The dental industry is the distinguished part of the healthcare sector which involves paying employment to highest opportunists. The overall employment of dentists is projected to grow 7% from 2018 to 2028, which is faster than the average of all the occupations.
The dental industry mainly refers to the health and care of teeth, gums, and related parts of the mouth. The industry revolves around dental devices and instruments, use of dental consumables for maintenance of healthy teeth.
These dental consumables are used on patients to treat their dental impairments, tooth restoration, etc. Other than these consumables, some dental equipment tools are also used to provide treatment such as explorer, probe, dressing plier, cone socket mirror, etc.
- According to Statista, the dental market is valued at 28 billion US dollars in 2016 which is expected to grow 37 billion US dollars by 2021.
- The median annual wage for dentists was $156,240 in 2018.
New dental pieces of equipment are going to be expensive and upgrading the current practice with new technology will help dentists to save thousands of dollars in the long run and help to treat more patients in less time.
Assets and Equipment used in the Dental Industry
Regardless of the type of practice, the following are required machines and equipment in the dental industry:
- Dental patient chair
- Operatory cabinetry
- Delivery systems
- Dental operatory lights
- X-ray imaging equipment
- Utility equipment
- Intraoral cameras
- Chairside CAD/CAM systems
- 3D imaging systems
- Surgical microscopes
- Dental lasers
- Endodontic equipment
- Dental sleep medicine equipment
- Portable dental equipment
Other than this equipment and assets, dental consumables will include - dental composites, latex gloves, bib napkins, dental burs, endodontic instruments, orthodontics, dental sutures.
Challenges of the Dental Industry for Asset Management
Although the dental industry has maintained a prominent position in the healthcare sector, it is expected to grow at high heights. Whether they are private or public dental centers, they are improving by practicing with new and innovative operational services.
To purchase new machines and equipment, they need some investment and backup for their desires.
The dental industry not only includes these assets and equipment or consumables but utility also to provide power, disinfectants to control protocols, along with some of the portable tools.
Keeping track of all these equipment and assets is like feeling pain without anesthesia. The dental industry has to deal with many challenges, like:
Loss of any equipment can cause operations to fail. The risk of fraudulent activities causes serious mishappenings. Therefore, monitoring inventories is necessary to control asset utilization.
Unsterilized equipment can cause a threat to the patients as well as the dental staff. The contamination can be so fatal sometimes that it can also lead to death. This is the reason why the sterilization of equipment is necessary under all the health and quality standards.
The Shortfall of Pharmaceuticals
There might occur a situation where there is an unpredictable shortage of pharmaceuticals which hinders the treatment. These shortages occur due to a lack of arrangement and monitoring of the pharmaceuticals.
Benefits of Asset Management Software in the Dental Industry
According to Morgan Stanley Research, the dental industry has made their systems automated but nearly half of the institutes spend on digital technology contributing 10% of their total budget.
For any of the industries in the healthcare sector, it takes countless efforts to uphold quality standards. There are few mandatory objectives that the healthcare sector needs to follow such as safety, effectiveness, patient-centered, timely service, quality of care, etc.
Implementing an asset management software has a positive impact on all the operational processes and management of equipment and assets.
An asset management software would help the dental industry in following certain ways:
1. Well-organized records
The software will keep records of all your inventory and equipment. Your system will be automatically updated whenever there will occur scanning of assets and equipment. Whether it is check-in/check-out, equipment details, scheduled maintenance, etc.
Through these regular and automated updates, the system keeps a record of all your inventory and equipment in real-time, making it easy for you to take any decision.
2. Tag System
You need to put an asset tag or unique identification number on all your assets and equipment for easy check-in/check-out and details verification of equipment.
Asset Tags are the labels that identify the equipment using a unique serial number or a code or a barcode.
Asset tagging or asset labeling will help you to manage your physical capitals and make it easy for you to make informed decisions in respect of your physical inventory and equipment, whether it is repair or replacement of any equipment.
An automated asset management system is more scalable to produce a range of capabilities. A scalable system allows you to grow with the same database by maintaining it.
Scalable asset management software is also important for the dental industry to grow and expand in the future.
4. Improved Visibility
Through asset management software you can easily monitor the check-in/check-out of all the inventory and equipment and have greater visibility.
Whenever the barcode placed on equipment will be scanned, you can mark that as an activity, before and after the use of that equipment.
For example, if you have any surgery scheduled, before allotting equipment to your staff member scans the equipment and mark it as an activity, do the same at the end also. This way your inventory and equipment will be managed and monitored in an efficient way.
5. Timely Restoration of Stock
There is always a need for refilling the stock. Especially in the dental industry, there is a huge use of consumable inventory which in the case must be re-ordered timely.
These consumable inventory items of the dental industry include cotton gauze, disposable syringes, etc. Here in healthcare industry overstocking is as important as understocking due to limited consumption period.
Therefore, it is important to keep a record of inventory and their reorder levels. Asset management software allows you to set the lower limit for re-ordering the items, the system will inform you via notification about consumption, and when you should re-order.
6. Scheduled Maintenance
For mechanical equipment, schedule maintenance management involves repair, replacement, and serving of tools. It also ensures the proper working and to intercept fluctuations that occur in the duration of the operation process.
For any kind of change, even a minor downtime could reduce the overall efficiency which would lead to major losses.
Therefore, it is important for the dental industry to implement a good maintenance strategy for its equipment and assets.
7. Storage Records
It is always important for you to know the whereabouts of your equipment. The dental industry does not allow you to misplace any equipment or tool at the point of need.
Therefore, keeping a record of used or unused equipment and the tool is necessary. For this, you must scan the equipment or tool, before and after its use and place it at its position.
Moreover, when equipment is sent to any other lab or outside of your premises you must scan it and update the information so that if you forget, you can check it on the system.
8. Creating Sets of Tools for Operation
For easy and convenient approach to equipment and tools, you must form a set of tools that are required for a certain procedure and update it in the system, so that you don't have to look for them every time you need; you just need to pull them out from their places and that's it.
Asset management software is a healthy approach for the dental industry for their seamless efforts towards their profession. The software will help you access the records accurately to deliver maximum patient safety and professional satisfaction.
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