Book Review #8:
Follow the Learner: The Lean Dentist
I only gave this book as high as a D+ because the idea behind it was good. Those who follow me, know I love lean systems. A book that was supposedly about systems to streamline a dental practice for efficiency got me really excited! And then proceeded to really let me down.
The book is short, at just 88 pages, I completed the book in just two days. I figured since the book was short, it would be ‘short and sweet’ and get right down to business with how to practically integrate principles of lean efficiency into a dental office. I kept waiting to get to the part where I would learn how to streamline my inventory, reduce my supply bill, keep staff payroll down, and how to save more time and keep my overhead down.
None of this ever came.
The book just rattled on about how important it was to have a ‘lean system’ and that if you want to have a lean system, you need to be a good leader. It does not say what any of that looks like, other than vague blanket statements like – to paraphrase, “Once we dedicated to having a One-Piece Flow with patients, everything changed forever!” The author does not DESCRIBE how to DO any of this.
If I could summarize this book’s message in one sentence it would be this: “Try to complete all of your patient’s necessary treatment in one visit.” That’s it. The author took 88 pages to say that. How do you do it? Meh. ‘Think Lean.’ How do you rationalize the financial end for patients who can’t drop thousands to do a 3-unit bridge, 2 crowns, 6 fillings, and a cleaning in one visit? Meh. Who cares. Not even mentioned.
The book didn’t have a single mention of overhead percentages, financial numbers, more efficient dental techniques, details of keeping supplies lean, staffing systems, inventory tips — nothing.
Don’t waste your time. <–Also something Dr. Bahri strongly recommends.