Sterilization in record time
Time is money – that’s a truth dental practices are experiencing more and more often. But how can you achieve the perfect balance between working quickly and efficiently and providing intensive patient care? Without state-of-the-art technology and an up-to-date practice management system, it’s practically impossible.
Digitalization and automation help to optimize treatment, patient management and practice hygiene workflows alike. As steps no longer need to be performed or documented by hand, the dentist and his team can devote more time to looking after the patient.
Source: ZWP 11 / 2015
Authors: Jenny Hoffmann, Oemus Media AG
Increasing administrative costs and stricter hygiene guidelines mean that modern dental practices are faced with considerable challenges both in terms of the work to be done and the time available to do it. The extra time spent working on administrative tasks and documentation either has to be added on after hours or is no longer available for treating patients. Either way, neither the patient nor the practice staff are happy with the solution. As such, it’s worth implementing the necessary structural and technical measures so that more time is available for actual treatment again.
Alongside innovative techniques such as panoramic radiographs and digital impression taking, it is the network “behind the scenes” that the practice truly benefits from in its day-to-day operations. Naturally, not every application is as practical or necessary for all practices, but there are basic digitalization processes which are a must for any forward-looking team. Take for example virtual patient files. Even the biggest fans of pen and paper will soon grow to appreciate the simplicity and speed of computer-based connection, storage and archiving possibilities.
Another ideal field of application is instrument reprocessing, where digitally networked devices not only offer efficiency, but also reduce potential sources of error and ensure absolute traceability. W&H provides a great example for the optimal implementation of digitalization in the hygiene process. This dental manufacturer from Bürmoos, Austria, has been developing instruments, handpieces and devices tailored to the requirements of dentists and healthcare professionals for 125 years. With its extensive range of hygiene devices including the latest product innovation, the Lisa sterilizer, W&H allows dental practices to take a real step forward.
The advantages of automated techniques are evident from the very first stage of instrument reprocessing: As turbines, straight and contra-angle handpieces today are very intricate and feature small components, manual cleaning also takes practice staff a long time and involves expensive consumables. At the same time, the cleaning results of course differ from time to time. In contrast, the Assistina 3x3 reprocessing unit from W&H allows you to achieve constant, reliable and efficient cleaning and maintenance every time.
All it takes is one press of a button to start the complete process. The device checks automatically how many instruments are inserted and adjusts its functions accordingly to ensure optimal fluid and time settings. Once all the internal spray channels and gearing components have been cleaned with W&H Active Fluid and blown through with compressed air, the instruments are treated externally with cleaning fluid. The final step is the oil service of the gearing components. The device only needs six minutes for the whole process.
Quicker sterilization than ever before
The instruments are then transferred to the sterilizer, either in sterile packaging or loose, depending on the specification of the class of instrument. The new Lisa features an accelerated type B sterilization cycle. The drying time depends on the respective load. The fewer instruments in the tray, the less time required for the sterilization and drying process. The instruments are protected as they are exposed to heat for less time. On top of that, W&H has also developed an environmentally friendly rapid cycle for loose instruments which allows complete sterilization within 13 minutes. This means that the Assistina 3x3 and Lisa have the necessary instruments ready for use again in a record time of just 19 minutes all told and the staff can return to offering professional dental assistance immediately.
Simple navigation and traceability
The cycle optimization of the new Lisa autoclaves isn’t the only aspect to offer practices decisive time savings though; the innovative colour touchscreen with its self-explanatory symbols and Help interface also makes rapid navigation possible. Setting the programme, documenting the batch and approving the sterile cycle is now only a matter of pressing a few buttons and staff also require minimal instruction in the use of the device. With its automatic documentation function, Lisa also has another work step covered which takes up a considerable amount of time when performed manually. The sterilizer automatically saves the hygiene logs to a USB stick without the need for a PC or software.
WiFi connection for additional user benefits
What’s more, W&H’s addition of a WiFi connection is further evidence that the device is perfectly equipped for additional user benefits: By using a proprietary Lisa mobile app, the sterilization processes can now be conveniently monitored on a tablet or smartphone in real time and saved there too. Thanks to the comprehensive, intelligent traceability system with its wide range of options, dental practices are also able to design the hygiene documentation freely to suit their requirements.
Together, Assistina 3x3 and Lisa compile automated procedures and digital interfaces to create a user-friendly, efficient process chain for reliable instrument reprocessing.
The future of dental practices is in automation and digitalization. Computer-assisted processes facilitate day-to-day tasks, offering reliability and efficiency at the same time. Devices such as Lisa and Assistina 3x3 help to create a balanced hygiene workflow which conserves resources. Seizing these opportunities allows dentists and practice teams to save valuable time, which they can then devote to their patients. That has a particularly positive effect on both patient satisfaction and employee motivation.