12 Ways to Run Your Dental Clinic in the New Normal

January 22, 2021 Caroline Ventézou

The New Normal in the dental care industry sees patients wondering if it’s safe to visit a dentist during COVID-19, or choosing to delay non-urgent dental services altogether. Your team is following strict hygiene protocols and the guidance of provincial dental associations and health authorities. Is there more you could do to mitigate health and safety concerns and put patients at ease enough to return to your dental practice?

Make patients feel comfortable

  • Screen all patients for COVID-19 symptoms over the phone before the appointment and upon arrival at the dental office (including touchless temperature checks)
  • Reassure patients that your team of trained infection prevention and control experts are prioritizing cleanliness and safety; explain your protocols when the appointment is booked
  • Maintain a buffer between clients to allow physical distancing and time for disinfection between patients
  • Eliminate the waiting room; ask patients to call upon arrival and wait outside the office until invited to enter
  • Ensure only patients enter the clinic; minors or others needing assistance should be escorted to the door and handed over to the patient care specialist
  • Spell out your safety protocols with clear signage in the clinic and on all your digital channels, i.e. website, social media, email newsletters, Yellow Pages listing, and Google My Business profile

Deliver products or services differently

  • Investigate “teledentistry” (remote dentistry) opportunities and tools that enable patient diagnosis and monitoring via phone, email, or video conferencing technology to decide if they’re right for your dental practice
  • Stay connected by sending patients email appointment reminders, dental health tips, or at-home oral health care videos

Rethink your clinic’s policies

  • Offer flexible payment terms for patients who are uninsured or under insured
  • Eliminate cancellation fees so patients who aren’t feeling well can cancel without penalty
  • Provide contactless payment options
  • If you plan to charge a PPE fee to subsidize additional costs, ensure patients are informed in advance

Open your dental practice, and thinking, to patient safety enhancements that will provide the comfort and care your patients need during these uncertain times.

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