Simplicity done right

It is so much easier to make anything complex. We always find reasons for making it more complex, because it lets us feel more important as we understand the complexity – especially if it is so complex that you might be the only one to understand it, like dentistry.

There are words we do not understand, procedures that are difficult to comprehend and complications we do not know how to accept. We receive a cost estimate for the procedure to be done but reading and recognising all the different codes makes us dizzy. The receptionist tells you one thing, the practice manager tells you a different story and then the doctor feels too important to even talk to you.

It doesn’t have to be this way. We need to strive to make things easier. Simplicity should be a virtue we all need to try to achieve, in all aspects of life. But this is where if gets tricky because it takes less energy to make things complex than to simplify them. Steve Jobs said it best; “That’s been one of my mantras – focus and simplicity. Simple can be harder than complex: You must work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple. But it’s worth it in the end because once you get there, you can move mountains.”

Our team at the practice have initiated a WhatsApp business number for patients to ask questions, for appointments to be made or to inquire about the cost of certain procedures. This may sound simple, but it has made a tremendous positive impact on our patients, making it easier, but also better for everyone.

We use computerised equipment to provide same-day dentistry. You have a broken tooth that cannot be repaired with a filling, so we fix it in one visit with ceramic: no messy impression, no second visit, and no temporary crowns. We have simplified the process (after big capital investment and many hours of brainstorming), saving our patients time and costs without compromising quality.

The best surgeons have a checklist of all instruments needed, steps to be taken during a procedure and signs to monitor during aftercare. The best pilots follow a checklist before, during and after their flight. The best parents create a checklist to prepare for their children’s next school day – yes, a piece of paper with steps to tick off; simple, but highly effective. Simplicity done right makes things easier and better – and is that not worth aiming for?