Patient Safety – What sets us apart?
The Blende Group and House Call Dentists have a unique expertise and service offering, which requires a unique set of skills. But we know skills and safety go hand in hand. To explain just how safety standards are achieved we turned to Tom Terry, learning strategist and CEO of Tom Terry Inc., providing training and consulting to achieve patient safety excellence.
Q. Tom, you consider BDG/HCD one of your “exceptional dental offices”. What sets them apart for such high praise?
T.T. Compliance and regulations (CDC, OSHA, and other regulatory bodies) set minimum standards that all dental practices need to meet in terms of patient and staff safety. Dr. Blende and his team have set their personal bar much, much higher. They want to do their best work and so they go above and beyond what’s expected of them, in every way. In my experience, with thousands of practices, maybe 3% go that far.
Q. What is the difference in your general education seminars and the exclusive onsite education that you do for the BDG/HCD office and team?
T.T. Our open seminars are filled with good information at a generic level. We hope that the participants will go back to their practice and make the time to figure out how to apply that information throughout their office and processes. However, we don’t really know their philosophy and we can’t see their office, so it’s impossible to tailor the content accordingly. What the Blende/House Call Dentists practice insists on is a custom education session. I am onsite and given complete access. That means I inspect everything – drawers and closets, I meet with team members, and I have the staff role play scenarios for which I critique their actions. With my series of four onsite courses Dr. Blende and his staff are not only always up to date with required training, but they have a thorough and practical understanding of the highest level of the current protocols for patient and staff safety.
Q. Many people think all dental practices use the same equipment and processes. Is BDG/HCD any different?
T.T. It is true that a great deal of dentists have the same suppliers, standards, and policies – with cost being a major factor in their choices. In 2008 the dental community was hit with significant reductions in insurance payments and that caused dentists to even further consider the bottom line. In all my years of working with the Blende Dental Group, I have never seen them take any steps to cut costs for greater profit! They have committed themselves to quality customer care no matter the cost. For example, I recently helped them implement a new level of sterilization into their practice, including a product called the Sterisil straw. These type of products require quite a financial investment. Again, this is not doing the minimum requirement, but the maximum, and the kind of effort that 90% of dental offices don’t make. He’s just not in it for the money. The humanitarian factor is much greater than any other providers I’ve met. And it’s not just Dr. Blende but his whole team. That’s very rare. I just wish even another 10% of dental practices could pick up on this philosophy.
Q. Can you explain some of the differences in a special needs dental care provider and traditional dental practices?
T.T. It used to be that dentists who went out to see people in their home would do a basic visual exam. Dr. Blende was a pioneer in taking that to the next level with the first portable x-ray machine on the west coast. He was determined to provide real care for those patients. However, it makes no sense to see people if you can’t provide them a complete treatment option. For that you have to have hospital privileges. The BDG/HCD team not only has hospital privileges at several regional hospitals but their entire team maintains immunizations that meets hospital operating room standards. This blows most dentists out of the water, but it’s what they believe is needed to deliver safe care to their special needs patients – who may be more vulnerable than others – in their home and beyond.
For information on Tom Terry visit http://tomterryinc.com/