3 TIPS TO HELPING PATIENTS RETURN TO YOUR DENTAL PRACTICE IN A POST-COVID-19 WORLD
With vaccination rates rising across the United States and more and more areas of the country loosening restrictions as we enter the next phase of the COVID-19 pandemic, many dental practices are coming upon the one-year anniversary of being closed down in response to the pandemic and its threats.
In that year, many dental practices took the opportunity to not only reinvent how they ran their businesses, but also how they communicated with their patients about infection control and prevention measures that were being taken to protect their team and their patients.
That message shouldn’t change as the approach to the pandemic changes, and that’s one of three tips that Fortune Management is sharing with its clients as dental practices look to ensure continued success in 2021 and beyond.
Tip 1 – Make communication about safety a priority
Going above and beyond to show patients what is being done to protect them is more important than ever. Talk about it on your website, in words and video. Discuss your infection control protocols in a short video on social media. Reach out to the local newspaper to talk about how your practice has stayed free of COVID-19 and was keeping patients safe long before anyone had heard of COVID-19.
The things that you’ve done for years that you always considered a part of your daily routine when it came to infection prevention and control can now become talking points about the safety measures you take in your practice.
“I see so many of my clients who are following strict protocols and doing everything possible to keep their patients safe every day,” said Joanne Newborn, an executive coach with Fortune Management covering New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut. “I believe letting patients know what dentists and teams are doing to protect them is so important. Infection control and prevention measures are a well-kept secret and it’s time that that secret is out in the open and discussed in a letter, through videos, or any way they can best reach their patient base.”
Tip 2 – Make the oral-systemic link a bigger talking point than ever
With a prolonged focus on staying safe from COVID-19 and doing everything you can to avoid the virus, patients are more in tune with their health today than perhaps ever before. With that in mind, now is a great time to remind your patients that their oral health impacts their overall health.
Sure, maybe you’ve talked about the oral-systemic link before, but now is the time to double down on that discussion with your patients, especially those with periodontal disease. Make sure your hygiene department is prepared with talking points and next steps when a patient is in the chair. Everyone on the team being on the same page when it comes to reminding patients of the importance of the oral-systemic link is important for their health and your business.
Tip 3 – Be the helping hand
Just like your dental practice was financially impacted by the pandemic, many of your patients have seen their financial situations change as well. Some have lost their insurance. Some have lost their jobs and/or been forced to change occupations. Some have had to shift priorities when it comes to where they spend their money.
Of course, all of this has an impact on your patients when they walk through your door. Learn what you can about any career-related changes regarding your patients ahead of time and be prepared to offer them alternatives (such as third-party financing through CareCredit) that can help them not only accept treatment, but feel comfortable doing it.
With so much occurring in our society over the last year-plus, showing yourself as someone who is putting the safety and needs of your patients as a top priority is a key building block for your business for the rest of 2021. If you want additional help or to build some ideas for your team and your business, reach out to your Fortune Management coach.