Dental Office Coronavirus Downtime Utilized
Dental office coronavirus downtime is a new venture for us in the dental world. And in times past, when we thought of downtime, it was due to a no-show. Or maybe we had a storm of some kind. Possibly, a freak accident or some other unforeseen event! But this is a first for all of us. And what do we do with our downtime? And how long will it last?
There is so much we do not know. And not knowing can be the hardest thing of all. Because we want someone to show us the way. Tell us what works and what doesn’t work. But here’s the deal. We are the navigators and the pioneers in this today. What we do and don’t do set the stage and lay the groundwork for the days ahead and in our industry for the ages that follow.
Where Do We Begin?
Our world leaders encourage us to be sure that we put our health and well-being first. Which makes sense. The preservation of life is at the forefront of our minds. How do we maintain health and well-being in times like these? And I have to commend Governor Gavin Newsome in California for his recent statement, “Public distancing is not social distancing.” I love this!
And this is a great place for us to start. Public distancing without social distancing includes our teams and our patients. And there are some projects that we can work on that will help us grow our relationships and our practice even while practicing physical distancing. And hopefully you have the ability to work administratively from home. Or you can set things up to do so right now. Because we could be facing some up and down times in the weeks and months to come.
Dental Office Coronavirus Downtime Connections
Dental office coronavirus downtime connections can include calling scheduled patients. Call patients who have an appointment scheduled each day and just say ‘Hi”. Let them know you are thinking of them and that you want to see how they are doing? Take some time to really connect. Ask how they are holding up? Is everyone staying well? Do they need anything?
This is an amazing opportunity for us to build stronger communities. We can have an impact in a very positive way. And we might even find a patient with a dental emergency or a dental concern they need reassurance with. Let patients know you look forward to seeing them again soon. And encourage them that this will pass. And together we will come through this storm.
Keep The Team Connected Too!
Send one another texts, emails, and even hold a group video chat! The dental office team works together day in and day out, and many times for years! It can be tough to have our schedules upset and our world upside down. Our work family is an extension of our families, and we truly want to know how everyone is doing. Maybe even create a private facebook group for the team members only. You can share videos, jokes, parts of your day in a new way.
Phone calls are so valuable too! We’ve grown so used to texts, emails, and videos. But even just to hear another voice when we feel alone is a big deal! Remember, we are not alone and we have some amazing technologies available to us today. And the phone is a tremendous resource. Reach out and “touch someone” today!
Dental Office Coronavirus Downtime Cleanup
Dental office coronavirus downtime cleanup can include database clean up. Have you ever thought.. “someday.. when I have time… I’m going to?” Today could be the beginning of that sometime! What would you like to clean up? Inactive dental patients is a great place to start. What about treatment plans or unscheduled treatment? Maybe a clean up of “employer” listings or “referrals”. Have you wished you had a different new patient letter?
Perhaps there are new chart note templates you would like to create? What about a new schedule template for your restorative or hygiene schedule? Why not both? There are several great projects to consider at this time! My suggestion is to pick one major project of the week. And a new project each week will help pass the time while improving the business. And quite honestly, I would consider a start with the dental office collections. Because there could be unpaid claims that you can call on now as well.
Unpaid insurance claims over 30 days deserve a phone call. Remember, not everyone is closed for business. Many companies are working from home. And there might be a way to check on claims through an automated system or website as well. Hopefully, there is someone checking the mail and making deposits. Even if you are only able to pick up mail once a week. It might be possible to mail a deposit or even deposit by your cell phone! Check with your banks to see what’s the best way to manage this.
When did your patient statements last go out? Although I certainly sympathize that there are many people out of work right now, that’s not the case for everyone. And I certainly am not trying to make light of our economic impact or what we face. But, we do have some financially sound and stable individuals in our patient base who can pay their statements right now. If you have not sent statements recently, please consider doing this. And if you can send your statements electronically, even better!
Dental Office Coronavirus Downtime With Vision
Dental office coronavirus downtime will come to an end. Nothing lasts forever. And this too shall pass. We’ll wear the t-shirts and say “remember when”. But it’s true that we will live in a different world. And we have a hand in just how we want our world to be. Our input and participation is necessary. And I believe we can make it better than it was! I believe in the constant evolution of humanity. I believe in our communities. And I believe we are better together!
This is a great time of visioning. What do you want your first day back in the office to look like? How do you want to manage your patients and schedules? Will you see any hygiene patients? Or just take things slow? And what will the recommendations be for the dental world? Because we know it’s been suggested we move slowly so as not to suffer more of a set-back.
The more flexible we are right now, the less chance we will break! But try to do what you can administratively at this time. It’s good to have purpose and distraction and even vision. A vision that we will be okay and our practices will be too is key. And if we use this time well, we can become an even greater piece of our community with a stronger connection to our team and patients.