Dental Practices’ team approach
The past few months have been extremely hectic and uncertain for dental practices. Many dental practices have opted to or have been forced to close due to COVID-19 to help their staff and patients stay safe. As a result, your practice has suffered some losses while being closed. Like many dentists, you are ready to re-open the doors. Re-opening dental practices is going to be a struggle, but now is the time to start preparing before you will be chair-side.
The road to recovery is to make sure your patient’s needs are met and that they feel comfortable coming into dental offices again. However, post-pandemic, practices might also begin to focus on patient-centered outcomes like the consistency of care, interaction with staff, and (surprise) infection control.
Give patients a positive experience:
Patients are becoming more sophisticated, and they will continue to challenge you. Patients will return post-pandemic and be more worried and stressed. It is the office’s job to ease that stress by making sure their patients understand they are taking all precautionary actions. Ensuring maximum safety for patients and staff is of utmost importance.
Many practices must be on their A Game of making sure infection control becomes a top priority. Patients rely on a sense of comfort, and knowing your office is taking all necessary steps to keep them safe will make your practice more successful.
Improve patient communication:
Many practices have to prepare their offices before they can re-open their doors. The American Dental Association (ADA) is urging offices to have robust communication:
“Good communication is the key to making patients and the dental team comfortable as they return to our offices,” said Dr. Chad P. Gehani, ADA president. “Dental team members who are confident that their office is keeping up with all appropriate prevention measures will convey that confidence to patients.”
Making sure your team members are always positive and polite in all interactions with patients is essential. Patients will never forget how they are treated, so practicing outstanding customer service should be a priority.
When your team members are giving outstanding customer service, they are building on creating that trust between the team member and patient. Exceptional customer service and excellent communication will have your patients wanting to come back and be likely to schedule a service. They may also refer your practice to their family and friends.
Preparation for Recovery is Key:
Sending a letter to your current patients, informing them of your
plans to reopen, as well as all of the changes to procedure and policy, will help give them peace of mind to know that you are taking proper precautions to keep them safe. Encourage patients to self-monitor and apprise the office of any possible symptoms if they have an upcoming appointment. Be sure to have a flexible cancellation policy for these instances.
Have new hours set in place to work around your patients’ new time schedules. Maybe add in earlier morning appointment times and add on some weekend hours if possible. Revise your schedule. Most practices will be unable to have back to back scheduling. You must be prepared to place more time in between patients to allow for proper cleaning.
Additionally, things will be slow to start when you open back up. Only reopen with team members that you need. You will want everyone back. Every office surely misses the full team, but be aware of keeping an eye on payroll and trying to keep the cost down.
If you have any further questions regarding steps towards bringing your practice back online in terms of technology, safety, equipment, or infection protocol, please reach out to Sodium Dental at 800-821-8962,
and our staff will help get you prepared quickly and safely.