Poka-Yoke ain’t no sushi dish but it’s the secret sauce to intuitive workflows

Poka-Yoke is an essential tool used to prevent and resolve defects during the production process, thus eliminating the need for quality control after the process is complete. It is frequently referenced in the Lean Manufacturing system to ensure that minimal to none errors are made, which can significantly helpi enhance the quality and reliability of the services or products offered.

Using the concept of Poka-Yoke, it becomes virtually impossible to make mistakes which is conducive to eliminating waste of effort, time, and resources that would otherwise be embroiled in the correcting these errors. An excellent example is that of SIM cards for mobile phones: the phone only works if the SIM card is inserted in the correct position. This simple and inexpensive yet effective method ensures that no errors are made right from the beginning.

How can Poka-Yoke ensure intuitive workflows?

In Lean Orthodontics®, Poka-yoke sees many applications with regards to patient treatment. However, that’s not all. This brilliant process of cutting errors can be beautifully implemented to give rise to smooth workflows.

The following are some of the examples of Poka-Yoke in orthodontics:
CRM system
In the administrative arena, the CRM or Customer Relationship Management system functions to offer a certain fool-proof security. We use Bitrix24 in our practices that helps optimize the work processes by saving a great deal of manpower in the practice which in turn helps control error management.

It also helps import and collect all incoming messages (E-mails, Facebook Messenger messages, etc) in a central hub and automatically distributes them by location and processing staff through a visual representation, such as in individual folders. Employees can directly see data in their folders which they can then assign to a patient so that fellow employees can also communicate with that patient via the history.

“Hello Mrs Schmidt, yes I know that you already spoke to my colleague Mrs Müller on the telephone yesterday at 4 p.m.. Do you have any further questions about your suggested treatment?”
This efficient form of communication between the patient and employee stimulates the process and encourages reliability while reducing the need for another tedious history-taking conversation.

The CRM system is also responsible for configuring employee calendars so that certain appointments, such as “schedule meetings” or “multiband users” can only be set at particular times. The schedule of dentists and staff is also automatically stored in the system so that it is impossible for the staff to misdirect the appointment timings.

Another example is the linking of our appointment allocation with an automatically sent appointment e-mail to the patient and the automatic entry in the patient’s mobile phone calendar. This means that patients do not have to worry about losing appointment slips and rhe appointment attendance increases.

These simple strategies make Poka-Yoke a valuable asset in error avoidance and a true efficiency booster. Waste decreases, added value increases.


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