Maintaining consistency across different environments


  Posted by: Dental Design      10th February 2023

As a dentist, it’s important to keep consistent, high quality patient records. This can be a challenge when moving between practices or conducting domiciliary visits. When working across a number of environments, with different teams, equipment, and technology, it becomes even more important to retain consistency where you can. Accurate clinical notes, in particular, are vital as these will be a reflection of any appointments, conversations, and treatments you have undertaken – no matter where you are.

Working across multiple dental practices

During dental appointments, it can be more efficient to dictate your notes for a dental nurse to write up as opposed to writing them yourself as you go, ensuring that notes include all information at the time of examination. Teamwork here is essential, and requires a good working relationship with your dental nurse.[i]This being said, it is not the dental nurse’s responsibility to keep patient records, and you should be sure to thoroughly check clinical notes to ensure that nothing has been missed and all relevant information is clear and can be easily understood by other medical professionals.i

Quality of notes is just as important when moving between practices. Establish good relationships with the dental team where possible, and ensure that you are communicating clearly. Keep your individual note taking system consistent, to help make checking your notes simpler.

Unique challenges of domiciliary visits

Even though the dental practice is the ideal place to carry out any dental appointments, there will always be vulnerable patients who require help in their own home or care home. Research suggests that 67% of dentists conduct at least one domiciliary visit per year.[ii] These are mainly for elderly patients, and the ageing population in the UK means that demand for at-home assessments and treatments may become more common in the future,[iii] especially as many people are keeping their teeth for longer.[iv] Those patients who have been able to keep their natural teeth into old age have likely undergone restorative treatment that requires attention and upkeep, and many will be taking medications which may impact oral health (for example, causing dry mouth).iv

It’s important to meet the needs of vulnerable patients, working with their medical and care teams to help provide them with the best possible treatment. However, treating patients in the home can present its own challenges when it comes to resources. This makes it important to gather as much information as possible prior to the first visit so you are aware of what will be required and what is already available before you arrive. This will also shed light on the resources available which may limit your treatment options, in order to help manage the expectations of them and their support network.iii

Even though you may be working in an unfamiliar environment, it is vital that you still prioritise medico-legal duties. Comprehensive notes should be taken during every appointment – reflecting any conversations, examinations, and recommended treatment. It may be hard to predict what form they will take, in some cases, needing to be hand written and typed up later,iv so it’s important to find out as much information as possible prior to the visit – so you can plan time needed accordingly.

Maintaining consistent clinical records

Maintaining consistent, high-quality clinical records is essential to uphold your credibility as a dental professional. When you are able to retain consistency in your clinical notes, you protect yourself medico-legally and ensure your patients are receiving high standards of care all the time. Include all relevant information to ensure you are not in a vulnerable position should a complaint be made.i Comprehensive note taking is important, yet when traditional methods are used, it is time consuming.

When you switch to digital note taking with Kiroku, you take back control. When working across various environments, it’s essential that your clinical notes don’t suffer as a result. With Kiroku, all that is required is an internet connection and you will have access to dynamic templates, allowing you to produce accurate and complete notes quickly, providing more time to focus on your patient. Kiroku uses innovative technology, which recognises patterns in your note taking, prompting you to include information relevant to your case – so you don’t miss any important details.

By maintaining consistently high-standards of clinical note taking, no matter where your appointments take place, you protect your credibility as a dental professional and ensure that your patients are receiving excellent care. Using a versatile system which allows you to take accurate and complete notes quickly means that you are able to engage in useful conversations with patients, without being pre-occupied with lengthy note taking processes.

To find out more about Kiroku, or to start your free trial, please visit

[i] MDDUS. On the record. (Accessed: Nov 22)

[ii] Sweeney, M., Manton, S., Kennedy, C. et al. Provision of domiciliary dental care by Scottish dentists: a national survey. Br Dent J 202, E23 (2007).,year%2C%20mainly%20for%20elderly%20patients.

[iii] Dentistry. Home sweet home – domiciliary care for vulnerable dental patients (Accessed: Nov 22)

[iv] DDU Journal. No place like home? (Accessed: Nov 22)


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