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

Dental Office Tips and Ideas for Marketing to Retirees and Seniors

Dental Office Tips and Ideas for Marketing to Retirees and Seniors

Hello Friends,

Do your marketing efforts include marketing to seniors and retirees? Marketing to seniors typically isn’t a priority for most dentists. However, since advancing age doesn’t mean seniors cannot keep their teeth for a lifetime, why not take advantage of the opportunity to reach out to this generation? Help them to see they’re not destined to lose their teeth. Not only are there many preventive services available to them there are also many cosmetic dental treatment options to help them smile with confidence.   

dental marketing ideas for seniors betty hayden consulting dental coach

A few ways to reach out to Senior Citizens and Retirees:

  • Senior/(Retirees) Appreciation Day (In-office)
  • Senior Health & Wellness Expo
  • Direct Mail Marketing to Senior Living Communities
  • On-site Dental Health Education Presentations for Seniors & Caregivers
  • Website & Social Media Sites

Today, I’m going to focus on ideas for you to use at a community senior health & wellness fair/expo. However, many of the ideas for talking points, presentation and giveaways may be used in the other forms of marketing mentioned above.

Quick Tip: In-House Savings / Membership Plans – Loss of dental insurance may have prevented some people from seeking dental care.  Do you offer an in-house savings plan? If yes, be sure to include that in your marketing materials and posts on your office social media pages and website.

Back to health fairs… they can be challenging for a couple of different reasons.

One, there are a lot of vendors and booths/displays so you’re going to want to make sure that your display table stands out. That it draws the attention of the guests.

Two, most people are there for something free. But, I guess that doesn’t really count as a challenge. It’s an opportunity for you to make sure they won’t leave your display empty-handed. You’ll have many freebies to give away that include your office information.

Many wonder what they should talk about and what sort of items should they give away?

How about these ideas…

Service Talking Points ~

  • Denture/Partial Maintenance & Repair
  • Bad Breath
  • Gum Disease
  • Xerostomia 
  • Teeth Whitening
  • Orthodontics
  • Implants
  • Oral Cancer (On-site screenings)
  • Oral Systemic Health Link
  • Smile Makeover

Presentation / Demonstration ~

  • PowerPoint/Video presentation on a laptop/tablet/LARGE monitor with before and after photos and/or information about your services.
  • How To Demonstrations: Proper Brushing & Flossing Techniques

Display ~

  • Table Cloth
  • Banner (Office Name and Website address)
  • Brochures
  • Business Cards
  • Use nice baskets, containers, and frames to display your items.

Keep your table neat but attractive – too much information and “stuff” will be overwhelming in that setting.

Include a Big Call to Action with a deadline: You could hand out a sheet of paper that has a special offer on it: Complimentary Oral Cancer Screening, New Patient Special or Teeth Whitening Offer. On that sheet include some of the other services you offer. Also, include your social media sites and of course all your office contact info.

Make certain that you’ll have the ability to schedule complimentary consultations and New Patient Hygiene visits right there on the spot. (Access to your schedule…at the very least a copy of the schedule for the next 2 weeks.)

Very Important:  Your display table must include friendly, smiling, approachable and outgoing team members (also wearing, professional & clean attire).

Other things you can do to attract people to your table…

  • Prize Wheel
  • Gift Basket Drawing/Raffle

Lots of FREE stuff! Which brings us to…

Giveaways ~

  • Bottled Water / Reusable Waterbottles
  • Healthy Snacks
  • Xylitol Products- Gum/Mints
  • Sample dental health products with a sticker or tag attached showing that a “refill” may be purchased at your office.
  • Imprinted Toothbrushes
  • Toothpaste
  • Floss / Imprinted Floss Cards
  • Imprinted Pens
  • Magnets
  • My favorite idea for a quick & inexpensive freebie is Lip Balm- (my go-to; http://www.lipbalmexpress)
  • Reusable Bags with your Office Information on them is a handy giveaway, one that allows them to carry their free gifts in and advertise your office for you.

If you’re not looking to spend a lot of money on bags, please consider using small imprinted plastic bags so no one is fumbling with their gifts.

Raffle / Drawing ~

  • Electric Toothbrush
  • Whitening Pen
  • Gift Cards
  • Gift Baskets ( Themes: Dental Health, Gardening, Seasonal items, Spa, Etc. – don’t hesitate to team up with local businesses for basket items)
  • Free Teeth Whitening and or $ off Dental Treatment ( NOTE: they can either check the box for which one or all that they are hoping to win. Use a full sheet of paper with prize options and large space for them to fill out their name, email, address & phone (to be used later to send nice to meet you cards).

Should you decide to use a Prize Wheel instead of Raffle/Drawing be sure to find another way to capture their information so you can follow-up with a “pleasure to meet you” thank you card after the event.

Another Quick Tip: Include the Caregivers – be sure to have information on hand and give-aways for the care-givers. Especially because it’s often the care-givers that are the decision-makers.

Encourage attendees to “like” your office Facebook page and “follow” your office on Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest. Perhaps you can offer some type of incentive/reward for visiting your social media sites.

Take a few minutes before and after the event to briefly introduce yourself to the other vendors and businesses at the expo. Give them a gift some of your office freebies. This is a great opportunity to build relationships within your community.

So many ways for you to have a fun and successful senior health and wellness fair. Do you have any other ideas that have worked well for you? Please, share them with me.

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

Are you receiving my free dental marketing and practice management ideas every month to your email? If not, PLEASE take a second and follow today or send me your email address to bhaydenconsulting@gmail.com and I will send you an invitation to follow. This way, you won’t miss a single idea. Feel free to share my website with your dental friends.

Yours for Greater Success,

~Betty – Dental Coach

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

Dental Office Practice Management, Leadership, and Marketing Tips and Ideas for October 2019

Dental Office Practice Management, Leadership, and Marketing Tips and Ideas for October 2019

Hello Friends,

Ready for a fantastic final quarter?

October is the start of your final quarter for the year. It’s your opportunity to make it your best fourth quarter ever. To help you plan for that, today I’m sharing some tips and ideas with you. Ideas that when implemented will keep things fresh and fun in your office. More importantly, they will exceed your current patients and potential patients’ expectations which will allow you to focus on doing what you do best, helping your patients achieve healthy and beautiful smiles. Why? Because exceeding your patients’ expectations will help keep them loyal to your office.

Dental Leadership, Management, and Marketing

Fall Dental Marketing and Management Tips and Ideas Betty Hayden Dental Coach

Tips and Ideas for October 2019

Leadership ~

“A boss has the title; a leader has the people.” Simon Sinek

Employee Appreciation –

National Chocolate Day – October 28th / Bring in a sweet chocolatey treat for the team.

Continuing Education – A great way to end 2019 on a high note is to attend TBSE 2019 (The Best Seminar Ever!). You will love it!! Plus, I’ll be there, and it would be awesome to meet you in person!!  (If you’re already registered to attend please send me a message that you’ll be there!) FYI, TBSE 2019 (25th Anniversary) is the last year for TBSE!

See why this is truly the best seminar here: The Best Dental Seminar Ever

Practice Management ~

Improve Your Office Day – October 4th – Take this opportunity to openly and honestly examine ways to improve your office. This might be the perfect time to schedule a complimentary consultation with me to learn how a coaching relationship will help you to improve your office.

Boss’s Day is October 16th  Plan now to make this day special for your boss(es).

Michigan Dental Coach Bosses Day

Use it or Lose it Reminders – Did you get your end of year insurance dental benefit use it or lose it reminder letters/emails out?  Would you like a sample Use it or Lose it letter? Email me at bhaydenconsulting@gmail.com and I will gladly send one over to you.

Betty Hayden Dental Coach End of Year Insurance Renewal Reminders

Customer Service Week: 7th -11th  –

Excellent theme for your next team meeting.  What ideas can you come up with as a team to exceed your patients’ expectations by consistently delivering excellent customer service?

  • What do you do when you run late? (If you’re habitually running behind, please change that habit! It’s disrespectful to your patients’ and your team)
  • What do you do when the lab (or you) screws up a case?
  • What about comfort? How are you making the visit as comfortable as possible for your patients?
  • What about your telephone skills? SEE How to Effectively Answer the Dental Office Telephone (Telephone Principles)
  • How about after the treatment – are you making post-op calls?
  • How are you staying in touch with your patients in between their 6-month hygiene appointments?

Marketing ~

Exceed Expectations for your current patients and the potential new patients that you engage within your community.

Theme #1: Apple Month – See more ideas here: Dental Office Tips and Ideas for October’s National Apple Month

dental office tips and ideas for apple month betty hayden

Theme #2: Candy Buy Back – Host a Candy Buy Back Event for your patients and potential patients within the community.

Theme #3: Breast Cancer Awareness Month – See more ideas here: Dental Office Ideas for Octobers Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Theme #4: National Orthodontic Health Month – See more ideas here: National Orthodontic Health Month Tips and Ideas For Your Ortho Office

Patient & Community Dental Health Education Idea ~

October is National Dental Hygiene Month –

National Dental Hygiene Month Betty Hayden Consulting

All month-long share posts on your social media platforms regarding the importance of regular preventive dental visits to the dentist.

National Field Trip Month –

Invite local schools to come to the office for a free & educational field trip to the dentist.

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

Spinach Lovers Month

World Smile Day: 4th

Wear Something Gaudy Day: 17th

National Knock-Knock Jokes Day: 31st

Did you enjoy these tips and ideas?   I would love and truly appreciate for you to please take a second to leave a review/recommendation for me here on GOOGLE and/or FACEBOOK

Have you signed up to receive my complimentary dental marketing and practice management ideas that are sent right to your email inbox each month? If not, take a second and sign up. Or send me your email address and I will send you an invite to follow. This way, you won’t miss a single idea.

Yours for Greater Success,

~Betty (Dental Coach)

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