Communicating Dental Safety to Your Patients Post-Pandemic
As the country reopens for business after the COVID-19 closures, it’s more important than ever to make your patients feel safe when visiting your dental practice. This includes communicating with your patients about the new office policies and procedures you will enact upon opening.
In doing so, you are creating a new normal for your practice that not only provides excellent dental care, but also considers the concerns of your patients as you navigate the uncharted territory of a pandemic together.
Enact a rollout plan that details how to communicate your dental safety methods for post-pandemic life.
Consider these Factors Before Opening
- Your practice location and state regulations
- The health of your dental team
- Your employee availability
- The outbreak outlook for your area
- The emergency services you have been providing
First Create a Rollout Strategy & Determine How to Communicate Your Plan
Next, you need to create a well-constructed rollout plan. This plan will entail your plans for reopening, such as when you’ll open, if hours or appointment types will be temporarily limited, what your new safety policies are for the practice and for your patients, etc.
Once you have a rollout plan in place to reopen your office for non-emergency dental care, you need to decide how to best communicate your plan to your patients. They will want to know what to expect when visiting your office and how you plan to address all of their concerns, before they book appointments.
There are a couple of ways to go about this, either by calling them or emailing them. Perhaps, your patients would be best served by utilizing a bit of both. If certain patients never respond to email or they haven’t even shared one with your practice, they would be suitable candidates to call. Other patients who do regularly respond to emails may prefer to learn about your rollout procedures through that already comfortable method of communication.
Consider How to Craft Your Safety Communication Message
The message you send to your patients or convey when calling them is vital. You want to reassure them you care about them and their safety first and foremost. Then, you want to explain all the measures your office is taking to ensure their safety and wellbeing.
Perhaps too, consider outlining your plan for reaching out to patients and getting them back on the books for regular dental services.
Your message could include a set of guidelines specific to your state or city that outlines what your dental practice reopening will look like in practical terms. You may also choose to explain any office etiquette changes. Let’s face it, things have changed drastically in just a few months' time across the nation. It’s no longer okay to walk up to someone and shake their hand, and when a person enters a public area, it’s more common than not that they will don a mask.
Consequently, it’s important to communicate the following information:
- Tell patients if there will be limits on how many patients can be inside the office simultaneously.
- Tell them if they need to wear a mask and/or gloves while waiting to be called back into a room.
- Explain to your patients what has changed in your check-in process so they know exactly what to expect. You may prefer them to call and check-in, then to stay in their car until their room is ready.
- If you plan on having them sign a form ensuring they have not been sick themselves or around anyone with COVID-19, or you plan to take their temperature before they can be seen, explain this to them.
Make Sure Your Message and Reopening Plan is Easy-to-Access
Ensure the rollout message you send your patients or communicate over the phone is also easy-to-access on your website or a part of your answering service message. This provides yet another avenue of communication that further ensures your patients know your rollout plan and understand exactly what they can expect when visiting your office post-pandemic.
Be Excited and Upbeat
Finally, after determining what message you want to convey, what policies you will enact, and how you plan on opening back up during your rollout, be sure to tell your patients they are missed. Remember, it’s important to reassure your patients, during a time when anxiety is high, that it is safe to come into your office and complete their dental service.
Make sure they understand you are excited about opening up your office and that you have missed seeing their smiling faces. This will go a long way in easing your patients’ worries, which will make them more likely to keep and/or set up a dental appointment.
Integrity Makes a Difference
Integrity makes a difference in not only how you perform dental services when patients are in office, but also in how you ensure their well being both mentally and physically.
Our team at Integrity Systems & Solutions is here to help with top-notch business planning and assessment services. From network security to routine assessments, we can keep your medical or dental practice protected.
Give us a call at (844) 394-3445 to start improving your security today.