The COVID- 19 pandemic swept across the globe and many businesses had not foreseen its devastating effects. However, many states have been able to reduce the spread of the virus through social distancing and enhanced hygiene measures, allowing dentists and other businesses to start getting back to business. Getting back to business during and after this pandemic should not be taken lightly, businesses need to take measures to ensure the safety of everyone.
Sadly the return to your practice will not be business as usual and there will be a great need for you to make adjustments and changes to the way your practice is structured and run. Here we list a few important pointers for the returning dentist to look out for.
Know your numbers
Patient numbers are the very first thing you need to know as a practice. Focus on scheduling the high-value procedures in order to increase production. Pay attention to:
Your active patients
- These are patients who have been in touch during the lockdown.
- Patients who have responded to any material sent to them online.
- Patients that have rescheduled an appointment within the next four months.
Your new patients
These are patients that are not in your existing database that have reached out to your practice either by referral or interaction with your marketing material.
Costs and charges
You need to monitor how the economic climate stands. This will help you present competitive charges to patients, know how much it will cost you to keep production going, know how much you will need on expenses.
The numbers will tell you how much of a viable business you have on your hands and how much you need to invest and were.
As we emerge from this pandemic patients new appreciation of the dentists, new dental problems, new concerns and hundreds of questions. Develop a curious empathetic approach to each patient finding out their true concerns and reassuring them that your practice is the right place for them to be at this very moment.
Your relationship with your patients is by far the most important thing and you should invest in earning their trust all over again
Adapt your systems
In the current climate, a patient is hesitant to make long time commitment in the fear of another lockdown pandemic or security of their finances. This is understandable so your systems have to be adjusted to put that fear at bay.
When getting back to business, instead of tyring to have your patients commit to a full year’s subscriptions try and have quarterly or group appointments of say 12 at a time where a patient does not feel as if they are paying for a service that they might never use. Introduce new marketing trends while you are at it to speak to your patient’s reservations.
This is also a good time to look into your financial arrangements. Introduce slightly more flexible payment plans. Make it easier for patients to pay for your services.
Pay attention to insurance eligibility and availability
Make sure your patients know the status of their health insurance and if it covers their desired procedure. As we slowly return to a normal working environment insurance companies will have reviewed their policies and you need to know how this affects your patients and subsequently your practice.
The need to reinvent will come with a few hurdles but it is important to know that a bad month does not mean that the whole year is going to follow suit. As a dentist that is “coming back anew,” it is important not to panic and keep a level head at every turn.
There are many professionals that you can consult with in matters of insurance verification, billing, marketing, and general patient management.
We make getting back to business easy through our insourced virtual teams.
SupportDDS is a leading Texas-based in-sourcing company that provides virtual assistants and administrative support for dental practices. Moreover, we provide both short and long term virtual outsourcing services customized to suit your business process needs.