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

Dental Office Tips and Ideas for Oral Cancer Awareness Month April 2020

Dental Office Tips and Ideas for Oral Cancer Awareness Month April 2020

Hello Friends,

April is Oral Cancer Awareness Month and Oral, Head and Neck Cancer Awareness Week is the 5th – 12th of April –   An excellent opportunity for you to raise oral cancer awareness and the need for early detection in order to save lives.

According to the American Cancer Society, over 53,000 Americans will be diagnosed with oral cavity or oropharyngeal cancer this year. An estimated 10,750 people will die of these cancers,  killing roughly 1 person per hour, 24 hours per day.

While smoking and tobacco use are still major risk factors, the fastest-growing segment of oral cancer patients is young, healthy, nonsmoking individuals due to the connection to the HPV virus. See more: http://oralcancerfoundation.org/events/oral-head-neck-cancer-awareness-month/

april oral cancer awareness dental office ideas

Here are some Oral Cancer Awareness Tips and Ideas to get you Started:

  • Hygiene Continuing Care Opportunity: Encourage your inactive patients to come in for their important free oral cancer screening.
  • Partner with a local business to do free oral cancer screenings at their location.
  • Open House/Oral Cancer Screening Event at your office. (See Tips and Ideas for Dental Office Open House Event )
  • Donate a portion of service/product sales (ie: teeth whitening, fluoride, Invisalign) to Oral Cancer Research.
  • Host or Participate in Oral Cancer Research 5k Walk/Run.
  • Give away Free T-shirts or Bracelets to every patient that makes a donation toward Oral Cancer Research or Just Because 🙂
  • Create a video to share on your social media platforms demonstrating how oral cancer screenings are quick & painless.
  • Bring in your local dermatologist for a lunch n learn to demonstrate oral, head & neck cancer screenings.
  • Have a gift card or gift basket raffle that your patients can enter to win during the month of April.

dentist office oral cancer screenings betty hayden consulting

Consider offering complimentary oral cancer screenings during the month of April or on a designated day…

 Your offer is this:

 April is Oral Cancer Awareness Month

our office is pleased to offer

FREE Oral Cancer Screenings

a National Effort to END ORAL CANCER!

 How can you promote your offer?

  •  Send a Press Release to local newspapers & TV stations.
  • Create a one-page flyer for your patients to share with their friends, family members, co-workers, and neighbors.
  • Talk about it on all of your office Social Media sites!
  • Create a Facebook Complimentary Oral Cancer Screening Event.

If you’re looking for additional marketing ideas not related to oral cancer awareness for April, please visit here: Dental Marketing and Practice Management Ideas for April 

Remember that when your patients are healthy – your practice is healthy.  For your patients to smile healthy they need to schedule the treatment you’ve diagnosed and to come in regularly for their hygiene continuing care appointments and oral cancer screenings.

If you’re struggling to reach your practice goals – feel free to contact me for a complimentary, no-obligation 30-minute telephone consultation at bhaydenconsulting@gmail.com to see if a coaching relationship is right for you.

Did you like the complimentary tips and ideas I  shared in this article? I would love and truly appreciate for you to please leave me a review/recommendation 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 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

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

Dental Practice Tips and Ideas for January 2020

Dental Practice Tips and Ideas for January 2020

Hello Friends,

Now is a great time to find and create opportunities for growth in the New Year.

“What the new year brings to you will depend a great deal on what you bring to the new year.” ~ Vern McLellan

So, what will you be bringing? Rather than bringing the same headaches and stresses, you may have experienced this year due to not successfully reaching your practice goals… why not, instead, bring a clear vision of what you want to see in the new year. (Makes sense seeing that it is 2020 😉)

Create your action plan for any wanted and needed improvements to your office including setting your production, collection, patient retention, treatment, continuing education, and new patient goals for the new year. Do include your team in this plan, ask them what their ideas are to make 2020 a more productive and happier year for all!  Remember, people are more likely to support that which they help to create.

Don’t let another year slip by without you successfully reaching or exceeding your goals. It’s time to bring it! Bring your vision and action plan to 2020.

To help you bring it I am sharing some dental office leadership, management, and marketing tips and ideas for January…

Betty Hayden Consulting Winter Dental Office Ideas and Marketing

Leadership Tips and Ideas ~

Improve Communication with Team Meetings:  Schedule monthly team meetings – to be clear, I am not talking about boring and unproductive waste of time meetings just for the sake of having a meeting. Not at all, I am talking about meetings that keep the team all on the same page as to your daily goals, enabling them to live your vision for the practice day in and day out while holding each other accountable to the same high-performance standards.

Boost Team Morale Fun Idea: National Cheesy Socks Day: Jan. 21st ~ Give your employees a gift of cheesy/silly socks to wear on the 21st.  Be sure to take a picture to post on Facebook and Instagram

Practice Management Tips and Reminders ~

Hygiene Continuing Care & Incomplete Treatment:

Insurance Renewals: Many of your patients’ dental insurance maximums renew on January 1. Phone your patients with a friendly reminder of their renewed benefits and make a reservation for them to come in for their hygiene visit or incomplete treatment with the doctor. Include reminders on your social media platforms.

Hygiene Patients: Are you pre-appointing hygiene visits? If not, January is a good time to make this a goal for the office. While you have the hygiene patient in the office, schedule their next 3, 4, or 6-month visit. Avoid saying “would you like to schedule your next appointment?” Some will say no. So instead, say this: “Let’s go ahead and schedule your next visit.” Assume they want to schedule their next visit. By the way, your entire team needs to be on board with pre-appointing your patients. It can be done!

If you’re struggling to have a productive and effective hygiene department – I can help you with this.

Office Appearance:

National Clean Off Your Desk Day: Jan. 13th  ~ Clutter represents indecision. Make the decision to get rid of the clutter! That includes any sticky notes attached to computer monitors, coats/sweaters hanging on the backs of chairs, and fast-food drink containers sitting out on the counters. While you’re at it, go ahead and attack the cabinets & closets. Say goodbye to the clutter! Here are a few office cleaning ideas: Are you past due for your office cleaning?

Marketing Tips and Ideas ~

Exceed Patients’ Expectations – Give Away/Gift Idea:

January is National Hot Tea Month. Give away packets of tea that have a label on them saying “Our Patients are TEA-riffic!”

our patients are teariffic betty hayden consulting dental coach

winter dental marketing ideas betty hayden consulting

 

Trust me, even if this sounds silly to you – your patients love these free gifts. It’s an inexpensive and simple way to make their day!

Reminder: Make sure that all your patient give-away/gifts have labels/packaging that include your office name.

Educational Opportunity ~

Sugar Awareness Week: Jan. 20-24 – This week share website and social media platform posts /videos all about sugar and dental health. Excellent educational opportunity.

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

National Soup Month

Drinking Straw Day: 3rd

Cigarettes Are Hazardous To Your Health Day: 11th

Dress Up Your Pet Day: 14th  (People LOVE to share pictures of their pets!)

National Cheese Lovers Day: 20th

Dental Drill Appreciation Day: 26th

There you have it, dental leadership, practice management, and marketing tips and ideas for January. I hope that you find them helpful! Thank you for taking the time to read this article.

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

What are your practice goals for 2020? I would love the opportunity to work along with you and your team to help you set and exceed your practice goals. If you would like to schedule a complimentary telephone consultation to learn how our coaching program works, please email me at bhaydenconsulting@gmail.com.

Are you receiving my free Dental Leadership, Practice Management, and Marketing Ideas in your email inbox each month? If not, please follow today or send me (bhaydenconsulting@gmail.com) your email address and I will send you an invitation to follow. This way, you won’t miss a single idea. 

Yours for Greater Success,

~Betty

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