Tech Tip Tuesday: Simple Workplace Tips to Help the Environment and Your Practice
Learn how to save more and join in the effort of protecting our environment with simple to do tips at your practice. Here is a fun fact: newer computers are usually more energy efficient compared to older models. However, newer computers may end up using more energy because they are faster and more powerful, therefore allowing us to perform more functions and have more programs opening and running than before.
Do you know what uses the most energy at the front desk of a dental practice? Computers and monitors represent more than half of the energy consumption in a small office setting. Implementing some environmental friendly ideas at your practice will raise awareness and show patients, colleagues and the world that you understand the importance of making a difference and protecting the place you love and live.
7 simple workplace tips to help boost a greener and cleaner environment while saving your practice money and time:
- Reduce your monitors screen brightness to 70% to save up to 20% in energy.
- Turn off computers, monitors and office hardware at the end of the day to save energy. Turning off your computer can also protect it from malware and hackers.
- Go digital as much as possible - no more printouts, such as dental patient forms, pre-op and post-op instructions, billing statements, payment receipts, etc. Offer a patient online registration form and a dental health history form where patients can complete and submit to your practice without having to print.
- Promote on your dental website that your office is a paperless dental practice and ways your patients can help to make it a greener place. As an example, your patients can complete their dental health history update form online to save trees from being cut down.
- Recycle ink toners, rechargeable batteries, old hardware (printers, fax machines, computers) and other recyclable products. Just remember to stay HIPAA compliant by shredding physical and digital data containing sensitive and confidential patient information before recycling.
- Use a secure email service or electronic faxing to send confidential documents. Consult with your IT department to understand the requirements needed to make the transition.
- Add some plants in your work space. Plants will help the environment by absorbing carbon dioxide and other toxins in the air.
There are many benefits in engaging patients with online patient forms available on dental websites. Every dental practice uses a practice management software (ie. Softdent dental software) to manage and store patients data.
- Research the function to streamline your patient intake process by merging patient data and x-ray images directly into your practice management software and/or imaging management software, such as Dentrix, Dexis, Eaglesoft, Orthotrac, Schick, and WinOMS.
- Consider an electronic health records exchange system that offers customizable online patient forms specific to your practice by incorporating your unique logo and including questions related to your practice's specialty.
The Carbon Trust offers additional tips on creating a more sustainable future.