Solutions that Work

Training across a large DSO calls for sensitivity on the part of the manufacturer.

The merits of a sound training program cannot be discounted. Still, it’s important for manufacturers to respect their DSO customers’ organizational structure and tight schedules – something Hu-Friedy pays close attention to when educating clinicians on solutions critical to achieving the best possible patient outcomes.

Indeed, creating the ideal education and training programs for a busy DSO involves a thorough understanding of the customer’s needs, according to the Hu-Friedy Strategic Markets Team. DSOs often have their own product formularies, their own learning and development programs, and a unique structure, making it difficult for clinicians to adjust to interruptions in their busy schedules. Without consistent training throughout its organization, however, the DSO may fail to use products correctly or to their potential. Additional risks include:

  • Inconsistent or failed product performance.
  • Decreased return on investment.
  • Increased costs due to outsourcing basic equipment maintenance, which could be performed by a well-trained team.

When implementing training programs, the Hu-Friedy Strategic Markets team has found that empowering the DSO to be engaged and educated on a company initiative dramatically improves acceptance and compliance. By scheduling regional meetings with the DSO, the company has been able to reach more clinicians and provide hands-on training and presentations by clinical experts. Webinars, too, have proved to be an effective tool for product-specific training, as they can be offered to multiple sites with minimal interruption, and on-demand training modules can be easily incorporated into the organization’s internal learning and development programs. Lunch-and-learns, too, continue to be well received, although it can be difficult to reach an entire DSO, particularly one with as many as 900 locations.

Consistency counts
Hu-Friedy offers training across several product areas, including:

  • Instrument management systems (IMS). The Strategic Markets Team works with clinicians to virtually eliminate the risk of instrument sharps injuries. Hu-Friedy’s IMS cassette system helps DSOs maintain standardized instrument reprocessing protocols by supporting systems-based (versus people-based) operations, virtually eliminating sharps injuries and saving between 8-10 minutes per patient.
  • The goal is to create an equipment-run system, not a people-run system, according to the Strategic Markets Team. In addition, the Air-flow technology. Currently considered the most efficient protocol for biofilm removal, air-flow technology creates a safe and effective protocol for the maintenance of implants, ortho brackets, aesthetic dental crowns and veneers, and periodontal maintenance.
  • Sterilization observation. This includes an in-depth assessment of a dental practice’s instrument reprocessing and infection prevention protocols with regard to the 2003 CDC Guidelines for Infection Control in Dental Healthcare Settings. A summary report is provided, outlining the assessment results and steps to achieve best practices/standard of care. DSOs, in turn, can use this as a calibration tool to integrate within their current compliance program.

Consistent training and standardization throughout a large DSO helps ensure that all clinicians have access to quality products and can use them correctly and efficiently. Clinicians should have the autonomy to make choices over the products they use. For the best return on investment, it’s important that essential products are available on formulary and that non-essential product purchases account for the best possible value. And, always, the goal should be to ensure a safe working environment for staff and patients.

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