If you're reopening your dental practice after an extended closure, there are some things you need to do to make sure your office— and your team— are ready.
Here are seven things you should do before opening your practice back up after a significant time away.
1. Have Your Office Deep-Cleaned
Before reopening your office after it's been closed for a significant period, it's a good idea to have your space deeply cleaned. Make sure you work with a professional cleaning company that has experience working with dental professionals and their specialized equipment. Go beyond dusting and vacuuming floors and clean your exam room, hygiene tools, storage facilities, and other areas of your office that can’t get cleaned frequently when you're seeing patients on a daily basis.
2. Make Sure All Equipment is in Working Order
Next, make sure all of your equipment— such as X-ray machines and lab equipment— is in working order. Run technological equipment through a few normal "cycles" to confirm that the outcome is consistent every time and that your equipment is safe and ready to use with patients. If you notice that any of your equipment isn't functioning properly, have it serviced or replaced before you reopen your dental practice to the public. Take into account the time it will take to have specialized equipment repaired or replaced and check it early.
3. Check that Your Computer Software Runs Smoothly
Your computer network is the hub of your practice, especially if you have integrated dental practice management software. Before reopening your practice, fire up your computers to make sure everything is running smoothly. Work with an IT professional to assess any potential risks before your waiting room fills up with patients and it gets harder to find time to address critical issues in your network security infrastructure. Have any hardware or software that isn't functioning properly replaced or repaired before your reopen date.
4. Inventory Your Supplies and Order What You Need
Go through your medical supplies and take a complete inventory of how many boxes of gloves, surgical masks, composite resin materials, and other critical supplies you currently have left. Make a list of what you don't have enough of and be sure to order those items prior to reopening. Plan for potential shortages for some items where demand is higher, such as gloves and masks, and place your order with plenty of time to spare before your opening date.
5. Meet with Your Staff
Your staff needs to know what to expect on opening day so they can be prepared and knowledgeable when patients come in. You want to avoid the appearance of scrambling or not anticipating your reopening. Host an in-office lunch with your staff and go over responsibilities and new routines.
Leave time for your employees to ask questions or voice concerns, and be open to their feedback. A lot of what they'll be doing will remain the same as it was prior to your practice's closing. However, a refresher is always a good idea to make your reopening go as smoothly as possible, especially since routine safety and sanitation procedures have likely changed for every role.
6. Consider Scheduling at Half Capacity
If your dental practice has been closed for an extended period of time, you may not want to start back up business-as-usual. Instead, consider scheduling your first week or two at half capacity to help you and your staff become acclimated to seeing patients again before you pick up the pace. Reopening at a full schedule could make it hard for employees to stay efficient, when they're trying to refresh their memories on exactly how things should be done and adjusting to any new protocol.
7. Market Your Reopening
After the storm passes, it’s time to set a date for your reopening and start advertising it to your clients. Use your social media channels to let patients know when you'll be accepting appointments again, and if they can call now to go ahead and book their slot. You can also contact patients who were due for their appointments while your office was closed and get them back on the schedule.
Need Help Getting Your Dental Practice Back Up and Running?
Planning ahead now can help to ensure everything is in order come time to reopen. If you don't get organized and prepare for your reopening ahead of time, things can get hectic— and get hectic quickly— as you and your team scramble to get back into the groove of seeing patients.
At Integrity Systems & Solutions, we can help you make sure your practice is ready to reopen after an extended time away. Contact us to learn more at 866-446-8797.