Findings published in the Journal of the American Dental Association suggest that using a checklist could reduce the number of missed dental problems. The study, entitled Adaptation of airline crew resource management (CRM), outlines a set of procedures that have been used by pilots for more than 30 years to help lower the risks of human error.
During the study, researchers from the University of Michigan observed a dental group use a similar process during five parts of a normal dental exam. While investigators have found that different lists will be needed for every dental office, they recommend that certain techniques should be part of standard protocols.
Implementing the use of these checklists would also help prevent minor mistakes that could lead to more significant dental problems. The researchers believe adding this routine to dental procedures would help provide a safer, more efficient dental office.
This protocol is all "about communication," said Harold Pinsky, co-author of the study and a general dentist. He added that "if all team members have a CRM checklist, the assistant is empowered to tell the doctor if there is a problem."
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