There are many justifications, rationalizations, and excuses in non-testing practices, all of which signal some level of disinterest in enhancing patient care. One of the most difficult to understand is; “My staff/hygienist just won’t do it.” If the doctor is the driving force behind testing implementation and one or more team members are resistant, a staff meeting is in order. Leadership comes from the top and it is the doctor’s responsibility to set the direction for the practice, including the technology, services, products and procedures that will be utilized in the office. Input from team members is very valuable but the doctor needs to drive the train for the business and the well being of patients.
However, there’s another side to this. What if a hygienist understands the impact of salivary testing and wants to bring it on board and the doctor is resistant? A private meeting with the doctor(s) may be in order. The office should start lab testing on a trial basis by establishing a timeframe and setting a number of patients to test, perhaps 10 to 15. Then evaluate the clinical outcomes and patient input from the pilot project and decide how to best proceed.
It is human nature to resist change. Can you imagine still using film x-rays, handwritten patient charts, amalgam, wet fingers, and wiping off instruments with alcohol gauze? All of these changes had to be implemented one way or another, and you and your staff can do it when it comes to salivary testing.
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