June 15, 2020
How to Strategically Handle Dental Practice Operations Going Forward
Just because your dental office has opened back up doesn’t mean it’s back to business as usual. Now is the time to identify where the holes are and how to fix them. Put in place all those plans that came about the shutdown — but with an edge toward strategic thinking through your operations. Here are the aspects to consider.
After determining whether everyone will return, the front office staff will need to account one day of managing recall to allow for five hygiene days. Assistants should expect a slow rise in their schedules as they won’t be needed as much until operative is ready to ramp up.
Prior to reopening, make sure your schedule is full and insurance is verified for all returning patients since many employment situations have changed. Add in buffer time in between 45-minute appointments to review new protocol, including consent forms, in-house membership plans, and additional safety precautions pertaining to temperature taking and personal protective equipment. What’s more, determine if same-day treatment is an option.
In a time when hygiene is already spread thin, it may be time for the dentist to step in to help until operative gets back into full effect, or consider if capacity allows having each hygienist work out of two operative rooms until the schedule is full. Assistants can then help flip rooms and check out patients. Even then, consider extended hours with earlier or later appointments, as well as hours on Saturdays or Sundays.
Be opportunistic when it comes to all these changes. Take this opportunity to detail out all precautions being taken and the safe environment that is being produced for both patients and staff. Social media videos and email newsletters are effective ways to get the message out, as well as attract new patients. While telehealth appointments won’t work as an operational fix, it could work to interact with current patients to prevent attrition and garner new patients.
Contact the experts at Professional Transition Strategies to map out the next steps for continuing to operate strategically and profitably.