Handling the administrative tasks for hundreds of dental offices across the country can be a daunting task, but it also provides a unique opportunity. With so much information and data available, DSOs can identify and address areas that require an increased focus and see significant gains.
Founded in 1994, Pacific Dental Services® (PDS) is one of the country’s leading dental support organizations, providing supported autonomy that enables dentists to concentrate on clinical excellence and the highest levels of cost-effective comprehensive patient care. PDS has more than 635 support dental offices across the United States, with plans to expand into several new markets. PDS pays close attention to the safety of their clinical team. Proper safety etiquette and compliance are at the forefront of each of their offices – even one sharps injury is considered one too many.
Sharps injuries put staff at risk of being exposed to infections such as hepatitis B, hepatitis C, and HIV. These injuries also carry a significant cost. Between the time off, medical testing, and insurance, post-exposure management costs a practice up to $3,000 per incident.1 Finding a way to minimize the risk of sharps injuries is a top priority for this organization.
PDS already had an established partnership with Hu-Friedy. After the manufacturer completed a sterilization observation to identify areas for improvement, the organization learned about the Instrument Management System® (IMS). This cassette-based system for organizing and managing instruments offers dental offices many benefits. However, PDS wanted more information.
To better understand the impact of cassettes, PDS identified two offices with an opportunity to reduce sharps injuries — one in California and one in Colorado. The plan was simple: compare the results after a year with control offices in equivalent markets that have similar sizes and layouts. Then they could determine if it made sense to implement IMS on a much larger scale.