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Blame share

Colin Campbell
by Colin Campbell on 11/11/21 18:00


Responsibility can be devastatingly lonely. 

Deciding to be the person who does the difficult thing, the thing that many other people can’t do or won’t do or are not prepared to take the risk to do, can be difficult. 

Accepting a position of responsibility but being able to ask for help from like-minded individuals can be one of the best ways to insulate yourself from the anxiety of what might go wrong. 

For the first 10-15 years of my dental implant career I practiced effectively alone. 

While I had the opportunity to meet people at meetings and conferences and share my lows at the bar in secret, I was never able to ‘out’ problems, issues or concerns that I might have, both about my patients and also about my ability to treat the patients in the way I wanted. 

Some years ago I decided to set up an MDT (Multi-Disciplinary Team). 

I got this idea from both my time working in oncology in the Hospital services but more from my wife’s current work in children’s oncology services where they have an MDT weekly to discuss cases. 

Our MDT has grown arms and legs and in fact, at the practice we have a surgical MDT every week and a restorative MDT every fortnight. 

We run our MDT’s on Asana (we run almost everything back office on Asana) and it means that any clinician can add a case onto Asana MDT at any point and we come to discuss them in our Academy space on a Tuesday for the surgical set-up. 

All the patients notes are available through Dentally which is cloud based and all their images, scans, x-rays etc through our Romexis portal. 

It means that we can go through case after case and ‘blame share’. 

Louise, our Clinical Lead, takes minutes and the minutes for each individual patients are agreed and put in the notes under an MDT note in Dentally. 

This means that if anyone wishes to go back and look at the decision making process for complicated cases or complications or just something somebody wanted to sense check it’s there in black and white. 

There are so many benefits to this process, it’s quite unbelievable and almost unfathomable and that is why I write it down for you here. 

Please feel free to steal this process and set-up your own MDT with your own like-minded individuals. 

It doesn’t have to just be in your practice, it can obviously be remote and cloud based and based on Zoom (as long as patients have consented for their material to be shared and that can be done for every patient). 

To demonstrate that you have had the foresight and the empathy to be able to discuss a complex case and make sure that it is within your skillset can only be one of the best things that you can do to safeguard patients treatment. 

To learn from your colleagues about decision making makes you much better at the diagnostic phase of your treatment and to be able to frame difficult conversations with patients with the help of colleagues, either face-to-face or remotely is totally invaluable. 

I blogged about this years ago but I’ve just forgotten to talk about it because it’s now part of our day-to-day life at the practice. 

"Send this to MDT??” Is something that you’ll hear all the time around the practice and relates to cases which are difficult to start with, cases that are difficult in the middle or patients that suffer a complication or difficulty after treatment is completed. 

We’re able to discuss complaints (thankfully not too often) and even at this weeks MDT, Andy Legg presented a 15 minute presentation on Straumann TLX vs BLX and the prosthetic and surgical components related to these and the difference in the handling of the implants. 

Honestly, do you think this would make you better or worse? 

Do you think being better or worse would make you happier or less happy. 

I suspect being better might even make you wealthier (depending upon how you measure that). 

That’s the process that we go through, I think it is pretty good and I am more than happy for you to copy it as often as you would like. 


Blog Post Number - 2914 

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Colin Campbell
Written by Colin Campbell
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