About 5 years ago I came across a story about a dentist in Jacksonville, FL who was using Lean every day in his practice. At the time, I recommended the story to a friend who was working as an office manager at a dentist’s practice elsewhere in Florida. Something else was happening during that time. I was getting more and more interested in the applications of Lean to Healthcare. I felt that if I could apply my knowledge, expertise and passion to improving the patient experience, I would feel more that I am making a contribution to mankind. To make a long story short, my internal quest brought me to practicing Lean in Healthcare in Jacksonville and I love it!
Even though I had not forgotten the story about the Lean Dentist, the detail that he was in Jacksonville had escaped my memory. One day I was at a training session from the Jacksonville Lean Consortium and the instructor happened to mention Dr. Bahri, the Lean Dentist, whose office was in that same building. I was flabbergasted! I could not articulate what I wanted to say, so, during one of the breaks, I pulled out my flash drive and checked the story I had saved a long time ago and you would not believe my joy when I saw that, indeed, the story I had read was about Dr. Sami Bahri in Jacksonville, Florida. The instructor saw how excited I was and offered to take me downstairs after the class and introduce me to Dr. Bahri. It was a great experience! He even signed my book!
After that, I decided I had to make him my dentist. So, I did! And this is my experience as his patient.
I get there about 10 minutes prior to my scheduled appointment. There is no one waiting in the waiting room. After I checked in (a process that took about a minute), I was getting ready to sit down and catch up on some emails, the girl at the window tells me, “Room Number 2”. I looked at her confused. “Do you mean you want me to go back there already?” She said, “Yes, through that door, make a right and go to Room Number Two”. I was like, “Wow! Well, that’s fine; I can catch up on the email in the room”. The room is more like a bay and I sat down on the chair. Not even a minute went by and the hygienist was already in the room welcoming me! Are you kidding me?! She asked me all the usual H&P questions, and proceeded to take me to the X-ray room. We did those immediately and were back at the chair, where she proceeded to prepare me and perform the cleaning. When the cleaning ended, Dr. Bahri was already in the room. He greeted me, asked me how I was doing and performed the oral exam, checking for all the routine stuff. We talked about how my dental health status, shook hands and off he went to meet the next patient.
By this point, I am pretty pleased with the way things are going, of course. In the meantime, the hygienist punches a few keys on the computer next to me (ok, it may have been a few mouse clicks, I can’t remember all the details!), and she proceeds to hand me a sheet of paper. I looked at it and… it was my bill! If your jaw is about to hit the floor, then you better hold it tight because it gets better. I take the bill and I say “That’s pretty amazing! Thank you! So, do I pay this at the front desk?” And she says, “You can pay me right here!” At this juncture, my jaw is right about where yours is right now. “Get out of here! Are you serious?” She was not kidding. I pulled out my card and paid my bill right there from my chair! Payment processed and I was sent on my way.
So, you see why I was disappointed? Because I could not catch up on any of my email! It is one thing to read about a Lean dentist. It is one thing to come by and tour his practice, which I did, prior to my visit as a patient. And it is another thing to experience it for yourself! NO WAITING WASTE!
I left Dr. Bahri’s office elated with the sweet taste of another Lean victory, and full of joy and hope of the Promise of Lean in Healthcare.