Dental Office Coronavirus Pre-Screening With Confirmations
Dental office coronavirus pre-screening is possible with appointment confirmations. This is a fabulous opportunity to help our patients maybe even step out of denial and seek necessary medical care. Because we can all do our part in some small way to help prevent the spread of this disease, even at our dental front desk. And maybe help consolidate our daily schedules or fit healthier patients in who are waiting for dental treatment as well.
Not every patient who has symptoms that resemble the coronavirus has the disease. However, this is a great time to be super cautious. In fact, I am not sure we can be too cautious with this. Better to be safe than sorry, we often say. And this is one of those times when we want to protect our team, our patients, and our community. And to proceed with extreme caution. Reschedule patients who have symptoms. Most patients can wait 2 weeks for their necessary dental treatment.
Utilize Automated Confirmations And Websites
Automated confirmation systems that include text and emails can help us with this task as well. So, we want to update our text messages and emails to reflect our concerns. And let’s include the dental practice website to help our patients who may visit us there to view the “office policy” and considerations of the coronavirus consideration. Consistency with scripting in all areas is important. With the general public in a bit of confusion and panic, we can help with our calm consistency.
Bring the entire team together to discuss the protocols for your dental practice. The team may have questions about how to manage patients who have symptoms. Or even what to do if they are not feeling so well themselves. We tend to really push ourselves through our maladies in this busy world we live. Take advantage of this time to create and communicate a solid wellness and prevention plan in light of our current world pandemic.
Dental Office Coronavirus Pre-Screening: The Script
Dental office coronovirus pre-screening confirmations are done two days in advance. In this way, the office can proceed as usual. Allow the text and email confirmations to go out as they normally do. But we want to change our wording to include a pre-screening of all our scheduled patients. Here’s my recommendation on just what to say:
“Hello, Mr. Jones. This is April at Dr. Brown’s dental office. We have you in Dr. Brown’s schedule for your crown on Tuesday. We are looking forward to seeing you in the office. And with the concerns about coronavirus, we are taking extra precautions with all of Dr. Brown’s patients and our own team!” pause
“Mr. Jones, do you have a fever, cough or any difficulty breathing at this time?” pause “No! Great!! Have you traveled outside of the United States to any areas currently at risk in the last 2 weeks?” pause “Okay. Just one more question, please. Have you come in contact with anyone who you suspect may have had or has the coronavirus in the last 2 weeks?”
How Do We Manage This By Text?
Automated emails are pretty easy! We can add much more information in an email message than we can in a text. But what can we change within our text messages that go out? Some of that will depend upon who manages your confirmations! So, my best advice is to reach out to the company and ask what they can do for you!
Hopefully, the company is ahead of you on this and already has a plan in place. You may want to consider adding questions for your patients to answer by text and email. Or perhaps you would rather your patients call to be screened over the phone by a team member. But you definitely want to update the screening process to include text and email confirmations.
Dental Office Coronavirus Pre-Screening Won’t Catch Them All!
Dental office coronavirus pre-screening helps the office to reschedule patients who are sick. Some patients may be so ill that they forgot they even had a dental appointment. Or maybe they meant to call, and then fell asleep and didn’t quite get to it! It could also be that the patient has been hoping they would feel better soon. Only, that isn’t quite the case. And our phone call to them prompts them to seek further medical attention.
A dental patient may have symptoms of an illness and a dental emergency as well. How do we best manage this? We start by asking more questions about the dental emergency. Follow the usual protocol in handling dental emergency patients. It may be that the dentist can prescribe an antibiotic and hold on an office visit. But maybe the patient truly must be seen in the office. What then?
Review The True Dental Emergency With The Dentist
The dentist will make the call that the patient truly must be seen today. And it may be very rare that a patient has symptoms that resemble the coronavirus and has a dental emergency. But that possibility does exist. There are a couple of things the team can do to best care for themselves, their healthier patients, and this symptomatic patient.
Consider scheduling the patient at the end of the day or even after hours. This will minimize the risk of infection to others. Provide the patient with a surgical mask when they arrive. Have the patient use hand sanitizer as well. And then move them into a room away from other team members and patients. And of course all team members want to practice proper hand hygiene and follow the usual infection control protocols. Be well. Stay healthy. And look after each other. Thank you for choosing healthcare and all that you do each day.