Tuesday, January 04, 2011

For the Record

All day, I retrieve and file records. This has given me such an interesting glimpse into humanity.

I just have to say this; some of you have funny names. Butts. Hiney. (I'm not making this up.)

Some of you have names that sound almost like a famous person: Robert Ledford.

I love opening a chart to record some information, and then I find that my Kelly was the last person to write in the chart. I read her words and I hear her voice inside my head - it makes me smile, every time. I also love where she might make a mistake and laughs at herself, right there on the chart. I love that girl!

Dental records, I'm discovering, are extremely important. We have all heard of horrible accidents where the victims were identified strictly from their dental records. It all makes so much sense to me now, especially after working in the charts and on the study models. Our teeth and mouths are as unique as we are!

One job I had was to go through the inactive files, record their last visit, then put the files in a box for storage (they must be kept for seven years after the last visit). So many of these charts record not just the dental history, but the actual history of the patient.

Engaged, wants cleaning before wedding.

Expecting baby.


Patient not feeling well, will call when better.

Patient Deceased.

The last two are almost always from our elderly patients, and it's so sad at the office when that happens. One dear man lost his wife in a horrible accident and arrived, months later, still wearing a halo brace. Our staff mourned with him and embraced him. It's so easy to become involved in the lives of those who come through our door because we deal with them so personally. It's so easy to care.

I was warned that at Christmas, our care would be returned. They weren't joking! Cookies, fudge, cakes, Bavarian Chocolates; all arrived on a daily basis. I picked the wrong month for a pinkie-swear, but I managed to do pretty well. I just could not get over how thoughtful so many were to us. It made me want to tip those who care for my family as well! (I managed to tip our lawn guy. He's my favorite.) =) We see many patients every 3 to 6 months. I often marveled at how the staff would remember details about my life and ask me about them, and now I know.

Your names are ever before us. We can't help but remember.

If you don't have a dentist who remembers your name and your family, it may be time to look for a new one!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

That would be nice. We have to find another dentist yet again since our dental plan changed. I'm not happy. Your patients are fortunate!



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