Dental Office Soft Re-openings With Strong Communication
Dental office soft re-openings with COVID-19 consideration is upon us. And there is much for the dental administrative team to consider. Especially considering patient communication. We do not want to communicate fear. But strive to communicate trust, safety and confidence. So, in order to do that, we must feel safe and confident too.
Our body language and tone say it all. So much more than our words! Make sure you as the dental administrator are confident in all that is happening within the practice and your COVID-19 protection practices. If you have any questions or doubts, get clear on those issues immediately. Ask for help. Get some clarity. And know every little thing your dental practice is doing to protect the team and it’s patients. Your patients will notice!
Technology and Tools
Where would we be without technology and tools in our dental practices? They make such a difference! Both in the time they provide us with and in the simplification of our daily tasks. And most likely, we are spending more time with our patients on the phones these days. Now, as we pre-screen our dental patients individually, there are even more questions to ask them:
- Is the patient over 60 years in age?
- Has our patient had a fever in the past 14 -21 days? or felt hot?
- Does the patient have a cough?
- How about difficulty in breathing or shortness in breath?
- Are there currently any flu-like symptoms? aches and pains? gastrointestinal?
- Have any family members had COVID in the past 14 – 21 days? Or any contact with a confirmed COVID individual?
- And are there any auto-immune diseases to consider? heart disease? kidney disease? lung disease?
- Where has the patient been in the past 14 days? Any areas where COVID is present?
Texting patients is also an essential part of the day! As we let our patient know we have a treatment room ready for them. And perhaps we want to let our patient know we will meet them at the door to take their temperature. Maybe, we want to let them know it will be just a few more minutes, and if they could please wait in their car. And we may also want to offer an appointment time once we have the “go ahead” to schedule our patient. And even offer patient registration via their smartphones! Let’s get you set up!
Dental Office Soft Re-Openings With Insurance Verification
Patients may have had benefit disruptions they are not aware of. Especially with so many things going on to consider! And we definitely want to be “in the know” of our patients’ benefit status prior to extending treatment. This is not the time for more surprises. Especially of this kind! Let’s have all our ducks in a row. And use another great tool and technology to empower our administrative team!
Verify patient benefits and even receive their history and remaining benefits. You may even want to request a full break down of what a patient’s benefits look like. And know if they have used their deductible or not. Time again, is always a factor to consider. So, let’s get this taken care of for you as well. We have the power. And we have the technology. Let’s put this to good use!
Consider Stronger & Safer Collection
Dental office soft re-openings include money collection. What’s the best way and the safest way to do this? Try to calculate your patient’s co-payment or total cost before they check out. And this is much easier to do if benefits have been verified. But there are a couple of other things you may wish to consider as well.
Ask your patients to bring their own pen with them. Otherwise, be prepared to hand a pen over to your patient for keeps! Think about your check-out process. And whenever possible, collect your patient’s copay prior to treatment. This can be done in advance of their appointment at the time they schedule, or as the patient arrives at check in. Either way, it allows the patient to exit the office without a lot of interaction or time at the front office following treatment.
Dental Office Soft Re-Openings With Customer Service Focus
Our dental patients may be more nervous than ever! And understandably so. If we thought we had to be caring and supportive before, it’s ten times the case now! Our body language, our tone, and our patient interaction is even more important today. If any of our patients express hesitation to come into the office, there’s no pressure.
Let’s support one another within the team. Compliment one another, encourage one another, and try to have some fun together! Some nice music in the office may be helpful too. One of the general dentists I had the pleasure of working with had a music room in the office. And there were CD’s available for patients to pick from. Patients loved it! And really enjoyed choosing the music for their appointment. Although CD’s aren’t necessary, maybe ask your patient what they might want to hear for music if it works for you.
Team Training & Re-Training
Dental office soft re-openings may extend opportunity for more team training! Since we are all making changes now anyway, why not? What is one thing you might want to change in your dental practice? Maybe you would like to begin with stronger phone training for the entire team? Or perhaps some one-on-one coaching in treatment presentation or financial discussion?
Collections and accounts receivables are the most common area of concern for dental practices. And it’s the easiest to turn around! I’ve got all the tools you need to make it happen. And just because someone has worked in dental practices a long time, doesn’t mean there isn’t something more to learn!