Zahnwelt Vier Linden’, a dental practice in a picturesque German town called Hildesheim has been in operation since 2003. It has had steady growth since inception. It started with 3 dentists and 7 employees. It has grown to have 15 dentists and over 60 employees now at two locations in Hildesheim. Another special and important initiative was to open a children’s dental practice ‘Zahnzauberwelt’, which opened in 2014 to be a great success. 

David Bertram, a dentist at Zahnzauberwelt, told us in an interview about the special measures one needs to take in pediatric dentistry practice. He conveys that working with children every day excites him but it also requires a great deal of empathy. These young patients have to be handled very carefully on their fear and unknowns of dentistry.

The locations in Hildesheim are also training practice centres wherein new trainees are recruited every year to help them learn the wide-ranging occupational profile of dental practitioners. With these components such as different locations, different areas of responsibility and different types of employees, it presents challenges for the workforce and duty rota planning.

Behandlungsraum Zahnwelt Vier Linden

Challenges in Workforce planning

  • Distribute the practising employees (60 employees) to two locations
  • The two locations are divided into two practises for adults and another pure pediatric dentistry practice
  • Maintain an overview of the workforce across the practice locations
  • Guarantee flexible working hours
  • Ensure every shift/duty roster have qualified employees

In reality, there is not any standardized working time model used. Different working hours of the individual dentists guarantee that patients can be offered appointments from 7 AM to 8 PM from Monday to Friday throughout the year. This recurrent process has to be constantly adjusted and re-evaluated to accommodate short term changes such as absences (illness or child care) or leave (vacation). Flexibility always plays an important role here.

Papershift became necessary because the growing workforce could no longer be managed with a mix of handwritten notes and practice planning software, which only created confusion. The steady growth in the number of employees and thus the duty rotas to be classified grew steadily. With Papershift, the aim was to facilitate the clarity for employees and promote integration between them.

Papershift solves the puzzle

With the Papershift software, we intentionally created only one location, so that the required three practice areas are created as ‘Working areas’ within the location created. This is important because individual employees can also work at all the working areas and thus have a better overview. Tags can also be used to specify specific rooms as well as tag which dentist works in which room. This is characteristic of the planning in medical practices. It is worked either on a personal basis (according to doctors) or after treatment rooms (as much capacity as possible). Time off like absences (illness or child care) or leave (vacation) are communicated by the employees directly in Papershift. At the beginning of the year, a basic framework for holiday planning will be laid, which will be adapted in the following months.

The topic of ‘Time tracking’ plays an important role in practice management. Since a time tracking tool was already in use before Papershift, it made sense to integrate the existing tool into Papershift and further use our time clock app. The biggest advantage of this solution is that the recorded times are available directly in Papershift software.

Particularly noteworthy is also employee integration. All employees are invited by e-mail and actively use Papershift. “Of course you have to always differentiate between the user from the “Internet generation” and a slightly older user. Basically, Papershift arrived very well and is also very well used by our employees” said David.

Finally, of course, we wanted to hear a little summary. According to David, the biggest plus points are “the elimination of paperwork and the confusion it brings, the availability and visibility of workforce planning from anywhere and on any device & finally the clarity and the integration of employees”. 

Of course you have to always differentiate between the user from the “Internet generation” and a slightly older user. Basically, Papershift arrived very well and is also very well used by our employees.

David BertramDentist, Zahnzauberwelt Hildesheim