Dental Office Tips and Suggestions Regarding COVID-19

Dental Office Tips and Suggestions Regarding COVID-19

Hello Friends,

With the Government guidelines and regulations regarding COVID-19 rapidly changing, it has been especially challenging for dental practices to know what the best way is to care for and protect their employees and their patients.

Earlier today I shared some suggestions, tips, and advice regarding COVID-19 with my coaching clients via emails and calls but I thought you all might find the information helpful as well so I am sharing here too.

While we don’t want to contribute to the panic that is happening all around us or create more fear in our patients’ lives – we need to be able to effectively communicate how we are following recommendations to keep employees and patients safe and healthy.

My biggest recommendation to you is to take a deep breath, remain calm and think before you act and make any decisions for yourself, the office, your employees, and your patients.

Some offices are choosing to remain open while others are closed due to State-mandated closures and/or strongly recommended suspension of nonessential and nonurgent dental care for 14 days.

Coronavirus Dental Practice Tips and Ideas from Dental Coach Betty Hayden

UPDATE: I know that many dental offices have made the decision to close the practice to all non-emergency appointments. Several have reached out to me asking what they can do to still be productive during this time to help grow and improve the practice. If you would like a list of recommended and suggested tasks and things to do during this “downtime” – please send me an email at bhaydenconsulting@gmail.com and I will get that out to you. 

Here are some questions, tips, and suggestions to consider whether you remain open, are at a reduced schedule, or are closed…

If you Remain Open:

  • Who can work and when?
  • Will you continue seeing hygiene patients?
  • Will you reduce the hours or days worked?
  • Will you
  • What will you say to patients calling with concerns?
  • How will you care for emergencies?
  • What is a true dental emergency?
  • What happens if an employee or the doctor gets sick?
  • What happens if a patient comes in for their appt and you suspect they are sick?
  • Do you have the supplies necessary to care for your scheduled patients?
  • Be sure that you hold times in the schedule to accommodate reschedules, emergencies, and NP’s
  • What happens if you need to close the office? Do you have a written protocol?
  • Do your automated electronic appointment reminders need to be adjusted?

If you Close the Office:

  • Who is responsible for rescheduling appointments? And what is the scripting?
  • Where will you reappoint the patients?
  • Do you need to pause your automated electronic appointment reminder system?
  • When will you reopen?
  • Who will answer the office telephone calls?
  • Do some employees still work in the office?  Who and what are their tasks?
  • Who will collect the mail? Who will post checks?
  • How will your employees be paid?

 Patient Communication

Write down what to say regarding:

  • Rescheduling Patients Appts
  • Patients Calling to Cancel/Reschedule
  • Patient Safety Protocols
  • Patients in the office with symptoms of illness
  • Patients that want to delay treatment
  • Office Closures
  • What is a dental emergency?
  • Preventive dental health home-care tips

The biggest thing to remember when communicating with your patients – is to reassure them that their safety and the safety of your employees is of utmost importance. By now, they all know what is going on and it’s no secret that big adjustments are being made all over. If any appointments need to be rescheduled, assure them you are making arrangements so they won’t have to wait too long for an appointment. Be real with them but don’t cause any unnecessary panic. It’s best to keep messages simple and helpful.

In-Office Appointments

  • Patients should not come to the office if they have any cold/flu-like symptoms.
  • Request that patients call or text from their car when they’ve arrived for their appt.
  • Advise patients to not bring in anyone else with them to their appt.
  • Remove from the reception room any difficult to clean items (books, magazines, toys, beverage station items, etc).
  • To minimize exposure, avoid having patients stop at the front desk at appointment arrival and dismissal. Rather, do all that you can from the treatment room (ie: Scheduling and Collecting Payments).
  • Make the most of each appointment – Continue to provide the very best experiences for every patient. If you can care for any diagnosed treatment needs while they’re there instead of reappointing them that would be great.

Stay in Touch

  • Patients with scheduled appts – reach out to your scheduled patients with what you’re doing to help keep them safe at their appt.
  • Older Patients – Check in on your elderly patients to see how they are doing.
  • Appointments – Keep careful track of all cancelations, broken appts, and reschedules!  We don’t want any patients slipping through any cracks
  • Social Media – Use your social media platforms to stay in touch with your patients as well as with potential patients. SEE Dental Practice Social Media Platform Tips and Content Ideas.
  • Create short Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram videos with at-home preventive dental care tips and a video or post(s) to answer the questions: what is a dental emergency?/ what to do in a dental emergency?

  During Downtime or Office Closures

  • External and Internal Marketing Plans (critically important for the growth of the practice especially in times like this) – Create your plan to exceed current patients’ expectations, welcome more new patients, retain and reactivate patients, as well as build relationships within the community.  SEE Dentist Office Leadership, Practice Management, and Marketing Tips and Ideas for April 2020
  • Office Cleaning and Organization – SEE Is Your Dental Office Pastdue For A Cleaning?
  • Continuing Education and Training – spend some time together as a team to watch dental education webinars and on-line courses, team role-play, and create and refine new office protocols, and systems.

Employee Illness Policy

Employees experiencing influenza-like-illness (ILI) (fever with either cough or sore throat, muscle aches) should not report to work.

What is your policy for employees who become ill?

Who will cover for that employee and how?

Doctor Illness

If the doctor is diagnosed with COVID-19 (or any illness suspected of possibly being COVID-19) what is your plan for patient care?

Temp Employment Agencies

Even if you don’t have a need right now to use a temp agency you may need one soon. Who do you call? How do they work? It would be wise for you to create detailed job descriptions and protocols for each department should you need to bring someone in temporarily.

Supplies

Do you have the necessary supplies to care for your scheduled patients? If not, are you able to obtain the supplies in time?

Remote Computer Access

Should the office be closed, are you prepared to access your PMS at home? Who can access this information?

Employees working from home

What is expected of the team over the period working from home?

Which jobs and tasks are essential, and which can wait?

Overhead

Now is a good time to review all overhead expenses.  Evaluate all categories for any possible reduction opportunities.   If you don’t know your overhead percentages or recommended benchmarks I strongly encourage you to learn this information.

Review your business interruption coverage

Do you know the details of your insurance policies? Immediately speak to your insurance expert and get detailed information about your business interruption coverage.  What is covered?  What is the amount of coverage?  What is the deductible?  When does it kick in?  A 14-day interruption for self-quarantine might not be covered.

I understand that this most likely doesn’t answer all of your questions and concerns but I hope it does help some.

Don’t miss out on any of the ideas that I share each month! Are you receiving my complimentary Practice Management and Marketing Ideas in your email each month? If not, please start following us today. If you prefer, send me your email address (to bhaydenconsulting@gmail.com) and I will send you an invitation to follow my blog.

Sending you wishes for health, safety, and much happiness!

Yours for Greater Success,

~Betty – Dental Coach

UPDATE: I know that many dental offices have made the decision to close the practice to all non-emergency appointments. Several have reached out to me asking what they can do to still be productive during this time to help grow and improve the practice. If you would like a list of recommended and suggested tasks and things to do during this “downtime” – please send me an email at bhaydenconsulting@gmail.com and I will get that out to you. 

Dental Coach Betty Hayden Tips and Ideas to improve dentist office

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Dentist Office Leadership, Practice Management, and Marketing Tips and Ideas for April 2020

Dentist Office Leadership, Practice Management, and Marketing Tips and Ideas for April 2020

Hello, Friends ~

How was your first quarter? I hope you reached (or exceeded) your office production, collection, and NP goals.

Now it’s time to welcome Spring and your second quarter. Be sure to review your plans to make this second quarter your best one yet!  Ensure that everyone on the team is on the same page.

Here are some practice management, leadership, and marketing tips and ideas to help you grow your dental practice, exceed your current and potential patient’s expectations, and to have more fun as a team during the month of April! (I am certain that less-stress and more fun at the office is something that we all want.)

Dental Coaching Spring Tips and Ideas

Leadership Tips and Ideas:

“A team that plays and learns together stays together.”

National Fun at Work Day: 1st   – Have a silly theme for this day. (For example, Crazy hair, silly socks, decades day, etc. POST pictures on Facebook and Instagram)

National Dental Hygienists Week: 4th – 10th  (note: this is for my Canadian friends)

Celebrate your hard-working front office team:

Administrative Professionals Week: 20-24th  /Admin Professionals Day: 22nd

Happy administrative professionals day dental office betty hayden consulting

See Employee Appreciation Ideas Here: Employee Appreciation Gift Ideas Pinterest Board

Practice Management Ideas:

Hygiene Continuing Care Reminders –  Reach out your past-due hygiene patients.

April 18th -24th  is Cleaning For A Reason Week.  Turn this into a “time(past-time)  for your spring dental health cleaning, examination, and oral cancer screening appointment”  reminder.

spring hygiene continuing care reminder dentist office

Oh, this also may be the perfect time for you to spring clean the office! See: Is Your Dental Office Past-due For A Cleaning?

Educational Opportunities:

Oral Cancer Awareness Month ~ An excellent opportunity for you to raise oral cancer awareness and the need for early detection in order to save lives.  See Dental Office Tips and Ideas for Oral Cancer Awareness Month April 2020

Stress Awareness Month ~ Share with your patients in-office and via your social media platforms how stress can negatively impact their dental health. Provide tips for reducing and dealing with stress. As well as how a bite-guard may be helpful.

Marketing Tips and Ideas:

April is National Garden Month 

Here are some ideas for you: (I have shared this one before, but it is so effective that I want to share it again.)

Theme: Spring Flowers

Focus: Spring into a Healthy & Beautiful Smile

Fun Give Away: Flower Seed Packets w/a label and business card attached.

Flower seed packets can be purchased at most Dollar Stores for around .20 a packet. Great deal!

The labels you attach to the flower seed packets can say:

Your referrals help grow our practice, Thank you! “

Our Office Blooms Because of you! “

Please enjoy these flowers growing as much as we enjoy your referrals growing our practice.

your referrals help grow our dental practice

Your patients will love these little flower seed packets give-aways! Make certain the office name & info is on the packet.

For awesome ideas for flower seed packaging/presentation check out my Pinterest board HERE.

Social Media Post Ideas to Improve Engagement during the month of April –

 Vitamin C Day: 4th

National Siblings Day: 10th

Banana Day: 15th

National Jelly Bean Day: 22nd

National Superhero Day: 28th

Wishing you all a productive, stress-free, and very happy April! Remember, that I love hearing all about your plans and ideas to have a great month so please share them with me.

If you appreciated these complimentary ideas I  would love for you to please leave me a review/recommendation here on GOOGLE and/or FACEBOOK.  Thank you!!

Don’t miss out on any of the ideas that I share each month! Are you receiving my complimentary Practice Management and Marketing Ideas in your email each month? If not, please start following us today. If you prefer, send me your email address (to bhaydenconsulting@gmail.com) and I will send you an invitation to follow my blog.

Yours for Greater Success,
~Betty

P.S. Please stop by and say hello to me on FacebookTwitterInstagramLinkedIn and Pinterest

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Dentist Office Leadership, Management, and Marketing Tips and Ideas for March 2020

Dentist Office Leadership, Management, and Marketing Tips and Ideas for March 2020

Hello, Friends –

The month of March is the final month of your first quarter. There is still time to make this your best quarter ever! Spend some time reviewing your numbers, your plans for how to reach your goals, and ways to continually improve your office during the year.

With March being Employee Spirit Month it’s also a great month to celebrate your dental team! (Well, isn’t every month a great month to celebrate your team?)

Here are a few Dental Leadership, Practice Management and Marketing Ideas for March to get you started:

 

Betty Hayden Consulting Dental Coach Dentist Office Ideas

 Leadership Tips and Ideas ~

“Outstanding leaders go out of the way to boost the self-esteem of their personnel. If people believe in themselves, it’s amazing what they can accomplish.” – Sam Walton

National Dentists Day: March 6th   – Spend today celebrating the awesome dentists’ in your life! Be sure to take a picture(s) of your dentist(s) to post on your social media pages with a message of appreciation.

dentists day dental practice management dental coaching

National Dental Assistants Recognition Week: 1st – 7th  – This is the week to celebrate your hard-working assistants! Be sure to take a picture(s) of your assistants to post on your social media pages with a message of appreciation.

Employee Spirit Month – If you want to increase employee trust, creativity, teamwork, engagement, and productivity, then it’s time to have some fun, commend more, improve communication and huddle up!

Dental Morning Huddle Tips and Ideas

Dental Team Building Activities, Rewards, and Incentive Tips and Ideas

I can help! Learn how to lead your team, creating greatness based on high-performance expectations and principles. Produce more, Collect more, Stress-less, and have more Fun!

Schedule your complimentary no-obligation 30-minute coaching consultation today at bhaydenconsulting@gmail.com.

Practice Management Tips and Ideas ~

March is an especially important month for any of you that typically struggle with your schedule during the month of September (AKA Sucktember).

Pre-Appointments – Be sure to pre-appoint your March hygiene patients for their 6-month continuing care appointments. (If this isn’t already being done with your hygiene patients, make it your goal to schedule their next appt. while they are there in the office.)

By the way, do you know your patient’s pre-appointment percentage?  If not, that is a smart number to start tracking to improve your patient retention.

If you don’t know how to track this number and your PMS is either Dentrix, Open Dental, or Eaglesoft – I can get you these numbers. At this time, we can also give you a complimentary growth report. It’s simple: Game-Changing Awareness from Dental Intelligence

Dental Marketing Tips & Ideas for the month of March ~

Celebrate Your Name Week: 1-7 – Here is a simple and fun idea for “celebrate your name week”. During this week each working day post 3-5 names on your office Facebook page and Instagram page and people with those names can stop by the office to pick up a new toothbrush. Seriously, it won’t cost you much money, it will encourage people to share the post (your office info) to their social media pages, and it will bring in potential new patients into your practice!

Educational Opportunity –

National Kidney Month – Good dental health isn’t just about preventing cavities and keeping your gums healthy. Both tooth decay and gum disease can lead to infections that can cause problems for people with kidney disease.  A study in the Journal of Clinical Periodontology reported that people with kidney disease and those on dialysis are more likely to have periodontal disease and other oral health problems than the general population.

Social Media Post Ideas to Improve Engagement during the month of March ~

World Compliment Day 1st

Oreo Cookie Day 6th

Daylight Savings Time 8th

Lips Appreciation Day 16th

Kick Butts Day 20th

Spinach Day 26th 

Betty Hayden Dental Social Media Contact Spinach Day

What are your plans to make March a great month? Please share your plans and ideas with me!

I would love and truly appreciate for you to please leave a review/recommendation for me here on GOOGLE and/or FACEBOOK.

Don’t miss out on any of the ideas that I share each month! Are you receiving my complimentary Practice Management and Marketing Ideas in your email inbox each month? If not, please start following us today.  If you prefer, send me your email address at bhaydenconsulting@gmail.com and I will send you an invitation to follow my blog.

Yours for Greater Success,

~Betty – Dental Coach

P.S. Please stop by and say hello to me on FacebookTwitterInstagramLinkedIn and Pinterest

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Dental Office Telephone Principles

Dental Office Telephone Principles

Hello Friends,

You never get a second chance to make a great first impression.”

What kind of impression is your dental office team creating for you? Do you know how effective they are in answering the office telephone? Does it really matter? Absolutely!

All of your marketing efforts lead people to the phone first. Don’t waste your money by losing the potential patient or aggravating current patients due to poor telephone skills and habits. Your entire team (clinical & admin) should be trained on how to properly answer the phone and handle the call. Answering the phone is a privilege and a great opportunity!

dental telephone scripting principles from betty hayden consulting

 

Here are 10 helpful telephone tips & ideas:

  1. Smile before you pick up the phone.
  2. Answer the phone within the first couple of rings.
  3. Answer the phone with a thank you for calling, identify the office and give your name. (ex: Thank you for calling Dr. Smiles, this is Betty. I can help you.)
  4. Do NOT let the caller go to voice mail (or a busy signal!) during business hours (including lunch hours). People hate leaving messages. Oftentimes, they’ll hang up and call the next office on their list.
  5. Never, ever answer the phone with “hold please” or “can you hold?”! Take a quick second, find out who they are and what they need. People hate to be put on hold. If you are habitually needing to put callers on hold, you need more people answering the phones.
  6. For the few times when you do need to put a caller on hold – please, consider having a great message on hold service. Here’s why: Should I Use A Message On Hold Service?
  7. Get the caller’s name early on and use it often. BEFORE you answer their initial question you should know who you are talking with. (ie: “Great question, I can help you that. Again, my name is Betty may I ask your name?”)
  8. Find out how they heard about your office (document the referral source!).
  9. What type of insurance do you have?” shouldn’t be the first thing you ask. In fact, let the caller bring that part up. Your goal is to build a relationship with the caller, to get to know them and their expectations.
  10. Offer an appointment. Sounds obvious right? You might be surprised to know how many offices miss this important step. 

Set aside some time to meet together as a team – everyone in the office should be trained on how to not only answer the phones but they should know how to handle the calls. At the very least, professionally & courteously direct the caller to someone who can help.

Practice, Practice, Practice how to effectively handle different types of calls and questions until you feel comfortable. 

As a team, create your Telephone Principles (scripting guidelines) which are your goals & expectations for each call.

Know how to respond to the following callers:

  • Shopper Callers – Great opportunity! Typically, the shopper caller has a need and is ready to “buy”, that’s why they are “shopping”.  Don’t blow it by refusing to quote fees over the phone.
  • Insurance Questions – Have a great response for: “Do you take —-ins?
  • Wrong Numbers – offer an appointment anyway.
  • Sales Calls – Be kind, they’re just doing their job. Maybe they need an appointment. Plus, you don’t know who they know. It’s simple – always be kind.
  • Organizations or local businesses requesting donations – Empower your team to fulfill their request. At the very least, offer them an appointment.

The telephone ringing should never be viewed as an interruption to your already too busy day. Certainly, handling the phones is a big responsibility but it’s an even bigger privilege. Don’t miss out on any opportunities to set your office apart from the others by always exceeding the caller’s expectations.

If you have questions about how to successfully handle telephone calls or need help training your team, don’t wait, ask for help. I’m ready to help you. Email:bhaydenconsulting@gmail.com

If you enjoy the complimentary ideas that I share each month, I would love and truly appreciate for you to please leave a review here on GOOGLE and/or FACEBOOK

Be sure to take a second and subscribe to receive in your email inbox each month, my FREE (no spam ever!) dental marketing, leadership, and practice management tips & ideas. Or if you prefer to email me at bhaydenconsulting@gmail.com your email address and I will send you an invitation to follow.

Yours for Greater Success,

~Betty – Dental Coach

P.S. Please stop by and say hello to me on  FacebookTwitterInstagramLinkedIn and Pinterest

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