Preparing your clinic for holidays

Author: Dr. Aisling Whitaker, CEO Dental Hive

The long weekend is calling and we are all ready to take some time to unwind and forget about teeth for a few days. But not so fast, there are a few recommended protocols to follow to prepare the clinic for your return. Here are Dental Hive’s best practices for long weekend or holiday preparations. 

Download a printable version HERE.

Closing down procedures 

Reception team: 

  • Audit your reopen day for any patient info you need and request it (forms, consents, lab work, insurance info, transfer of records etc.)
  • Confirm all appointments on reopen date (auto confirms may occur after you close depending on your settings)
  • Update your voicemail and turn on email auto-responder
    • “You have reached X. We are closed for the holidays and will reopen on X. In case of an emergency, please contact X. To make a booking or reschedule a current appointment, please X.”
  • Update your business hours on Google Business page
  • Add signage on the door for the mail service to indicate your reopen date
  • Notify your lab delivery or other relevant services of your closure dates

Operatory tear down:

  • Extended purge of your dental unit water lines (air/water, handpieces, ultrasonic/piezo) and suction lines (10 mins)
  • Empty all water from dental chair including the bottle; return to entry/exit position 
  • Restock inventory 
  • Extended clean down of op including base/arms of dental chair, all surfaces, handles and all filters/traps
  • Check what procedures you have on reopen day and ensure you have what you need (lab work, equipment, supplies)
  • Turn off compressor and bleed the air pressure from handpiece lines (with water off and no handpiece attached)

Sterilization room:

  • Reprocess all pending cassettes and instruments
  • Turn off large equipment (washer, ultrasonic bath, autoclave)
  • Drain water from autoclave if closed for more than 3 days
  • Restock sundries

General housekeeping:

  • Clear out the staff room fridge 
  • Empty all trash
  • Remove all food items from counters
  • Turn off the utilities and water
  • Unplug any unwanted machinery such as fans, heaters etc. 
  • Turn off all computers except server

Reopening procedures 

Reception team:

  • Start 1 hour minimum prior to first patient 
  • Turn off / change voicemail and email auto-responder
  • Review all voicemails, emails etc. and prioritize those that change the schedule 
  • Refill and condense the schedule as needed

Operatory setup: 

  • Perform shock treatment to dental unit water lines and perform DUWL testing
  • Flush suction lines with enzymatic solution
  • Extended purge (20 mins) of your dental unit water lines (air/water, handpieces, ultrasonic/piezo)

Please refer to your specific equipment manuals for more details.

Download a printable version HERE.

About the Author: Dr. Aisling Whitaker, BA (Hons) MSc PhD BDS (Hons)
Dr. Aisling Whitaker is a general dentist, owner of multiple dental clinics Bitehaus Dental in Toronto and CEO of Dental Hive. Dr. Whitaker is experienced in starting a dental clinic from scratch, developing marketing campaigns, office systems and building a strong team culture.

 

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