A NEW sustainability protocol has enabled Scotland’s largest dental group to save the paper equivalent of four trees per month.
Around 164,000 forms were completed electronically across Clyde Munro Dental Group’s practices between April and July this year, with each form averaging one sheet of paper.
It comes after the Scottish dental firm launched its ‘Paperless Patient Journey’, encouraging patients to communicate electronically.
Clyde Munro has been working with software partners to reduce its paper usage by introducing a user-friendly online patient platform that will replace the traditional paper-based forms.
The pursuit of going paperless comes as part of the group’s wider environmental initiative to reduce, reuse and recycle where possible and encourage an eco-friendly dental practice and a greener future for the dental industry as a whole.
Amy Reilly, Head of Commercial Finance and Lead on the project, says: “By using less paper, we can reduce our impact on forests, cut energy use and climate emissions, limit air, water and other pollution and produce less waste.”
“We are very keen to encourage all patients who have not already done so to provide an email address or a mobile number as part of their patient record, which allows us to arrange for all communication to be sent to them electronically, including appointment reminders and appointment forms”.
“When patients complete their forms using the online patient portal, this not only offers a key method by which to reduce paper generated in practice but also supports necessary COVID-19 protection procedures.”
After appointing six of its practices across Scotland as “eco-champions”, the Glasgow-based dental group has begun to trial a number of sustainable ideas that can help to reduce the firm’s environmental footprint.
These ideas include ink cartridge recycling, eco-friendly dental care products, and reducing plastic cup usage.
Amy, added: “We are working together as a business and a community to consciously look at the ways in which we can better manage our environmental impact and to drive change in those areas in which we are able.
“We are passionate about supporting the dental industry to make a difference for the better, not only for our patients but also for our wider society.”
Clyde Munro was founded by Jim Hall in 2015 with the acquisition of seven practices. Since then, it has enjoyed rapid growth and now comprises 51 practices across Scotland, with more than 430,000 patients and 400 staff.
As well as a presence in all of Scotland’s cities, it owns practices from Orkney and the Highlands to the Scottish Borders.