The Magic of Manuals

By Dr. McKinzie Jeffrey

June 6, 2023

When a new piece of equipment or new procedure is introduced into our practice it is essential for us to make the time to create a manual while learning to use or implement: this is delegated to the main user. For instance, when we started using Cerec our clinical assistants started the manual. We delegated one main assistant to take it over and the second to use the manual to test its accuracy. The true test is then having someone non-clinical to test the manual. That way, anyone can come in and be trained off this manual. It is kept in a binder in office if needed as well as in digital form for new hires when onboarding.

Starting this manual for the simplest, most used procedures is a quick way to get this going while giving the team members some ownership and excitement. Now our manuals are much more involved as we evolve into more technology and complex procedures. Our surgical assistant is in the process of making a very detailed manual for our newest piece of technology: the ICam4D scanner. But, she was trained off all our other manuals we have created over the years, so she knew the layout of how to get started and how we use them in our office; even though she has not been a contributor in the past.

So, when did she start or find the time? During the first procedure! Get a note pad and a pen and scribble! That scribble gets converted into a more organized list at the next procedure and then into a document to be tested. Our team knows how important these manuals are so they create time for her to work on it and pull her weight in the meantime. We like to set an attainable goal for the manual to be done by a certain time so we do not let time pass and it not be complete. Until that manual is created and tested, we are solely reliant on our surgical assistant to be present for these surgeries. The goal is to not be reliant on one specific team member. Now go GSD!

P.S. If you want more tips like this, you can catch me in the Practice Management Like a Pro group inside of DSN’s Workplace.

P.P.S. If you want to get a head start on your manuals, check out the manuals available from DSN!