Keep Your Practice Fresh and Vibrant With an Annual Spring Cleaning

  • by Eric G. Jackson, DDS, MAGD, FICOI FICD, FADI
  • May 9, 2018, 09:40 AM

As a long winter ends here in Chicago, residents are beautifying their homes both inside and out. But the annual spring cleaning ritual need not be limited to our homes; we can apply the routine to our dental practices as well. Doing so will keep the practice fresh and vibrant year after year. Here are just a few ways this can be achieved.

Physical Spring Cleaning
Add annual spring cleaning to your existing daily, weekly and monthly cleaning intervals. Items on the annual cleaning list will vary depending on your office location, so customize it however you see fit. My office is a standalone ranch-style building, so much of the annual spring cleaning is similar to a personal residence. This wouldn’t be the case if I practiced in a downtown Chicago high-rise. My staff and I divide our physical spring cleaning list into exterior and interior categories. We keep a thorough list of tasks as well as a goal list for future improvements and upgrades. Whether you’re the landlord or not, I recommend you inspect and address any issues with areas such as the parking lot, roof or landscaping. Perhaps a good power washing of the building or walkway is in order. Inspecting screens and cleaning windows are always high on our list, as they are visible to both patients and employees. One of our most important interior tasks is the removal of all items from operatory drawers and cabinets and supply rooms. This allows a thorough cleaning and inventory. I find that, without annual spring cleaning, storage areas quickly become cluttered, inefficient and unesthetic. Going through everything ensures you have only what you need.

Virtual Spring Cleaning
Consider an annual spring cleaning of your office website and social media. Keeping your online presence clean and accurate is just as important as maintaining your physical location. Make sure that images are also current, especially staff photos and images of the building. Evaluate and update your content as needed. Once inspected and cleaned, consider a brainstorming session to see what avenues are available for online growth.

Emotional Spring Cleaning
Spring is a natural time of growth and rebirth. Consider taking a look inward and evaluating both the emotional and philosophical state of the practice. Are staff members happy and excited about going to work each day? Are you happy and excited? If the answer to either of these questions is no, begin brainstorming ways to improve morale. There are many possible techniques that might help, from team-building outings to daily stress minimizers like revamping scripts and standard day-to-day practices. Are patients emotionally content? How do you know? Patient surveys give dentists firsthand information about their patients’ experiences. Through surveys, patients can offer suggestions that may have been overlooked or underemphasized by the dental team.

Completing an annual spring cleaning within your dental practice is a fantastic way to make sure everything is functioning optimally and to clear the way for new professional growth. Physical, virtual and emotional spring cleaning techniques are only the start of this conversation. I am confident you will find more techniques that benefit your own office. Best of luck to you, and happy cleaning!

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