COVID-19 checklist illustration

We’re living in unprecedented times. As the dental community bands together to recover from the COVID-19 crisis, practice managers across the country are asking how to reopen successfully and efficiently.

At Dental Practice Enhancement, we offer administrative and clinical training services to help teams maximize their success. If there was ever a time to revisit and restructure policies and systems, it’s now. But for many, the process feels overwhelming. That’s where we can step in and offer some sound advice. Here, we’ll share a basic checklist for navigating COVID crisis recovery.

Patient Communication

  • Make sure a team member answers the phone during normal business hours, even if you’re operating on a limited schedule right now. Continuing to build relationships with your patients during this time is of the utmost importance. Even though practices across the country are reopening, many patients may feel uncertain or anxious about attending appointments.
  • If possible, turn off automated appointment confirmations – at least for the time being. Personal touch and reassurance are crucial during this time.
  • Identify patients who may benefit from a one-on-one phone call. Start with senior patients and those in active, current treatment.
  • If you haven’t already done so, add a COVID-related banner to the homepage of your website. Include important information, such as your hours upon reopening or an emergency number where you can be reached.

Reducing Expenses

  • Pause any non-essential services until you’re sure you need them.
  • Reach out to lenders and ask for deferments or extensions to pay bills.
  • If you haven’t done so, hold all ACH withdrawals from your bank accounts.
  • Assess any critical bills and create a payment schedule.

Insurance

  • Compile a list of all outstanding claims that are over 30 days old.
  • Run reports to identify any patients who have not been seen for over three years, then set them as inactive.
  • Assign a team member the task of recall. Many dental practices find that up to 35 percent of their hygiene patients do not have a follow-up appointment scheduled. This can help you gain some quick wins as you recover.

Scheduling

  • You’ll want to make up for as many lost days as possible. This means taking a thorough look at your game plan and determine what needs to be done to make this a reality. For some practices, this means working evenings and weekends.
  • Talk with the front desk team about your production goals. This will ensure that your reopening schedule is productive, and not just “busy”.
  • Think about boosting certain high-selling treatments, such as teeth whitening and fluoride.

Social Media Communication

  • This is the perfect time to boost your online visibility. Quarantine orders are slowly lifting, but we’re not there yet. Many people are still working from home and staying inside, which means they’re on social media much more often.
  • Post relevant content at least three times every week. You may even wish to post videos to offer a more personal touch.
  • If you plan ahead by drafting social media posts in advance, review any that haven’t been published yet. Check to see if they are still relevant in light of recent events. If not, just hold them until later and consider creating updated, more timely content.

Contact Dental Practice Enhancement to Learn More

These are just a few simple recommendations to help you gain momentum as you reopen. To develop a custom COVID recovery plan, reach out to Dental Practice Enhancement. Call us today at (833) DPE-FOR-U.