What is the relationship between efficiency and resource requirements?
Even though dental clinic efficiency can be enhanced with good scheduling techniques and other effective management practices, there are limits to what can be accomplished if the clinic is too small or if the program is short-staffed. In clinics that are overwhelmed with patients, the only realistic and lasting solution is to combine efficient clinical practices with adequate resources in the form of facility size and dental staff. Below is a Resource Requirements chart that was developed by the United States Indian Health Service to provide programs with an estimate of resource needs based on the program’s service population.
If a program’s current service population calls for a clinic size and number of dental staff that are well beyond what is currently available, then in addition to improving clinic efficiency, programs should pursue all available options for expanding the clinic and staff to levels that better match the population.
It is recommended that no dental clinic contain more than 24 operatories. Larger clinics tend to be inefficient, and they can present access problems for dispersed populations.
Note: Auxiliaries include dental assistants, dental hygienists, receptionists, and clerks.