How Do Colors Improve Your Practice’s Efficiency?

· 4 min read

Kay Hickey conveying advice on how to improve efficiency in workplace with text, "Real-world insights from AADOM authors"

As a dedicated dental office administrator, you’re always watching your bottom line to find ways to reduce overhead and increase revenue.

Let’s face it, office administrators and managers are crucial to the success of the dental practice.

When it comes to managing the records, financing, and scheduling, you’ve got it covered!

But, are you aware of the day-to-day struggles your clinical team faces that are costing the practice wasted time and money?

How to improve efficiency in your workplace

As a dental assistant for over 25 years, I experienced the firsthand chaos and stress that can occur when a dental practice is not functioning at its best.

In the course of my career, I worked with a number of practice management consultants. I have to admit; I learned a lot about re-care systems, treatment planning, case acceptance, strategic scheduling, improved collections, insurance processing, and more.

This is all very important and useful information, and we definitely benefitted from it.

But looking back, there was one key component that was always missing from the consultant’s message that would have made such a difference in the way we practiced dentistry.

The lack of good clinical systems directly impacts your performance at the front desk and the practice’s overall success.

Learn from my past

I recall one management consultant suggested that we explore ways to reduce chair-time from our procedures. The goal was to get more patients in the schedule per day to increase production and therefore add more revenue.

So, based on her direction, we started double booking, piggy-backing patients, and re-worked the schedule to cut significant time off each procedure.

Sure enough, it worked!

We immediately saw an increase in production, but at what cost?

We found ourselves running behind schedule and working into our lunch breaks and after hours to keep up.

We were often missing materials and instruments during procedures, causing us to leave the patient to find what we needed. Clutter started to pile up, and products were shoved anywhere just to get them out of the way.

Clearly, a busier schedule wasn’t the answer.

We needed to look at productivity and efficiency from a whole new perspective.

That’s where the Color Method… This text opens a new tab to the page on Color Method… came in.

What is the Color Method?

Zirc, an innovative manufacturing company, made it their mission to help dental teams become more efficient, safe, and happy!

Zirc created a simple color code system that increases productivity while decreasing stress.

It starts by identifying each procedure by its own color and incorporating color-coded products such as cassettes, trays, and tubs for managing all the instrumentation and dental materials.

With the Color Method, the clinician can easily identify and access everything needed for the respective procedure without the risk of things missing.

How else does the Color Method help you?

Without a good system in place, practices end up with way too much inventory stored in too many places, making it difficult to find what is needed.

Materials can get lost and expire, costing the practice hundreds, if not thousands of dollars per year.

Even the room turn-over and instrument reprocessing time can be too time consuming and require the clinicians to leave the room to find the missing items they need.

When a color-coding system is incorporated, studies… This text opens a new tab to the study… show the average practice can free up 45 minutes per day and an additional $72,000 in revenue per year!

The best part is, this is added revenue without having to shorten procedure times, double book patients, or feel stressed.

That way, clinicians can spend more time educating their patients, increasing case acceptance to keep a productive, full schedule.

Want to test it out?

One of the best resources to start with is Zirc’s Organizational Box of Efficiency (Z.O.B.E.)… This text opens a new tab to the page on Z.O.B.E….

It’s a complimentary service that contains over 30 organizational products to explore.

You can try before you buy and identify which items will work best for your practice.


Meet the Author

Kay Hickey in blue top and black blazer with Zirc logoKay Hickey is a product and efficiency consultant for Zirc Dental Products… This text opens a new tab to the Zirc website…, where she educates dental offices on clinical efficiency solutions.

She is a licensed dental assistant with over 25 years in a family and cosmetic dental practice.

She’s also a former dental assisting educator, published dental author, member of the Speaker Consultant Network, served on the Minnesota Dental Assisting Board, and is a former member of the American Dental Assisting Association.

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