PRESIDENT'S MESSAGE | SPRING 2016
By: Jerry Peck
April is Earth month which brings an opportunity for us to consider how dental imaging centers can be modernized and our impact on the environment can be reduced. In our industry, technological innovation can bring great reduction in our use of water, use of energy, and generation of waste.
Thirty years ago a typical dark room consisted of two 100 gallon stainless steel developing tanks. One large tank was for developing the radiograph the other for washing. Three smaller containers, one holding 10 gallons of developer and two of fixer were placed within the developing tank. For proper development of the radiograph, it was necessary to have the water running all day. The large tank required a mixing valve to regulate the temperature of the developer. The protocol for processing was as follows: five minutes in the developing tank at 68 degrees, rinse the films for 20 seconds in the water between the tanks, and fix for 10 minutes to stop the developing process. The second 100 gallon tank was used to rinse the film of residual chemicals. The entire process required 20 minutes.
Hundreds of gallons of water per day were used for this type of processing.Twenty years ago I was astonished to learn from an engineer in my building, that among 26 floors of medical and dental practices (75 of them the latter), I used more water than all others combined. I began to consider the
impact of both my water consumption and generation of hazardous waste from spent fixer and developer. I was compelled to go digital and have never looked back. Can you imagine the fines I would incur under current water restrictions in California?
By adopting a digital process, more than water is saved. Paper, ink, and the cost of doing business are significantly reduced. In addition, paperless records significantly improve diagnostics for your referring doctors. Here are 10 good reasons to offer paperless digital records.
1.) Reduced exposure to patients
2.) Superior diagnostic images
3.) Improved turnaround time
4.) Improved case presentation
5.) Collaboration with colleagues
6.) Feasibility of cloud storage
7.) Environmentally friendly
8.) Reduced water use
9.) Reduced space needed to store patient images
10.) Cost effective
Implementing a digital workflow significantly reduces the impact our centers have on the environment. If you are not completely digital, it's time to seriously consider this technology.
Have a fantastic Summer and see you at the Fall meeting.