items in the kit will not be replaced after use and the nurse will be back to the old system of collecting things individually.